Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Jeffries Set for Another Milestone in Career; Boxer Heading Stateside to Train with Best: Tony Jeffries Is Getting Ready to Move to Another Trainer in Another City. the Olympic Bronze Medallist Speaks to Stuart Rayner about Criticism, Expectation and Why It Is Time for Yet More Change

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Jeffries Set for Another Milestone in Career; Boxer Heading Stateside to Train with Best: Tony Jeffries Is Getting Ready to Move to Another Trainer in Another City. the Olympic Bronze Medallist Speaks to Stuart Rayner about Criticism, Expectation and Why It Is Time for Yet More Change

Article excerpt

THIS weekend brings another milestone in the everchanging career of Tony Jeffries.

The Sunderland light-heavyweight is moving to Los Angeles to start a new life in professional boxing.

Change has been a constant feature of Jeffries' life these last two years. Since winning bronze at the Beijing Olympics he has had two promoters. Next week he begins working with his third trainer, and moves into his third home. Jeffries admits if the switch does not work out, more changes will follow.

For a fighter who only last year returned to his beloved Sunderland from Manchester because of homesickness, it is a huge step, but one Jeffries believes is the right one. The 25-year-old will work with Tommy Brooks, a well-known American trainer whose star pupil is Evander Holyfield, but with plenty of other world champions on his cv.

It gives more ammunition to those who argue Jeffries' is going nowhere fast. While accepting change was needed, Jeffries is pretty pleased with the course his career has taken, and admits the criticism hurts.

"It's been so far, so good apart from my last blemish," he says of a career which has seen him win seven (five by knockout) of his eight bouts. The other was a draw Jeffries refers to as "the daft fight".

Woefully under-prepared because of injury, he expected to fight Michael Banbula over six rounds. Only when the bell rang on round six did he and his corner discover it would be his first eightround contest. It proved the catalyst for the changes Jeffries' promoter, Frank Maloney, had been pushing for.

"I've got to take that on the chin and take it as a learning curve," he says. "Frank Maloney was raving about Tommy Brooks a few months ago. He spoke to me about it (changing trainer) before my Peterlee fight (against Matt Hainy) in June. I said no straight away but a few things happened and I decided to go for it."

Jeffries' then-coach Bobby Rimmer carried the can. The Mancunian struck up a close friendship with his charge, even agreeing to come to Wearside to train the homesick Jeffries. It was a ruthless decision, but Jeffries has demonstrated he is not prepared to stand idly by when things are not working.

"It was hard to tell him, very hard, but when I did I got a really good response from him," he recalls. "I've spoken to him a few times since. It had to be done. If something's not going right I will try and make it work. If I can't, I'll change it." Jeffries is determined to make his next move work, but refuses to rule out more disruption if it does not.

"I suppose I need a bit of stability but I've got to get a connection with Tommy Brooks, that's the most important thing," he argues. "Frank and my dad (his manager, Phil) and my team didn't agree with some of the stuff that was done when I had Bobby Rimmer as my coach, and they persuaded me to make the change. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.