IN a ring at the 12×3 gym in Paddington last week it looked more like a rehearsal for a flamboyant modern dance scene than three proper boxing men inside the ropes. In the centre was Dominic Ingle, jeans and no frills, and each side of him in seemingly perfect harmony was Kell Brook and Kid Galahad, separated by a few pounds but united by a life under the same roof in another gym, one on a hill on the outskirts of Sheffield. They are close to perfect examples of what that sacred gym has been trying to create in every fighter that has ever pushed his or her way through the heavy door during the last six decades.
Last week it was a training session to remind people that Brook is still fighting, still looking for the Amir Khan fight and that Galahad – I prefer his stage name to his real name – is still chasing a rematch with Josh Warrington. I’m not sure, to tell the truth, if either of those fights will ever happen. Still, they each box in Sheffield on February 8.
However, watching the three friends and men in that ring was a great reminder of just how close a top trainer can be to his best fighters, the ones that really know what they are doing. Big Dom had the pads, was moving smoothly and with efficient grace between the pair, catching shots, calling shots and blocking shots. The boxers, both in the same Kronk t-shirt, formed a seamless pattern in front of Ingle’s hands, often a blur; southpaw, orthodox, front foot, back foot, in close – it was a joy to watch the feet, the hands, the concentration and hear the punches. They moved so smooth it looked choreographed and not a routine perfected through years and years of graft. Too many people missed it, intent on telling me why Teofimo Lopez will fight in Saudi Arabia. “Watch this,” I said. “It’s class.” It was.