Boxing: Gavin sacrifices his spot for twin Jamie

Dave Coldwell
Dave Coldwell

Boxers are normally crestfallen when a contest they have been preparing for is postponed.

But not Gavin McDonnell. His European super bantamweight title defence against Jeremy Parodi scheduled for September 5 in Leeds has been put off for a month.

Instead, he’ll be in Texas supporting his brother Jamie as he faces Tomoki Kameda in a rematch for his WBA Bantamweight title.

Rotherham-based Dave Coldwell, who trains the Doncaster twins, says Gavin will actually benefit from the delay, as it gives him extra time on some technical refinements. “The plan is for Gavin to spar with some Mexican fighters while we are out there” he said.

“Gavin will tell you himself that he has a lot to work on, on the technical side - getting a better jab, not leaning forward, making himself a smaller target. He knows he has to improve in every aspect. There is a gap between the brothers, Jamie is at the elite world level while Gavin has a European title. Gavin needs some good learning fights to get up the levels.

“He has had 15 fights and no amateur career, so he has to learn on the job like Curtis Woodhouse did.

“The lads like being around each other on fight night. And the Texas experience will do Gavin good.”

Coldwell said the twins have always got on like a house on fire. “Their banter is unbelievable. And they are so competitive in everything! Jamie will say that he is world champion, but Gavin will tease him that he’s never been beaten and Jamie has - and so it goes on. The two are totally different boxers requiring totally different jobs on them. But they both do what I ask of them and if they can see their own improvements, as I can, they will work even harder.

“But they are enjoying themselves in training and even in dieting. They are working with David Stache (the nutrionist who helped Sheffield’s Kell Brook) and it is going really well. Food is a massive thing. If the food they have to each is rubbish they will have a cheat day and are straight on to the pizza and curry. But if the nutritious food is tasty - and it is - they stop having that craving.”

Coldwell has been training Liverpool cruiser Tony Bellew for the last 18 months.

“I’ve reached the stage now where I can work with people who I enjoy working with and it’s going to be worthwile. I have done the whole training kids from scratch thing - some have the drive and some don’t. I only want to work with people who put 100%.”

The trainer added: “I am not interested in those who will train Monday to Friday and then balloon up in weight over the wekend.

“I like working with people who liked to improve and get the best out of themselves.

“There is nothing worse for a trainer than wanting itmore than the kid does himself.

“I have had that a few times and it really knocks your duck off.

“As for Bellew, I’m hoping that a big fight can be delivered for him because this is someone who impresses me more and more with every single session. His work ethic is second to none and he’s more than capable of making an impact at world level.”

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