With the boxing season nearing closing time for a vast portion of the industry, Dave Coldwell has managed to locate a rare moment’s peace to assess the various emotions enjoyed and endured by Coldwell Boxing throughout the last year.
Titles were won and lost, prospects tasted victory and swallowed defeat and then there was Kieran Farrell, the Heywood prospect whose career was cut short following a hellacious battle with Manchester rival, Anthony Crolla. Farrell, who has rebounded massively since December’s setback by setting up a highly successful gym in his community, is the first name Coldwell chooses to discuss.
“That was a really hard time for Coldwell Boxing so God only knows how Kieran must have felt,” revealed Coldwell. “The build-up to that entire event was something really special and the atmosphere inside the Bowlers that night was something else. Everything was in place for Kieran to push on and carve out a really good career for himself but unfortunately that wasn’t to be. I’m just so grateful that Kieran managed to pull through and I’m majorly confident that he’ll still have a big role to play in boxing because he’s one of the most enthusiastic kids I’ve been around. We definitely haven’t seen the last of him.”
With Farrell’s premature retirement providing plenty of distress for those within the sporting community, a happier tale occurred in March when Curtis Woodhouse made international headlines following an online altercation with an internet troll. Days after controversially losing his English strap to Shayne Singleton, Woodhouse was the victim of vile abuse which prompted the former footballer to track down his tormentor. This act of vigilantism forced the culprit into an embarrassing backtrack and the whole episode led to a number of high profile media appearances for Woodhouse. Coldwell is confident that all future hype regarding Woodhouse will be centred on his boxing accomplishments.
“Without sounding bitter, it still amazes me that Curtis isn’t the English champion because he was on the wrong end of a somewhat suspect decision against Singleton. In typical Curtis style, he’s bounced back and he’ll have a good fight in Hull on July 13th when he takes on Joe Elfidh in a cracking little battle. I’ve made no attempt to hide the fact that I would like to make Curtis v Derry Mathews in the new season for some sort of title and that’s a fight for proper boxing fans who like their fighters to get in the ring and leave every last thing in there. Fingers are crossed that they both come through their respective battles in Hull.”
Moving onto Mathews and Coldwell is delighted with the form that the Liverpool man has shown since making his Coldwell Boxing bow last December with a first round victory over Georgian import, Asan Yuseinov. Mathews followed up his quick demolition job with a hard-earned draw against previous foe Crolla and at time of writing he is scheduled to face Hull’s Tommy Coyle for the vacant lightweight Commonwealth title. Coldwell is delighted to be associated with such an entertaining act.
“Derry has been nothing but a joy to work with ever since he came to Coldwell Boxing and I’m still convinced that he’s got a lot of great fights and big titles ahead of him. As a company, we were looking to make a big move into the Liverpool area because there’s a lot of potential there and the fans are great and we believe that Derry is certainly one of the people who can help us prosper there and give the city good fight nights on a regular basis. His focus is fixed on Coyle at the moment but a big homecoming in the new season is something we’re definitely looking at.”
In the second part, Coldwell will discuss other members of his stable such as Matthew Hatton, Chad Gaynor and Nav Mansouri. There will also be a focus on Coldwell Boxing’s next generation as we look at Coldwell’s hopes for his young prospects.
Continue to Read Part 2
After touching on the varied fortunes of some of Coldwell Boxing’s vast roster in the first part of this interview, Dave Coldwell recalled several highs and lows of what was a hectic season for his rising group. One member of his stable not discussed in this feature’s opening piece is Manchester’s Matthew Hatton. The former European ruler returned from his crushing loss to Kell Brook by destroying the underachieving Michael Lomax in a round before falling short at the top level once more after going down to Chris Van Heerden in the South African’s hostile backyard. Coldwell is confident that his charge can return refreshed in the new season.
“Matthew is a fighter and I have no doubt that he’ll put the South Africa setback behind him when he returns,” revealed an enthused Coldwell. “With Matthew, you’re dealing with an absolute professional who will always give 100 percent no matter what the circumstances. There’s big fights for him at both home and abroad so it’s now up to me to go out there and do the best for him because I still believe that he has what it takes to go out there and add a few more titles to the ones that he’s already won. This next twelve months could be very interesting for Matthew.”
