Latest from Tommy Dixs

I feel very strongly about certain things in the fight game!

A lot of people are called boxing men but in reality are far from it

I smile to myself when I hear pundits on the TV on fight nights talking about great trainers and coaches, a monkey will get you fit if you chase it enough. The Pundits say “So and so is one of the best in the country etc, about so many”. I disagree, as they are fortunate enough to have talented boys go to them. That’s ok for a while until these boys step up to the plate, it is when they get into a 50-50 fight that you find out if the so called coach is any good.

Anybody can hold the bucket when the boxer is fighting inferior lads, it is when you are getting beat and the coach gives you the advice to turn the fight around–that’s the hallmark of a trainer.

Yes, a lot of so called coaches have a false reputation. That is why when I went to see Pat Barrett recently and spent some time at his gym watching him coach a new set of lads. And well, that was meat and drink to me. I see a man there taking the time to show those boys how it is done. He is a teacher of the noble art just as his mentor was, Brian Hughes.

You might think I’m patronising Pat, I am not. However, if I had a boy boxing I would not be worried if I saw a lot of the so called great trainers in the opposite corner to us, but I’d be very careful if I saw Pat in the corner as I would know his boy would be well schooled and could adapt to various styles. Plus in the minute’s interval he has got the experience and knowhow to turn a fight around.

I only hope these new young pros’ in the Collyhurst and Moston Gym in Manchester realise how fortunate they are to be in such capable hands. The gym is steeped in history and under the guidance of my old friend Brian Hughes, who had taught Pat, was a gym that over the years has produced fantastic boxers like Pat, Robin Reid, Thomas McDonagh, Michael Jennings, Anthony Farnell and Scott Quigg, to name a few.

People talk about Liverpool having World Champions, but not one is trained by a Liverpool trainer. Now that’s not to say there aren’t any good trainers in Liverpool. One of the most underrated trainers in Great Britain is George Scofield, he is good on cuts and is a good tactician. I used to spend hours with his late father George Snr talking about fighters from days gone by.

One thing you found out in this game is there’s no grey area, the people are either upfront and gents or dead wrong-uns! I have been fortunate with my friends in boxing, the likes of the Hyland Brothers, Pat Barrett, Brian Hughes and Brian Peters in Ireland, who have been close with me for many years.

There are many other good people in boxing and there are others who are only users and poachers, I have had my share of ups and downs with them. I have had dirty tricks played on me yet have always got even and paid it back with interest

Now that I am in the Autumn of my life, I feel so happy and grateful to the men who started me off in the game and fine men in the sport who are younger editions of such men

The men who helped mould me originally in boxing were Fred Pickering, Fred Tilston and Billy Spencer; Pat Barrett in many ways has traits of those wonderful men and can go on to be one of the best trainers in world boxing. There many top trainers in Britain doing good things and British boxing is doing great at the moment—I am optimistic it will only get stronger. I will speak about some of the other current coaches plying their trade in the domestic game in my future posts.

That’s it from me for now. I will be writing for British Boxers again this week and into the future, with stories of some of the names mentioned above and some names and great boxers who are not mentioned as much as they should be.

Bye until next time.

Tommy Dixs.

The legend Tommy Dixs will be adding his regular take on boxing past and present with articles and video interviews exclusive to British Boxers.