One of boxing’s most entertaining away fighters and friend of Southpaw Jab, Lewis Van Poetsch- or Poochi to pretty much everyone, hit one hundred fights last weekend. His flat cap and plain white dressing gown have become something of a trademark, instantly identifiable on the small hall scene, and the charismatic former soldier spoke to Southpaw Jab.
Travelling up to Birmingham to fight Scott Hillman at Villa Park, Poochi had the novel experience of being in the home corner and enjoyed a four round, 40-36 victory. It was his first win since September 2017. The achievement of hitting his century as a road warrior with all his faculties in tact (well, most of them), is a massive one. Lewis knows it, telling me,
“It’s amazing and an honour to be in the prestigious centurion club with some fellow road warrior legends, past and present.
I am genuinely flattered, touched, humbled, honoured and any other sentimental word I can use to describe how I feel today (day after the fight), about the support I received up at Villa Park, and the response from people on social media.
I feel famous for a day! It’s been fantastic receiving the accolades and It is something I’ll carry close to my heart for as long as I live.”
Poochi went north armed with a bus load of noisy west country fans, who rewarded their man’s achievement with support he’s obviously overwhelmed by. These supporters raucously reminding their man how much they love him. Although he tells me it wasn’t all plain sailing, the practicalities of chartering a bus were a pain.
“Don’t get me started with that bus! Haha it was an absolute Weston Super Mare sorting that out.
It was fantastic to see people I know and my pals in the crowd singing my name. I can’t thank them all enough. Villa park has never had such a loud bunch in attendance!”
I wondered whether the jubilant crew went out to celebrate his win, and they did in some fashion it sounds. While Lewis went along, he says he kept it civil on his part.
“We went out but stayed sober personally. Which is more than can be said for some of my mates!”
How did a rare appearance in the home corner feel? Is it a push for more glory, something the UK prospects should be on alert for, a Poochi with the scent of blood and the taste for victory?
“Let me tell you. I won’t be in the home corner again in a hurry. But yeah, prospects watch out. I’m reborn, Poochi 2.0 haha!
No, really I know the score still, I’ll be back to my journeyman ways now and maybe get on the right end of a decision along the way here and there.”
Poochi is being modest, anyone who has seen him fight is a fan and knows he is always a danger. Lewis might say he felt famous for a day, but those who love boxing know about him, and he was even listed by the venerable Boxing News as one of their journeymen of the year last year.
It is so pleasing to see someone who has put in so much graft to service the sport get to such a milestone; and do it with a win and with so many friends cheering him on. Poochi is always friendly and fun to be around, Southpaw Jab are over the moon for him, and cannot wait to see 101, 102, 103, and who knows, maybe the double century. Possibly more so than Lewis himself!
A fantastic weekend for #TeamSouthpawJab (flat)capped off by a tremendous night for the great Poochi Van Poetsch. Congratulations Poochi!
Photos by Dexter Hastings