Ask anyone that has fought or even sparred with Philip Sutcliffe Jr and they will tell you he has hands of stone.
Indeed, lightweight World champion Anthony Crolla recently admitted that the Dubliner was the hardest puncher he ever shared a ring with- and when they danced in sparring it wasn’t full blooded nor was with small gloves.
However, if ask Sutcliffe if his hands are made of stone you will get that ‘you just asked a stupid question’ glare and grin he often shoots out. It seems ‘Succo’s’ hands are as mean as he is in the ring, they want to inflict as much pain as possible and while they were hurting opponents they were leaving him seriously hurt at the same time.
The Dublin prospect has had trouble with his hands since back in his amateur days fighting through pain and suffering injury set backs over the years. He has more hand rehab than Paul Gascoigne has rehab of another kind.
Two recent operations seemed to have helped and in recent years the Crumlin BC graduate has learnt to manage the problem. He worked his way to 9-0 before losing a close points decision to European #2 Anthony Yigit earlier this month.
While his team and more so Sutcliffe Jr were gutted with the reverse they took a number of positives from how close he pushed the highly ranked puncher at short notice, in Germany and while producing his best.
However, when speaking to Irish-boxing.com this week former Olympian, current Crumlin boss man and father and coach to Sutcliffe Jr, Phillip Sutcliffe claimed the biggest positive to come out to the clash was the fact his son’s hands were perfect post eight tough rounds.
“The main positive his hands were grand and to be honest that was the main positive.That was his first fight as a pro and first fight in a long time that his hands were totally fine.
“He was bandaging them up with a new method in Manchester (sparring Crolla) his hands were perfect there, he could punch down walls.
“In Germany fair play to Tommy McCormack he did a great job with Phil’s hands. We didn’t over react to the defeat there are positives to take, we know he has the ability at that level, he drew away on one judges scorecard without being anywhere near his best, but the main positive was his hands.”