English super-lightweight champion Anthony Upton (13-1) has teamed up with close friend and fellow 140-pounder Tommy Martin in his West Ham Gym under the tutelage of new trainer Barry Smith.
The 24-year-old is the current English super-lightweight titleholder, which is the same belt that Tommy Martin made history with back in January 2015 when he became the youngest ever English champion.
The pair were friends back in 2012 when Martin, aged 18 at the time, first turned pro and trained at the same Canning Town gym.
Anto commented on the new partnership, “We first started training alongside each other at the TKO Gym when Tommy had first turned pro.
“We used to spar a lot, we done a lot of rounds together. He was with Barry Smith and I was with Mo Hussein at the time.
“He was still young and new to London so we used to hang out together outside of training.”
Anto, along with brothers Pauly and Sonny, were all part of Ricky Hatton’s Manchester gym until collectively they decided to part ways and head back down south to Essex.
“When I left Ricky, I had a nice break and went on holiday with my Mrs and kid, which was well overdue,” said Upton.
“I spoke with my manager about finding a new trainer and gym and he put out a few names and the one that stood out was Barry Smith; I had him in mind anyway.
“He’s a good up-and-coming trainer and I’ve seen him training Tommy and when it was offered, he took it with both hands.”
Whist under Ricky Hatton’s management, Anto won the English Championship on his second attempt last July, having previously lost out on points to the former titleholder Joe Hughes (13-1) in December last year.
He defeated West Midland’s Luke Paddock (14-2) with a stunning one-punch KO finish in the penultimate round at Chase Leisure Centre in Cannock last July to lift the English title, while Martin defeated Ricky Boylan on points at the O2 Arena to lift the same belt 18-months prior.
The trio of skilled siblings ensured that their move was as a collective, Anto explained, “Its good being together, we’ve done it all our lives.
“Turning pro at first, Pauly and me was in Essex and Sonny was with Ricky in Manchester and it didn’t feel right.
“It’s good to have them with me, I was sparring my brother Paul in the gym today.”
English super-lightweight champ Anto, Irish light middle champ Pauly, and upcoming English super-welterweight title challenger Sonny are all managed by Spanish-based management team MGM.
Anto is eyeing his next fight in a month’s time on the Belfast BoxNation TV show at the Titanic Exhibition Centre on November 5th, headlined by Jamie Conlan in a defense of his Commonwealth super-flyweight title.
He confirmed, “I’m hoping for the 5th November in Belfast. I’m looking to have two warm up fights before the end of the year, then to have a break over Christmas and look for something big next year in March.”
For tickets to the show, please contact 07951 318 081. Follow Anto Upton on Twitter @AntouptonJR