Today marks the anniversary of a boxing trainer who truly had a style of his own.
Dublin’s Brendan Ingle originally made his name as one of the great boxing trainers of his time when he left Ireland for Sheffield, England.
Starting out he was a professional fighter himself but later found his true calling as a boxing trainer when he opened what went on to become known as the Wincobank gym in Sheffield.
He only opened the gym by chance after being asked to do so by the local parish priest.
At the time he pleaded with the Irishman to do something about the local kids in the area who were running riot and had nowhere to go.
And do something about he did.
The gym went on to produce top fighters such as Prince Naseem Hamed, Johnny Nelson, Ryan Rhodes, Kell Brook, Herol Graham, Clinton Woods, Junior Witter and many more.
The unique thing about Ingle’s style was that his fighters seemed to box from an unorthodox stance and throw shots from crazy angles.
Above all else they seemed to possess an almost uncanny Wincobank gym confidence.
Borderline arrogance some might say. But it worked.
Indeed, Ingle made it a point to input confidence and belief into his young fighters early on by making them dance and sing in the ring in front of the other fighters.
The school of thought being to get rid of any nerves they might have about performing in front of people.
While Ingle guided the careers of many world champions his real impact and legacy is what he had on his community.
How he used the sport of boxing to its best ability really.
How he showed the power of the sweet science from grass roots level right the way up to world championship level.
At its core and epicenter boxing changes people’s lives.
It gives those from underprivileged backgrounds an opportunity to do something constructive to channel their energies.
To develop confidence, humility, discipline and respect for fellow human beings.
Skills that are vital for one throughout their life thereafter.
Ingle was known to bring his boxers around to local prisons to let his fighters spar with inmates as well as putting on in-house jail shows.
Perhaps the best summary of this very unique, clean living, no-nonsense talking, very genuine man is portrayed in this short video today from the folks at Sky Sports (hat tip).