21st April 2012

Jimmy Lewis has run the Fox ABC in Manchester for over 30 years in which time he has had a host of boxing talent win National title, schoolboy championships, ABA titles and some have gone on to make their name in the professional ranks after learning the game with Mr Lewis.

Current British lightweight champion Anthony Crolla came through with Jimmy and now helps him train the lads 3 nights a week. As well as Crolla, who won an ABA title with Jimmy himself, there are many other star names to train with Jimmy at the Fox. Boxers such as Joey Jacobs, Michael Brodie, Craig Watson. Karl Place, Terry Flanagan and their coach Stephen Maylett all started out at the Fox when it was in Ancoats. Other names over the years are too many too list, Jimmy remembers Eric Noye and Kevin Taylor who fought for England at the Olympic games.

Jimmy started the original gym above the Fox pub in Blackley in 1978, they then moved to Ancoats in the old Police station. That gym got burned down and so Jimmy moved to Bradford Rd. When they were forced to leave them premises too. Anthony Farnell offered Jimmy the use of his gym on Oldham Rd to train the amateurs at night.

We caught up with Jimmy, at Arnies gym where he spoke to us about his time in boxing, how it began for him, some of the names who have passed through and current right hand man and British champion Anthony Crolla. Crolla was in training for his fight with Derry Mathews at the time and Jimmy gives his verdict on the fight.

By Chris Maylett