Maurice Weber gets itchy knuckles despite retiring due to hand injury

Three fights, three wins: Maurice Weber had another successful night as a head coach last Saturday night at the famed Universum Gym in Hamburg, Germany.

Ever since retiring from the sport due to a hand injury, Weber has fine-tuned his skills as a boxing trainer and currently works with a small, but talented group of up-and-coming prospects from his home base, the state-of the-art Sturm Gym in Cologne.

Hanna Hansen, former heavyweight title challenger Axel Schulz recently touted as a future world champion, hard-hitting middleweight Anas El-Abid, Ajdin Reiz, and Ilias Kallouch. Not to mention that Weber is also in charge of the corner of his best friend, former five-time world champion Felix Sturm.

“I love working with my fighters,“ Weber said. “I love to be in the gym every day. Boxing is my passion, and I hope to guide all of my fighters to the very top of the game. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, blood, sweat, the tears. Not just from the fighters but also me. To archive that, to stay hungry and composed, I think that communication is key. That’s why I focus on a small group of fighters and favor quality of quantity.“

However, being in the gym every day, working with the fighters, and being in their corner on fight night ignited a fire inside the 40-year old former light-middleweight world title challenger: ”I have been thinking about a comeback, “ Weber admitted with a smile on his face.

”I’m in great shape. I work out with these young kids every day, and, frankly, I still have some unfinished business in boxing. My hand is doing a lot better these days and given a proper training camp. I believe I can still hang in there with the best in the world.“ Weber’s last fight took place five years ago, in April 2016, after which he was forced to hang up the gloves due to his injured hand. His declared goal, should he indeed decide to make a return to the ring, does not come as a surprise to those who know him: A rematch with former WBA light middleweight world champion Jack Culcay, who narrowly defeated Weber by unanimous decision in their exciting championship battle in 2015.

“That’s the fight I injured my hand in, yet I had him down and almost beat him. I have the utmost respect for Jack. He’s a great fighter, a great competitor,“ Weber said. “Our first fight was thrilling. The fans surely got their money’s worth. So why not do it again?“

Whether or not a comeback and rematch against Culcay become a reality, Maurice Weber is keen to make his mark in the world of boxing as a trainer. ”The culture of training fighters is a bit antiquated in Germany,“ he said. ”It’s very old school. I’m not saying that’s wrong, not at all, but I try to bring a new approach to the game. I try to suck up as much knowledge as possible,

develop it, and forward it to my fighters. The great Roy Jones once told me that working smart is even more important while working hard. He’s right about that.“ Weber likes to share a story about his first steps as a professional when he had to do the exact training routine of established world-level fighters who prepared for a title fight. “A lot of trainers take the novices along for the ride, have them train like they are on championship level already. That’s not how you develop talent. That’s how you hurt talent,“ Weber said. “You have to work with each athlete individually. You have to look at the training intensity, the goals, the things to improve. You have to take it step-by-step.“

Hence, it is important to Weber to ensure that a possible comeback to the ring would not harm his work as a trainer. “No way,“ he said. “I’m a trainer, I do it with all my heart, and I’ll do everything in my power to help my fighters progress. This is just the beginning of my training career.“ With a broad laugh, though, he added: ”But they did tell me they’d like to watch me slug it out one or two more times.“