The year of the Bull

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WHEN tonight is over, Stefy Bull will have a legitimate claim to the title of ‘Mr Doncaster’ when it comes to boxing.

A little more than 18 months after hanging up his gloves, the former Conisbrough pro will promote his first show at the Doncaster Dome, following in the footsteps of mentor John Rushton.

When the final bell rings, it will mark a whirlwind period for the 34-year-old which has seen him retire, co-train Jamie McDonnell to European title glory out of the Empress Gym in Mexborough and begin managing a burgeoning stable of fighters.

And though he has a small amount of trepidation about adding another major string to his bow, Bull believes it was a logical step.

He said: “I’m sweating a lot and losing a bit of hair but I’m really excited about it.

“I never thought or dreamed that I’d be promoting this early in my life but things have just fallen into place.

“I’ve got 16 fighters on my books now on the back of the success we’ve had training Jamie McDonnell.

“You invest a lot of time and effort in these lads and its down to you to put them on the right path.

“This allows me to do that, to get what’s best for and out of the lads.

“I’m very nervous because of the investment you put in but I’m really pleased with this first show.”

Seven members of Bull’s stable – who he also co-trains alongside Dave Hulley – will compete at the Dome on Friday night.

He believes a well-organised working relationship means no one will suffer too much with the extra worlkload.

Bull said: “We have a fantastic working relationship which means I can be on the phone and Dave can be carrying on with the training.

“It’s made me appreciate even more what John Rushton used to do because he was doing everything.

“I’d like to emulate John as much as possible because he was unbelieveable professional, even down to having tickets for the lads to sell a couple of months in advance.

“He was Mr Doncaster when it came to boxing and if I can do half of what he did I’ll be a happy man.”

As well as having a guiding hand, Bull believes his young crop of fighters will benefit in the long run from being blooded locally.

He said: “If there are no local shows open for the lads they end up travelling all around the country.

“Being the away fighter is hard because it’s very difficult to pick up a decision.

“And if you go all that way and lose then have to repeat that on a regular basis then it’s very hard to motivate.

“Having a regular platform for them to compete on that’s local so they’ve got good support gives a really good foundation for the lads to build their careers on.

“The best things about all this is the lads have seen Jamie McDonnell pack out the Dome and generate the brilliant atmosphere he does.

“They know they’re going to have the chance of getting a bit of that for themselves and that should be massive motivation for them.”

The ringside section is sold out and terracing is selling well to such an extent that plans are already afoot for another show in June.

Bull said: “It’s a good thing for this area and for Doncaster because it’s our own lads on the card and filling the seats to keep boxing alive around here.”