Highlights, frustrations and hopes: end of year survey part 9

Boxing Monthly
01/01/2018 4:10pm

Boxing Monthly canvassed over 100 figures from boxing for their reflections on 2017 and hopes for 2018. Today Kevin Barry, Lee Beard, Stefy Bull, Kevin Campion, Christian Cherchi, Dave Coldwell (pictured), Jay Connolly, Graham Everett, Arnie Farnell and Kieran Farrell have their say…

Interviews: John Angus MacDonald, Shaun Brown, Andrew Harrison, James Oddy, Danny Winterbottom & Luke G. Williams.

Kevin Barry, trainer
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Opening a new private training facility for Joseph Parker and my other fighters, around 500 metres from my house. This will save two hours of travelling a day, enable more time for office work and give Joe more time on Skype with his one-year-old daughter.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
My world ranked undefeated heavyweight Izu Ugonoh losing to Dominic Breazeale in a fight where a fight with Deontay Wilder was on offer for the winner. What made it worse was that I had turned the fight down with the other members of Team Ugonoh as I knew he needed to fight at least one B-class fighter before stepping up to an A minus fighter like Breazeale and [he] needed longer than a four-week training camp.
My hopes for 2018 are...
To secure a heavyweight world title unification fight for Joseph Parker 24-0 against Anthony Joshua 20-0. This is Joseph Parker’s chance to make history as the first unified heavyweight champion in over six years.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
A more accountable system for poor refereeing and judging, where officials would be penalised and removed for bad officiating. This would give fighters, trainers, managers and promoters more confidence in the sanctioning bodies and the business of boxing.

Lee Beard, trainer
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Jimmy kelly winning the WBO intercontinental title. All the work he's been doing in the gym really showed that night. As a coach it's great seeing one of your fighters constantly improving.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
When people in the game hold fighters back from deserved opportunities, but if you keep positive and pushing forwards everything comes good in the end.
My hopes for 2018 are...
My son Adrian Gonzalez will be back in action early 2018 and he will win titles in no time. He's already ready. I have a bunch of good lads in the gym and I'm looking forward to them all making noise. On another note a great kid who's been been out injured will hopefully get the green light to return.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
Making good competitive fights. Promoters working together to make big fights. The TV coverage in boxing is great now - Sky Sports, BT Sport and ITV all showed some great fights this year. I also think the World Boxing Super Series is great and the promotion of the fighters earning for the fighters is great. More things like this will improve boxing.

Stefy Bull, trainer, manager, promoter
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
I’ve got four highlights: Gavin McDonnell’s brave WBC world title challenge against a very good Rey Vargas, Jason Cunningham beating Ben Jones in the away corner for the Commonwealth title, Robbie Barrett beating Scotty Cardle as a 6/1 underdog on 3 weeks' notice and Josh Wale finally becoming British champion.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
Jason Cunningham vs Reece Bellotti - Cunningham was winning every round comfortably and stood trading with him when the fight was in the bag.
My hopes for 2018 are...
More success and champions made.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
Promoters like myself getting a chance with some TV dates.

Kevin Campion - matchmaker, coach, events manager
The highlight of my boxing year was ...

Seeing Frank Buglioni defend his British title.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
Matching - it’s becoming ever increasingly difficult to find opponents.
My hopes for 2018 are...
The continued growth of BBBofC licensed boxing, and the hope to be involved in more big events!
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
More honesty & integrity!

Christian Cherchi, manager / promoter
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Carlos Takam, who we promote, fighting for the IBF and WBA championship of the world in front of 78,000 people.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
The lack of boxing coverage in Italy.
My hopes for 2018 are...
Better coverage of boxing in Italy, another big fight for Carlos Takam and good opportunities for our top fighters..
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
PED tests being mandatory.

Dave Coldwell, manager / coach
The highlight of my boxing year was ...

I would have to say 4 March (Bellew beating Haye).
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
I would have to say a week ago! (Haye vs Bellew 2 postponement.) And to top it off, a close second frustrating one was Jamie McDonnell having a no contest. So much work had gone into both.
My hopes for 2018 are...
A big fight that has a conclusive ending! Other than that, Tony Bellew remains unbeaten with me, Jamie McDonnell wins a world title at super bantamweight, and Jordan Gill and Anthony Fowler have big years. I'm expecting a breakthrough year for Jordan Gill. He's improving really well.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
Having judges accountable. I think they've got to be accountable, that's the only way forward. I think being held accountable can make the biggest impact on the sport. Even basic things like being interviewed. I don't see why your ringside reporters, commentators or whatever can't interview the official if there's any discrepancies or anything like that. Just so they can say how they came to that score. It'd be interesting to hear their actual opinion on that night. "Yes, I scored it like that because..." - at least [then] you've then got an explanation. As it is right now they just go backstage and have nothing to answer for.

Jay Connolly, boxing artist
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
As an artist being asked to paint the front cover of the programme for Haye vs Bellew at the O2 Arena. As a fan, was going to Las Vegas to watch Canelo vs Chavez Jr.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
Being at Bramell Lane watching Kell Brook lose to Errol Spence, I was gutted for Kell.
My hopes for 2018 are...
Joshua vs Wilder and Brook vs Khan.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
There's nothing I can really pinpoint - except I just think that some of these big fights never get made and if they do it's years too late. So something that makes it easier for these fights to be made. I think it's a good start with the World Boxing Super Series - where the best have to fight the best.

Graham Everett, trainer
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Sam Sexton winning the British title after working with him for nearly 20 years.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
Liam Walsh's defeat against Gervonta Davis.
My hopes for 2018 are...
Getting the Walsh brothers on the world stage.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
Top promoters working together.

Arnie Farnell, trainer
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Every day is better than the day before, if you learn and adapt to the past one.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
None as I always look for the positive not the negative.
My hopes for 2018 are...
My fighters keep working hard in and out of the gym and listening.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
Promoters working together putting their best fighters against each other.

Kieran Farrell, trainer, manager, promoter
The highlight of my boxing year was ...

Darryl Sharp winning the Central Area Middleweight title. I take Darryl out every week boxing in the away corner and he worked really hard and deserved every second of that day.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
Hindsight after boxing events I’d put on this year. Some of the shows I couldn’t have done any better, but after making good money on some shows, I’d then go and give it all back. It’s the nature of the beast I suppose, I’m learning the business side of things as I go along.
My hopes for 2018 are...
Make more champions and put some cracking events on.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
TV air time for the backbone of the sport - small-hall promoters!