News May 2019

Jamie Moore talks life as a trainer, says Coyle may sidestep British title shot


by @shaun_brown

Lifeís good at the moment for Jamie Moore. The former Commonwealth, British and European light-middleweight champion is a busy man nowadays. His life revolves around his wife and children, working as a boxing pundit for Sky Sports and training the likes of Matthew Macklin, Tommy Coyle and Stephen Foster Jr. And whilst there may be little time for anything else in his life these are the things that matter to him the most.

Livefight may have interviewed him over the phone from the MGM (Macklin Gym Marbella) but it was easy to gauge that this a man currently walking around with a big smile across his face.

Moore, the trainer, has a potentially huge 2014 ahead of him. Macklin, a three-time world middleweight title challenger has one eye on getting a rematch with current IBF middleweight champion, Felix Sturm, whilst Coyle is on the cusp of doing something special in the jam-packed British lightweight division.

Livefight kicked off the interview by asking Moore if there was any added pressure on Coyle in his last fight against John Simpson due to the Scot not being a natural lightweight and stepping in as a late replacement for Gavin Rees

JM: It was a must-win fight anyway. Even though Tommy had got a win in between which he needed, to box for that title (IBF International Lightweight), people remembered him from losing against Derry which was his first proper exposure on Sky. At this stage of his career it was must-win because he didnít want peopleís lasting impression being of him getting beat by Derry and then by John Simpson. Added to that, John had come in at four weeksí notice and was coming up in weight. But youíve got to take into account Johnís toughness and durability albeit at a lower weight but nevertheless Tommy did a good job on him. He still made a few little mistakes which need to be ironed out but heís a work in progress. Heís never really been coached properly. Heís just done whatever he wanted so I appreciate itís taking a little bit of time but heíll get there. Heís a natural fighter. The good part about training someone like Tommy is you donít have to push him. The main job is moulding him into a better fighter and holding him back. Cracking the whip all the time can get frustrating for someone. Itís a lot easier when youíve got someone who wants to do it and youíve got to hold them back from himself.

LF: What are the goals for Tommy in 2014?

JM: Ideally weíd want him to go down the British title route, Tommyís in a bit of a unique position where heís being asked to top bills on Sky. Ideally youíd want him to start out as a supporting or chief supporting act but with Luke Campbell coming on to the scene at the same time itís a unique situation to be in. Talent wise and ability wise heís definitely at British title level but thereís people in front of him in the queue. For instance if Eddie [Hearn] offered us a voluntary [against Martin Gethin] then weíd take it. Weíd be silly not to but Iím not sure whether someone would want to fight Tommy in a voluntary. Iím not saying anyoneís frightened of him but you donít really pick tough opponents out for a voluntary, thatís not good business. Terry Flanagan is already the next mandatory so if we donít get a voluntary weíll have to give it a miss because we canít afford to be sitting about waiting for a British title shot. Iíd like to see him get some international experience. The ideal picture at the end of it is to be a world class fighter so we need to give him problems in the ring to deal with. Not life or death situations but, for instance, someone who can punch a bit or someone whoís a good body puncher or a southpaw just so we can get him in with a variety of people and get to learn on the job. Iíd like to think in 12-18 monthsí time heíll have developed into a fighter thatíll be top ten or fifteen in the world and youíre then confident in the fact heís come through tricky situations, heís overcome them, learned from them and Iím then happy for him to step up. Iíd be happy for him to fight anyone in Britain at this moment in time maybe barring [Ricky] Burns. Iíd have no qualms with putting him in with anyone else in the British top ten because in my book theyíre all roughly at the same level and thatís why itís such a good division. Burnsí is a little bit above everyone else and then youíve got the rest jockeying for position. Thereís so many exciting fights at lightweight.

LF: Weíve seen you fighting, weíve seen you as a pundit but howís life working out for you as a trainer nowadays?

JM: Do you know what? Iím enjoying it, Iíd be lying if I said I wasnít. I never intended on getting into training people just yet. People have asked me in the past but I told them I couldnít because I had work priorities with Sky and Iíve got two young kids and I wanted to see them grow up. It started off with Tommy and he got offered the Gethin fight. And at that period in time heíd split from his trainer Stevie Smith. [Coyleís manager] Steve Wood asked me if I would train Tommy for the Gethin fight. I told him I had loads on but he thought I could it work it out with him. He asked me to have a chat with him next day. He came in the gym, and before that Iíd never met Tommy.

