By Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro
During his half a century in boxing Jimmy Tibbs has done it all, a highly decorated amateur and professional boxer, manager and promoter, but of all his pugilistic talents he is without doubt best know as the UK’s most successful boxing coach and fight strategist.
Among the veritable Who’s Who of champions that have benefited from Jimmy’s expert knowledge are Nigel Benn, Chris Pyatt, Steve Collins, Lloyd Honeyghan, Denis Andries, Charlie Magri, Barry McGuigan, Alex Arthur, Frank Bruno, Wayne Alexander, Jimmy McDonnell, Mo Hussein, Michael Watson, Gary Mason, Danny Williams, Gary Stretch, Nicky Wilshire, Horace Notice, Mark Kaylor, Tony Wilson, Maurice Core and Manning Galloway.
Now that’s a pretty impressive CV, but it doesn’t end there as Jimmy’s class of 2011, at the TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town, includes former IBO Light Welterweight Champion of the World Colin Lynes, two weight Inter-Continental Champion Kevin Mitchell and his brother Vinny, former Olympian Billy Joe Saunders as well as rising stars Freddie Turner and Billy Morgan.
It’s clear that if anyone knows what it takes to win in the ring it’s Jimmy Tibbs, so with that in mind I caught up with him to gather his thoughts on one of his current charges, the aforementioned Colin Lynes, as well as his view on the other fighters Colin may face at the upcoming Prizefighter – Welterweights II on June 7th.
Rio – Jimmy, you’re currently preparing Colin Lynes for the Prizefighter – Welterweights II on June 7th, what are your thoughts on Colin and his chances in the competition?
Jimmy – I’m impressed with Colin Lynes, He’s in good condition, he’s always in good condition. The way he lives his life, he lives like a proper athlete, nothing’s too much for him, whether it’s three rounds or twelve rounds.
For Prizefighter he’ll be in condition to go as far as it goes, he’ll do it.
Rio – What are your thoughts on the Prizefighter series?
Jimmy – Well I think Prizefighter is a good competition. Three rounds, you’ve still got to train hard for three rounds, if you want to win it you’ve got to be in there very fast.
I think it’s a good competition and a good eye opener for prospects as well as old campaigners. People have gone on to British or other titles. It’s a good stepping stone . I like it.
The Prizefighters I’ve been to and worked in I’ve really enjoyed. I’m sure that every fighter I’ve worked with enjoyed it as well.
Rio – Colin may come up against an old foe Junior Witter, what’s your thoughts on him?
Jimmy – You’ve got Junior Witter, he’s a good fighter. He was World Champion and he lost the title to Timothy Bradley, which was down to himself really.
He’s still a good fighter, he’s still dangerous, good puncher, a switch hitter. I think he’ll be in condition for the fight, he’s been a good pro for a few years. Yeah we’ve got a lot of respect for him. We’re ready for him.
We’re confident, it doesn’t matter who we come up against. It’s no good me saying we’re going to beat Junior Witter because Junior will say the same thing about us.
We’re confident about the way we’ve trained, in three rounds we’re capable of beating anyone in the competition.
Rio – Another TKO Gym fighter is also in the competition, Bobby Gladman, give us your thoughts on him.
Jimmy – Bobby’s a good fighter, he’s a little inexperienced, which may find him out I suppose, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Rio – Your thoughts on Yassine El Maachi?
Jimmy – We’ve seen Yassine El Maachi a few times. He’s another switch hitter. He’s a good puncher, but what you can’t hit you can’t hurt.
Rio – OK, what about Nathan Graham?
Jimmy – Another good fighter, but as I say we are ready for them all.
Rio – You obviously know about John Wayne Hibbert as he used to train here, so what’s your thoughts on him?
Jimmy – John Wayne Hibbert, yeah I know a lot about John actually. He sparred with Kevin Mitchell for the Prescott fight. Very game, if he gets fit he could get better than he is.
As I say we are going to show respect for all the fighters in the competition and we’ll be ready and we’re confident we’re going to win it.
Rio – Next up is Bermondsey’s Peter McDonagh
Jimmy – Peter’s an old campaigner, never lets you down, he’ll be in there trying.
He’ll be trying, plugging away. For three rounds he’ll be dangerous, he could nick it off you. We’re very aware of Peter.
Rio – OK, the final one on the list is Kevin McIntyre
Jimmy – Well I haven’t seen much of Kevin so I can’t really comment. The only thing I’ll say is that we’re ready for anyone that’s in the competition.
Prizefighter – Welterweights II, featuring Colin Lynes, Junior Witter, Yassine El Maachi, Kevin McIntyre, John Wayne Hibbert, Bobby Gladman, Nathan Graham and Peter McDonagh, takes place at York Hall, Bethnal Green in London on Tuesday 7th June 2011.
Tickets, priced £35 (Unreserved), SOLD OUT (Ringside), and £100 (VIP) are available now at www.tkoboxoffice.com or in person at the TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA or call 07960 850645