PEACOCK GYM FOUNDER Martin Bowers has signalled his intention to realise the goal of turning the renowned fistic institution into a bastion of British title successes.
Bowers, along with his brother Tony, first opened the Peacock doors in 1978 and since that time a ‘Who’s Who’ of the sport’s greats have made the pilgrimage to the Canning Town boxing bolthole.
The Peacock’s professional contingent have recently moved to a bespoke facility in Epping, where all the character and memories from London E16 have been recreated and celebrated across the walls of the new gym.
The ‘New Peacock’ is already off to a promising beginning with regard to becoming a breeding ground for British titles. Bowers is lead trainer to Daniel Dubois, who picked up the coveted Lonsdale belt in his 12th fight in a battle of the unbeaten young heavies against Nathan Gorman.
And on Friday, another Peacock product Denzel Bentley secured a second British title for the gym when time was called on his middleweight collision with Mark Heffron after four rounds due to damage caused by ‘2 Sharp’ to Heffron’s eye.
Bentley, who learned the ropes as an amateur at Fisher ABC under the watchful eye of trainer Ray Bull, has also developed as a professional with the Peacock Gym stalwart in his corner.
“We are a traditional gym at heart and we like to do things the traditional way,” considered Bowers, who is currently preparing his British heavyweight champion for a major defence and a European title challenge against Joe Joyce on November 28.
“The old way is very often the best way and, wherever possible, we prefer to set our fighters on the route of Southern Area, English and British titles. There really is no better way of doing it and the step-ups these titles give the boys properly prepares them for the bigger challenges they will hopefully encounter in the future.
“Daniel’s journey has been perfectly mapped out by Frank (Warren) and the team and some people probably forget that he took the Southern Area-English route to get to where he is today.
“These are titles that really mean something and winning them is so special for the fighters – and us as trainers.
“Denzel winning the British middleweight title the other night meant so much to Ray, who has been with him right from the beginning and to have the British middleweight and heavyweight champions in our gym really puts us on the map and is recognition of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes by people who don’t get seen on television.
“The only disappointment – if you can call it that – with Denzel’s road to the British title is that Southern Area and English shots were denied to him. There was nothing anyone could do as the opponents simply didn’t want to fight him. Thankfully the Queensberry team got him the right fights to push him forward for the British.”
Dubois and Bentley is far from the end of the story where the Peacock and British titles are concerned.
Super bantamweight Chris Bourke is the Southern Area champion and heavily tipped to move through the title levels in 2021, while featherweight Louie Lynn looks a banker to start a belt collection in the new year.
“Chris and Louie are two exciting fighters who are doing everything right. They’ve got the application and enthusiasm to work and learn to match their obvious talent and that is the surest sign that we are on the right track with them.
“Nothing is ever guaranteed in boxing, but I am as certain as I can be that the two boys will go a long way in the sport and enjoy the success their hard work deserves.”
Success breeds success and it is Dubois who is leading the charge by being in an all-British multi-title fight between two unbeaten heavyweights with world titles on their minds.
“In many ways Daniel is the catalyst for the current success of the gym,” added Bowers. “The other boys see what he is doing and how he is doing it. It inspires them to want to be in massive fights themselves and it has a snowball effect.
“Outside of Daniel, Denzel and Chris, we’ve got two other title holders in Sean Phillips (Southern Area middleweight) and Danny Carr (Southern Area super feather). It shows that winning can become a habit.”