I got on with him well, I took him through a bit of a training session and I was a bit surprised. Iíd seen him box a couple of times and I always thought he was a bit of a slugger basically but when I got him on the pads I thought ďhe can box more than heís giving himself credit forĒ. That gave me a bit of intrigue because I was wondering what I could do with him, we had a good long chat and I told him that if I have go and work for Sky then I have to do it. Thatís my bread and butter. I told him if was okay then Iíd do it, he said he was happy and that heíd love to be involved. That was the ball rolling there. Next day, Steve Foster Jr turned up and he didnít even know what had happened and he asked if he could do a bit of training. Iíve known Stephen since he was a kid so he asks me ďYou donít fancy training me do you?Ē Because heís my friend if he didnít do anything in boxing again then Iíd feel guilty so I said letís do it. So him and Tommy have been training all the time. That was back in April/May. So 2013 has been without doubt the busiest of my life. Iíve been travelling up and down the country non-stop, Iíve been preparing those two for fights and then out the blue, weeks back, Matt Macklin rung me. I had a picture in my gym which I asked him to sign a couple of times and our paths never crossed. I seen he was in Manchester, I text him so we met up. He was asking about Tommy and how that came about and training, I didnít realise at the time he was picking my brains and then we worked the Provodnikov-Alvarado fight through the night for Sky and same thing, we were talking training, tactics and stuff. And then I got a message off him weeks after asking me if I fancied training him. So I think, f*****g hell (laughs). I mentioned the Sky thing and he said he wanted me to come to Marbella to train me. I said I canít do it. I had trouble leaving my kids overnight never mind for a month. He said itís a big time in his career, thereís decent wages involved, itíd be good for your family and he knew I was a family man so he said heíd fly me home every weekend. That was a great gesture but I had a lot to sort out. If I had to turn down work from Sky then thatís not going to look good for me so I spoke to them. I told them I had loyalties to them and that I envisaged working with them for the rest of my working life. They told me thereís no problem at all as long as I could work things around it because there are certain things they would need me to do. In fact itís a great story, they said. I told Macklin I could do it and here we are, speaking to you in Marbella.

LF: When you did all the gym features for Ringside, are there training methods from those features that you put into practice now?

JM: I wouldnít say those films me out as in it taught me other stuff, it was interesting. The boxing fans got a great insight into how each individual gym has their own different methods. But I wouldnít say I took anything on board personally. No disrespect to the others but I still feel that Oliver Harrison is the best coach out there. In my mind the way the master (Harrison), as I call him (laughs) used to go about his work heís very adaptable, thereís no real way to it, you can add things, you can take away for whatever fight youíve got. A lot of people have ideas about how to train and how to get fit but the Manchester thing with jumping the bar is a simple exercise but itís so, so tough. Tommy had never done the bar before he came to my gym and it absolutely killed him. But I think it showed in his fitness because of the legs he had in his last couple of fights and the engine heís got on him. The bar is your worst enemy and your best friend. Emotionally it breaks your heart but it gives you such good conditioning.

LF: Are you looking to build a stable?

JM: No. Not just because Sky is a priority but the way I like to train fighters, Iíve

had a great teacher in Oliver Harrison who is a world-class coach and doesnít get the recognition but I think he likes it that way. He likes to bob under the radar. I was with him for close on ten years. Thereís such a good amount of knowledge that Iíve been able to absorb. Showing me different techniques, how to break down fights, rhythm, set the traps, spaces. So many angles on how to break down a fight what I never realise existed. Iím able now to pass that on and I like to do it in a certain way. I like to do it the way he did it and to do that youíve got be very one-on-one. I wouldnít want to spread myself too thin and the other thing is I donít want to jeopardise my work with Sky. Itís just too much. Iíve got a family as well, theyíre my main priority and if it affects your family life then whatís the point in doing it? Itís all good at the minute but I donít want to expand.

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