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“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

It is an old boxing adage that James Cracknell understands all too well. He, more than his Cambridge crewmates or Oxonian opponents, has lived that punchline. Twelve years ago James entered a charity boxing match held in Old Billingsgate. It was his first and to date last dalliance with the hurt game. The evening ended with James sprawled across the canvas unconscious. A brutal introduction to a brutal sport. The Light Blues will be hoping he lasts a little longer than the 45 seconds he spent in the ring. James’ big regret was “not sticking to my plan when my opponent was coming back at me”. Should he find himself in the Cambridge blue boat on Sunday 7th April 2019, perhaps we will see if he has learnt from his time in the ring.

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Still Fighting: James Cracknell, 15 years after retirement, is on the verge of making history again. Front Row Seat: Preparing for The Boat Race, by cox Matthew Holland 2019 World Rowing Indoor Championships: Long Beach, California