Rod Julian: From footballer to boxing coach
Rod Julian runs the increasingly expanding RJ’s Gym in Loughton Essex. Boxing training was not Rod’s first sporting career after playing all around the world as a Semi-Professional footballer.
From humble beginnings Rod ended up marrying sweetheart Lesley earlier this year with many saying on a sporting perspective “Rod is punching above his weight”. Lesley has been very supportive of Rod’s passion for boxing and Rod would say you need s supportive wife in the training business.
Rod left school at 16 to work for his father who was a market trader before he went travelling and gained work in the football field. At the age of 19 Rod discovered a passion for the noble art and to enable him to financially support this ran various businesses, some more successful that others. He opened his first gym at the age of 26 and remember taking “Pretty boy” Roy Shaw on the pads which Rod recalls was a very intimidating experience. From training fighters on the unlicensed circuit Rod turned his hand to the professional game in 2011.
The first boxer Rod trained was Michael Lomax who Rod took to a contest for the Commonwealth title and at the end of his career when he retired Rod had taken Michael to number 6 ranked in the country.
As with every trainer Rod had to work with boxers who were starting late or needed resurrection. One such fighter was Ben Day who Rod guided to the Southern Area title. Rod also took Erick Ochieng back to his glory days losing a split decision to John O’Donnell for the English title.
Rod now his first fighter from scratch with Sam Gilley who he hopes will become his first British Champion. Indeed it is Rod’s ambition to have a British Champion within the next five years.
Rod is ably assisted in his gym by Mark Byrne and is still looking to take on the “right calibre” of fighters. “It is easy when you get given the cream. I believe I have done really well with the boxers I have had. I believe the future is bright. I work closely with Steve Goodwin and we make a really good team.” Rod concluded.
If integrity, honesty, commitment and determination plan a part Rod will become the leading trainer in the UK.