Tony Bellew reignited my coaching career, says Dave Coldwell

Phil Jay 03/08/2015

Boxing all-rounder Dave Coldwell has explained his decision to get back into the training side of the sport after initially stepping away in the wake of Ryan Rhodes’ decision to retire.

After guiding the likes of Kell Brook and Lee McAllister to career titles, Coldwell headed to Mexico with Rhodes for a world championship challenge against Canelo Alvarez in 2011. Unfortunately for Rhodes he came up short and the Sheffield man decided to hang up his gloves one year later.

That left Coldwell with a decision to make, and he felt concentrating on the promoting and management side would be best to build his growing stable of fighters and extend the brand of his company, Coldwell Boxing.

Following three years out, the former fighter has now found himself back in the gym routine and currently has three exciting UK fighters under his wing. EBU super bantamweight title holder Gavin McDonnell, brother and bantamweight world champion Jamie, plus highly-ranked cruiserweight Tony Bellew are all on board and Coldwell says it was the latter that reignited his spark to get back in the corner once again.

“Tony is the reason why I’ve got back into training fighters to be honest, because obviously I sent all my fighters off to train with other people and that was me done,” Coldwell told World Boxing News.

“At that point I had jacked in training fighters when Ryan Rhodes retired, but I was still doing bit and bobs in the corner and things like that, but that was basically it for me.

“Then, Tony Bellew asked me to train him, which I accepted, and I’ve enjoyed training him – even though it’s hard work and there is stress that comes with being a trainer.

“I love working with Tony because of his attitude. He wants to improve every session. You get 100% determination and 100% commitment and he’s one of, if not the most committed fighter I’ve ever come across.

“So it’s kind of relit the fire, so to speak and now I’m training Tony, Jamie and Gavin.”

Asked whether he may now extend his training stable even further, Coldwell replied: “To be honest, this is it for now as it’s a time thing for me. I’ve done the whole thing where I’ve trained kids from scratch with no amateur background or whatever and you find that some get to a level and they walk away after a few fights or they are not as committed.

“My time is sparse really and it’s got to be 100% committed and dedication from the fighters.”

On top of training three top UK names, Coldwell continues to juggle his management and promoting roles and stated that he is always on the lookout for exciting prospects to add to his roster.

“We’ve got around 30 fighters on the management side and I’m still looking for more, definitely,” he confirmed. “It’s exciting and I like the management side of things. I do enjoy it and I like seeing the results.”

The promoting side of things takes a lot more patience, admitted Coldwell, who recently broadcast live shows on his own TV app and has a deal in place for events to be televised on Eurosport UK.

“Promoting is different and some people get promoting and management confused,” explained Coldwell.

“It’s an entirely different thing because as a manager I have got fighters fighting on different shows, working with various promoters.

“I had a couple on (Mick) Hennessy’s show on the 25th, a couple on Eddie’s (Hearn) show August 1st, plus some coming up on Stefy Bull’s show in Doncaster and my old boxer Curtis Woodhouse’s debut show in Hull.

“We’ve got them spread out everywhere. I’ve got fighters based in London, so I’ll have them out on shows down there, so I work with a lot of different promoters.

“As long as the fighters are realistic and keep in shape, they are going to be built up that way.

“Obviously we are going to keep putting on shows, but it’s very, very hard as you hope to get television. Sky are with Matchroom and it’s hard to get in anywhere else, but whether we are promoting or not, the main thing is that our fighters are being built up and having the careers that they want to have.”

There has been so many recent changes abroad with the formation of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, and quizzed on whether there would be a possibility of expanding his wingspan to foreign shores and looking after fighters overseas, Coldwell would never say never.

“I’ve been over in America quite a bit over the last year and would look at that, But doing that as well as being a trainer here? I don’t think I’d do that right now because the level the fighters I train are it’s a lot of commitment.

“You’ve got Bellew banging on the door at a world title shot, you’ve got Gavin McDonnell a European champion and Jamie is a world champion. You know, you’ve got a lot of time and a lot of effort that goes into those guys.

“So foreign fighters as well I don’t think at the moment I would because nine times out of ten that would mean me having to fly off here, there and everywhere and I can’t really do that.

“It’s something I wouldn’t rule it out in future, though, but I’d just look at things on a case-by-case basis,” he added.