BATLEY’S Central Boxing Club is stronger than it has ever been and could see the emergence of a number of new professional fighters over the next few months, according to trainer Julian McGowan.
The boxing coach, who trains Dewsbury star Gary Sykes, has hailed the effort of his current crop of fighters and insists the gym is more buoyant than ever.
Since opening two years ago Central Boxing Club has seen plenty of changes, most notably when boxing sensation Josh Warrington left with father Sean O’Hagan last year.
However, the gym has since seen the comeback of Dewsbury Moor boxer Tony Aitcheson and McGowan says the fighter has real potential.
He said: “Central is going well, the brand is getting out there. Some thought the gym would weaken after the departure of Josh Warrington, a high profile boxer, but it is the old adage ‘No player is bigger then the team’ so we are more buoyant then ever.
“Josh also was only in the gym for four fights, and didn’t work with myself, so wasn’t really a Central fighter he just used the base when it suited him.
“Tony is young, fired-up, his career reminds me of Gary’s several years ago. A rocky start, inactivity, but ultimately when the fighter has such talent, you get where you need to be.
“For me personally he is what I live for – an uncut diamond, a real challenge and I am excited about this fighter. I believe with momentum and regular fights, in two or three years he will have a big promotional contract and TV will love this kid, he’ll be a star.”
Central is set for a busy few months with both Aitcheson and Sykes set for bouts, in March and April respectively.
However, despite the focus being on Aitcheson and Sykes, McGowan was quick to praise the gym’s other fighters.
“We have several young fighters in the gym coming through in all weights, all styles, but we don’t push for kids to turn over, but if they want and they are good enough and tick the boxes, we can look at that,” he continued.
“Watch this space – the pro-count will rise over the next few months.”
Meanwhile, Sykes has started an intensive 10 week training camp for his clash with Liam Walsh on April 12, with the bout to be fought at London’s Copper Box Arena.
Trainer McGowan admits his fighter is in good shape, but he will not hit his peak until April.
He added: “It’s early days and we are on schedule, just building a base fitness and stepping up camp this week.
“It’s a science, a curve, an unwritten text book. If Gary looks good now, I am concerned. All we look for now is mental focus and application, nothing else.
“We focus on the job, but it is hard when it is plainly clear that not too many elite super-featherweights domestically want a part of Gary.
“Does Liam Walsh? I always view the situation from the eyes of others, and right now there are easier routes for him to take at 29 years old, just like there was for Stephen Smith. But, we have to get ready.”
Despite 30-year-old fighter Sykes building up to his title clash, McGowan admits the real success at Central is its loyal members.
He said: “The real success of Central is that since opening two years ago we have loyal members who have never missed training sessions.
“How many gyms who run specialised courses such as boxing can say they have such a loyal base? Central is a community, a group of people who are friends and have become friends, and love the brand.”