Light-middleweight boxing prospect Jimmy “Kilrain” Kelly was born in Wythenshawe Manchester and was taught to box about the same time he learnt to walk, by his dad Jimmy senior, who was a good amateur boxer himself. ‘Kilrain’ started his amateur career at Jimmy Egans boxing Academy, where he first went to watch his dad train when he was four years old.
His first memory of going to Egans boxing gym was getting his finger caught in the cog of an exercise bike and nearly chopped off. So young Jimmy’s first experience of a boxing gym was blood and pain and he hadn’t even got inside the ropes yet.
The accident didn’t deter the young lad and after the finger had healed he was back and this time his fingers were slipped into a pair of leather boxing gloves instead of that exercise bike and the rest is history.
Jimmy, 20, had in total 69 vested contests, winning 61, with 45 KOs, losing just 8. – He represented England 15 times and was selected as Captain of the national squad on 10 occasions, traveling the world and fighting some of the best around in his weight categories.
Jimmy Kelly’s Amateur achievements:
2006 – 4-Nations Gold Medal (pic right)
2007 – Golden Gloves Champion
He was going to go pro with Anthony Farnell originally, but after using the Champs Camp to train during his dinner breaks from college, which is near the gym, Jimmy realised that he was beginning to get accustomed to the boxing club formed in 1981 by the late Phil Martin and knew his future lay with Bingham and Core, who he now trains under full time, on his quest to realise the dream and become a world champion.
“I am now in the transition period from amateur to the professional boxing ranks and although it is extremely hard work, I am trained by Ensley and Maurice who were former champions in their own right.” said Kelly.
“It is without reservation that I feel with their technical expertise, experience and guidance and my Dads encouragement, plus the support of my family, friends and fans, I can achieve my goal and become a champion.”
Last year Jimmy’s No1 fan, his Mother Diane sadly passed away after a battle with cancer. It goes without saying that her death had a massive impact on the family. Diane would travel to all of Jimmy’s fights and he says it was his boxing training, that kept him focused while he struggled to come to terms with losing his Mum.
In this in-depth interview with the Clark Kent of British boxing. Jimmy compares himself to Superman’s alter ego, adorning the thick rimmed glasses and self proclaimed ‘geeky’ look. But when he gets inside them ropes, he is nothing but a boxer.
He says he was told at a young age by some coaches, who should have known better, that he; ‘would never make it, because he was too thin and weak to be a boxer.’ How wrong they were.
Follow Jimmy on Twitter @J_Kilrain_Kelly