After 100 professional boxing fights, earning the title of ‘King of the Journeyman, East-Ender Johnny Greaves has begun the next chapter of his boxing story.
The 36-year-old, who bowed out from the paid ranks with a win over Dan Carr in September 2013, has recently received his Manager’s licence from the British Boxing Board of Control.
Hailing from East Ham, Greaves has been spending his time out of the ring training the next generation of professional boxers at his home away from home – the Peacock Gym in Canning Town.
“It’s the second page of my professional boxing journey,” said Greaves in his cockney burr. “The first steps are for me to get established, attract new boxers, and to start putting on my own shows.
“I’ve been in the Peacock Gym since I was 10-years-old and I’ve rubbed shoulders with a lot of people and managers like Dean Powell.”
Johnny’s career, which commenced on the unlicensed scene, was guided by his brother Frank as his trainer and Carl Greaves in the role of manager. Although his namesake, there’s no relation but share a close bond after over six years of working together.
“I was very close to Carl Greaves when I turned over, he’s an inspiration to me, he changes a lot of boys’ lives,” said Johnny, who operated between lightweight and welterweight when punching for pay.
“I just want to get the best out of my boys, fighters don’t get paid enough and it’s good for them to have someone like me in their corner, fighting for them.
“It’ll be nice to make a living from boxing but it would be out of love rather than for money and it’ll be for the good of the fighters.”
With approximately 100 managers currently active in the UK, Manager’s licences are notoriously difficult to obtain.
“You need to be a BBBofC licence holder for at least three years, have to know the ins and outs of the rule book, they don’t give them out like Smarties,” Greaves explained.
“I liaised a lot with some of the board members over the years and I like to think that I come across as a nice guy and they helped me out as much as they could.”
Greaves has already begun recruiting fighters, starting with 21-year-old welterweight prospect George Hennon (1-0) from Kent.
He confirmed, “At the moment, I’m working solely with George Hennon, but my goal really is to start working with just a few to start with, keep it small for a year or two, I don’t want to take loads on and not do a good job.
“I’ve had one or two lads been in contact but until I get established its steady-steady, it’s a bit of a process of getting your name out there.”
Greaves shared his plans for the immediate future, “I’ll push George [Hennon], keep him fighting regular, at least four or five times a year.
“I’m confident he’s got the ability to push on for titles, I know he has, and when his career goes from strength to strength, then other lads will want to come on board.”
The likeable Londoner, who still keeps himself in very good shape despite retirement, is already thinking of the professional boxing shows that he would like to host in the country’s capital.
“I’d definitely like to get London shows, maybe the York Hall or local leisure centres, I’m a London-based trainer and manager so I’d like to keep things around here, really.”
Follow Johnny on Twitter @johnnygreaves