THIS year the gym was involved in 36 fights and we lost only six. It’s too easy to only focus on the losses, to keep the glass half empty. But look at the fights we lost. Liam Smith fighting Canelo Alvarez in Dallas, in front of 52,000 people was unforgettable. Six months before that he was fighting Jimmy Kelly. Did anyone make Smith the favourite? Was he expected to win? No, he wasn’t. Then we had Anthony Crolla-Jorge Linares. Twelve or 18 months ago, Crolla wasn’t in that position. He fought in a huge fight, and he’s got the rematch. Stephen Smith lost to Jose Pedraza in America and was then involved in one of the fights of the year against Jason Sosa. The lads haven’t disgraced themselves. Alright, we didn’t win them all, but we made progress.
The best fights were Hosea Burton winning the British light-heavyweight title, Callum Johnson winning the Commonwealth title and Crolla beating Ismael Barroso – a lot of people feared for Crolla in that fight. The gameplan was perfect, and we didn’t get the credit we deserved for that. People are quick to point out when we get it wrong, but not so quick to praise.