Derry Mathews outlined the importance of his Liverpool gym and revealed the names of the prospects he believes could rise to the top of the game in an interview with WBN.
A TKO loss to Ohara Davies two-years ago followed back-to-back defeats against world level fighters in Luke Campbell and Terry Flanagan signalled the end of a long, hard and testing career for Mathews.
And although the former British champion is enjoying retirement, Mathews has kept busy. He fulfilled his ambition to give something back to the sport he admits was so good him.
Now, the 35-year-old pours his heart and soul into developing the next generation of pugilistic stars. From 6-years-old onwards, pupils are taught at the Derry Mathews Boxing Academy in his native Liverpool.
“I’m basically in the gym every day and night with the professionals and the amateurs. I’m also a qualified personal trainer so I’m always active and busy,” Mathews told World Boxing News.
“I’ve got a kid called Nathan Bennett, who Steve Woods manages. He’s a massive light-welterweight, he can punch with both hands.
“He’s won tournaments in Ireland and he’s only been beaten at World Series Boxing by the world number one.
The excitement in his voice tangible, Mathew’s added: “We’ve got high hopes for him.”
A former interim World Boxing Association World lightweight title holder, Mathews also has lofty expectations for a Liverpudlian in heavyweight Sean Turner.
Mathews revealed Turner will make his debut amongst the paid ranks in the coming months.
Despite a loss on his professional debut, another prodigy will too fight on the same card as Turner.
“Jay Collins, another good light-welter,” Mathew’s explained. “And Gerry Sweeney has joined us in camp who is a top Irish international cruiserweight.
“They’re both on board and looking forward to being part of the camp and part of the stable.
But Mathews isn’t motivated by the potential reflective glory of his fighters capturing titles. No, the reasons behind his work lie a little closer to home.
“I want to make my fighters into better people,” Mathews revealed. “If they go on to have full time jobs and buy their own properties, I’ll be a happy man.
“We have a rule our gym: If you don’t behave at home for your parents, then you don’t box for the club.
“There’s a couple of kids who haven’t behaved outside of the gym, so I’ve passed them their medical cards and they’ve gone to another club.
“It’s about developing them as humans as well as boxers,” he concluded.
James Copley is a Staff Writer for World Boxing News. Follow James on Twitter @JamesCopley73