Also anticipating gloried seasons are Yorkshire pair, Nav Mansouri and Chad Gaynor. The popular duo earned well deserved applause following separate Prizefighter appearances even though their night was cut short at the semi-final stage. Mansouri rebounded by catching the English light-middleweight strap and a belt opportunity cannot be too far away for Gaynor who is desperate to take a seat alongside his Coldwell Boxing colleague on the privileged title carriage. Coldwell is adamant that Gaynor won’t be waiting long before he boards that ride.
“Chad Gaynor for me is one of the best prospects in British boxing and it’s only a matter of time before people start agreeing with me. This is the kid who was eliminated at the semi-final stage of Prizefighter but was the name on everyone’s lips all the next week. The impact he made was huge. He spends a lot of time in the gym and he’s been sparring elite guys pretty much from day one so I believe it is only a matter of time before he starts getting the rewards that his hard work and talent deserve.”
Coldwell’s assessment of Mansouri is equally impressive. “Nav winning the English title ensures that the coming season is going to be a busy time for him because there’s a lot of activity going on in his division and he’s certainly got the tools to play a major part in it. There’s a whole host of names who I often think about matching Nav with and I’m sure a few of them fights will come off in the new season. He’s worked really hard to become English champion but now he has to work even harder to push on aim towards the British. It’s a realistic goal for him because he’s a quality little fighter.”
Another Coldwell Boxing youngster who advanced in class was Maxi Hughes. The popular lightweight went into enemy territory back in spring when he tackled the highly-touted Scotty Cardle at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens for the vacant Central Area belt. Despite not receiving the winning verdict he desperately craved, Hughes left a huge impression and his promoter believes that another chance at honours is not far away.
“That fight between Hughes and Cardle was one that I was very confident about because I thought we were getting Scotty at just the right time but it wasn’t to be. Maxi has learnt an awful lot from the fight and he certainly had his moments in it but I thought he just lacked the little bit of experience and I’m sure he’ll come back well from it. He’s had a little taste of title class now and I know it’s made him even hungrier, I look forward to seeing how he responds next season.”
Continue to read part 3
In a hectic season that delivered gripping battles, contentious decisions and the emergence of star talents, perhaps the biggest news to arrive from Coldwell Boxing was the launch of the groundbreaking Coldwell Television App which enabled boxing fans to finally be able to watch high quality Coldwell Boxing events as well as shows put on by various promoters. After searching for a TV deal for a number of years, Dave Coldwell believes that the app was a natural option.
“It had to happen for us because so many entertaining fights were going unnoticed and that’s not good for me and it’s not good for my fighters. Since we brought the app out, look at the fights that people have been able to see. Anthony Crolla v Kieran Farrell was one of the fights of last year. Curtis Woodhouse v Shayne Singleton had everybody talking. Quality prospects like Chad Gaynor, Tom Stalker, Scott Cardle and Robbie Davies have all been on Coldwell Television and I’m confident that the app will continue to improve and grow as we bring fans more quality action over the next season.”
With the app earning rave reviews thus far due to its continued coverage, extensive back library and behind the scenes footage, Coldwell still maintains hope that his product will find a permanent home on one of the various stations currently showing the sport and he’s eager to keep delivering shows of the highest order in a bid to fulfil his wish.
“Making the best fights available is what we’ve strived to do for a long time and this last season has given us a huge motivation to go even harder when the new one gets underway. It’s hard to compete when you’ve not got the luxury of a TV budget but I’ve been around boxing at every single level imaginable and I know a good fight when I see one. Paying customers want quality action from top to bottom on a card and that’s what Coldwell Boxing always aims for. We might not always get it right but we learn from mistakes and we push on.”
With the new season only weeks away, Coldwell reveals a few names to look out for, “Liam Hanrahan from Macclesfield is a name that everyone will know about in the coming months. Gym reports are good and he’s backing it up in the ring every single time. Danny Benson is a big cruiserweight with huge power from the same neck of the woods as Ricky Hatton. Like Ricky, he’s also a big Man City supporter who goes to most games and he’s definitely one worth coming to see.”
Coldwell added, “I’m happy with where we are at the moment. We’ve got some big names, good champions and a ton of quality prospects that’ll get an honest education and become better fighters for it. I’m in a position where I have to take risks with my fighters and I make sure they understand that when we first meet. I’m in this business because I love it and I feel Coldwell Boxing has a duty to give fans true value for money every time they come to one of our shows. If that means matching a fighter hard because it makes a great fight then so be it because I know he’ll be better for the experience whatever the outcome.”