Boxing


Frank Maloney's Stable Hard At Work At The Fitness Academy

09.01.07 - Frank Maloney's Fitness Academy is a training facility for his ever-growing stable of boxers. Based in Deptford, South East London, it has been home to many well established boxers over the years and is renowned for cultivating talent. Upon entering the intimate gym, there is one poster in particular that catches the eye. It shows Maloney, his face red with anger, doing some serious finger wagging in the direction of WBC president Jose Sulaiman after Lennox Lewis' controversial draw with Evander Holyfield in 1999. "His bark is worse then his bite," laughs head trainer Alan Smith..

Smith and former welterweight prospect turned trainer Babatunde Ajayi were going through the paces with a number of fighters. Remarkably, no one in the gym seemed to be feeling the effects of too much turkey over Christmas. It was business as usual.

Many of the fighters had trained throughout the Christmas period, only putting their feet up on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Those hard at work at the Fight Factory included light middleweight Sam Webb, featherweight Akash Bhatia, light middleweight Paul Porter, super middleweight Dwayne Lewis and welterweight Grant Skehill, along with amateur boxers Junior Asif and 12-year-old Oteo Saba.

Bhatia begins his 2007 campaign in a couple of week's time. The unbeaten featherweight is fighting a yet to be named opponent on the undercard of the Martin Power vs. Tshifhiwa Munyai Commonwealth Bantamweight title rematch on January 26 at the Goresbrook LC in Dagenham.

Lewis is also set to make an appearance early in the year, possibly March. He is the cousin of heavyweight legend Lennox Lewis. He had a solid amateur career that consisted of 22 wins from 26 contests, winning numerous titles in the process. It will be Lewis' first professional fight.

When asked does he think it is an advantage to be related to the former heavyweight champion, he replied: "It doesn't bother me because I'm going to make my own way regardless. If I stay focused I'll achieve anyway. I don't need to sell myself on the back of someone else's image."

He will be competing in the talent rich super middleweight division. "I want to be fighting for a British title in the next two years," he said. "The British Super Middleweight scene is wide open. You got Joe Calzaghe and Carl Froch and that's about it."

After spending a bit of time watching the young man train, it's clear that he means business.

Frank Maloney Promotions presents "Payback or Playback?", the Tshifhiwa Munyai vs. Martin Power Commonwealth Bantamweight Championship rematch at Goresbrook LC in Dagenham, England on January 26, 2007. Undefeated Gary Woolcombe challenges English Light Middleweight Champion Andrew Facey and Brian Magee faces Andrew Lowe in a Final Eliminator for the British Light Heavyweight title. Tickets are available by logging onto www.frankmaloney.com or by calling the Box Office at 0844 477 6466. Sky Sports broadcasts live on SS1 starting at 22:00.

Article posted on 09.01.2007



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