Bible Bashers (The Big Issue)

They’re beating hell out of each other – and it’s all in the name of Jesus. Adrian Gatton meets The Godfellas.

Bible Bashers
By Adrian Gatton
The Big Issue
March 18 2002

“Lift ’em up in the name of Jesus,” challenges Alan Mortlock, fight promoter, trainer and evangelist. Mortlock is putting boxer Terry Rummell through his paces: “Left and right hand, right and left hook. Bump bump. Nice clear and powerful shots.” Dancing around, Terry whacks Mortlock’s hook and jab pads with some neat punches. “Loosen up. One, two, three, four. Bump bump bump. ” Tonight light-heavyweight Terry is going four rounds against Lee Wrigley from Rotherham. It’s his third fight of the season and he hasn’t lost a match.

Alan: “Do you feel good?”
Terry: “I feel great.”
Alan: “You are. You’ve got the power of God with you. He’s here, in this changing room with us, I tell yer. Just keep him moving, keep shadow boxing. Lift ’em up in the name of Jesus …”

Terry stops and breathes deeply. Suddenly Mortlock kneels, showing his black gown with the Christian symbol of the fish. Another fighter rests his arm on Terry’s tattooed shoulder.

“Pray in the name of Jesus,” says Alan, closing his eyes and clasping his hands together …

Feature on Alan Mortlock, reformed hardman, boxing promoter and Christian.