STEFY Bull believes all the fighters in his stable are pushing each other on.
Spearheaded by former treble bantamweight champion, Jamie McDonnell, the Empress Ballroom gym in Mexborough is packed out night after night. Luckily for former fighter Bull and fellow trainer Dave Hulley, a lot of their professionals are in and around the same weight division.
“It helps so much with sparring when you’ve got fighters who are roughly the same,” said Bull.
“Sparring isn’t as good as fighting but the likes of Tommy Coward, Stuart Brookes, Adam Jones and Stephen McIntosh are benefitting from regular, good spars with one another.
“For Adam and Stephen, that brings them on a lot because they’re only just starting out in the game and Tommy and Stuart pass on experience to them.”
Coward, an unbeaten welterweight from nearby Swinton, headlines the bill tonight at the Doncaster Dome against John Wayne Hibbert for the British Masters title.
Bull is backing Coward to triumph and is already planning a bumper show for when the boxing season starts up again in September.
“We’re looking into a show where there will be loads of title fights at the Dome,” confirmed Bull.
“We’d be looking to get Stuart one with Harry Matthews and also stepping Gavin McDonnell up to a longer distance too. Obviously they’ll all have to come through this show but myself and Dave have faith in them.”
The gym also has a packed amateur and girls stable who train in the gym before the professionals. Bull is hopeful that Paul Durose’s Ernie Oxer boxers will continue to feed into his professional camp.
“We’ve a perfect set-up here and Luke Crowcroft, who’s a multiple national champion, will be signing with us later this year and making his debut in September,” said Bull.
Harworth light-heavyweight Daniel Slaney will also be in action tonight. He faces Stirling’s Scott Edgar at Rotherham’s Magna Centre. Edgar lost his only career fight to Barry Connell last month.
Top of the bill at the Magna is former Sheffield united footballer Curtis Woodhouse. They say he has an iron chin - and he’s going to need it against Alfreton’s Dale Miles, who can clearly whack. His record reads as a trail of destruction as the 27-year-old southpaw ended nine of his 12 bouts early.
He was also unbeaten before suffering a cuts loss and a first career defeat to Tyrone Nurse in Prizefighter. Both Woodhouse and Coldwell believed that he was on his way to stopping Nurse, who made it to the final, in that fight anyway.
Woodhouse, aged 32, has never been stopped and hasn’t looked close to being in grave danger. Arguably, though, Miles will be the biggest hitter that he’s been in with to date.
Woodhouse has admitted that if he gets caught clean by Miles, he’ll be waking up in hospital!