Boxers drawn against each other for bout refuse to fight - because they are identical twins

Feb 28, 2015

The loving twins say their parents would never allow them to fight eachother

Richard Williams Patrick and Paul Birkenhead

Two boxers drawn against each other in a qualifying round have refused to fight - because they are identical twins.

Patrick and Paul Birkenhead, both aged 15, are following the example of the Klitschko brothers, and of twins George and Henry Cooper, by making a pact never to fight in the ring.

The Kirkdale siblings were drawn to face each other in the semi final of the local Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) national qualifying rounds.

Patrick - a southpaw because he is left-handed and fights from an unorthodox stance - is the younger sibling by a minute and a former ABA junior champion.

He told the Liverpool Echo: "We're the best of friends and get on great. And of course our mum [Alice] and dad would never have let the fight take place anyway."

It has been decided instead that Paul will automatically go through to the final.

Richard Williams Patrick and Paul Birkenhead
Training: Boxing twins Patrick and Paul Birkenhead with head coach Mick McCallister at the Rotunda boxing club

Patrick added: "If we had fought I think Paul would have won because he is a better fighter. It's only fair that he should go through to the final because it really is his weight category.

"I only ended up in this band because I couldn't make the weight in my usual class."

Brother Paul, who is right handed and fights from an orthodox stance, strongly disagrees with his sibling's assessment.

He said: "Patrick is only saying that because of our records. We have each had 20 fights. He's won 12 and I have one more victory, there's hardly any difference. I think any fight between us would be 50-50, but we'll never know."

Both teenagers began boxing when aged nine, and stepped beneath the ropes for their first bout when they were 11 years old.

They train at Kirkdale's Rotunda Club four nights a week, with another session reserved for running. The famous boxing centre also plays a huge part in the life of the Birkenhead family of six, as 16-year-old sister Daisy is a resident coach and younger sister Peggy, nine, is a promising fighter.

Paul and Patrick attend Alsop High School where they are in the top sets in most subjects and are due to take 10/ 11 GCSE exams.

Richard Williams Patrick and Paul Birkenhead
Brothers: Boxing twins Patrick and Paul Birkenhead at the Rotunda boxing club

Patrick said: "If it's possible I would like to be a professional boxer.

Although if this doesn't happen I am revising hard in order that I may study medicine and become a doctor.

"The professional boxer I most admire is Manny Pacquiao. I can't wait to see the fight between him and Floyd Mayweather, it's really interesting."

While his brother Paul is also looking forward to the Pacquiao/ Mayweather confrontation, his preference is elsewhere and for more personal reasons.

He said: "The professional fighter I like is the light middleweight Saul Alvarez, who they call Canelo. This is because he is an exciting fighter, but mostly because he is a ginger like me!"

Richard Williams Patrick and Paul Birkenhead
Richard Williams Patrick and Paul Birkenhead
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