IT seemed Dave Coldwell’s career had taken a KO punch the night that David Haye was beaten by Wladimir Klitschko.
That July 2011 points defeat in the Imtech-Arena, Hamburg, Germany, hurt both the boxer and Hayemaker, the promotional company which employed Coldwell as Head of Boxing.
But like the best boxers, Coldwell absorbed the blow, showed resilience and altered his tactics.
Today, he represents 17 fighters, either as promoter, manager or trainer, his Rotherham gym is the centre for a booming educational programme for disenfranchised kids, and he’s looking to expand his empire still further in the future.
Part of his expansion has been geographical. While Coldwell has seven boxers in South Yorkshire, he has eight in the North West and two in Birmingham. At a time when TV boxing dates are the province of a favoured few, that shows how much faith those 17 men have in Coldwell.
“Doing what I did with the gym and taking on more boxers was the best thing I ever did” said Coldwell looking back at his parting of the ways with Haye.
“I pushed on after leaving Hayemaker and was fortunate to have contacts at the highest level of our sport. I get on well with the like of Golden Boy as I do with the biggest promotional company in Europe. It means I can send the likes of (unbeaten light middleweight) Nav Mansouri to train with Paul Malignaggi (World welterweight champ)for instance.
“That sort of opportunity is great, but it is all about organically growing Coldwell Boxing” said the man who trained Kell Brook at the time he won a British title.
“I am taking young fighters and trying to get them on the fringe of the domestic title mix and then further on from there. It is hard to get them on TV, where there is decent money to be made, but fans are beginning to make a lot of noise about how that TV time is allocated.
“Until that changes, we have to tick over with ticket sales and sponsorship revenue. We will keep plugging away and see where it takes us.”
Coldwell trains Mansouri - who fights on the Curtis Woodhouse Magna bill on Friday - and light welterweight Jerome Wilson and is about to set up an amateur club at his gym in Masbrough Street.
“It’s a busy place” he says. “The foundation learning and lifeskills programme was set up in February with my partner Spencer Fearn and is in a classroom setting and we hope it is already making a difference to around 50 youngsters.”
So where does Coldwell want to be in five years time? “I’d love my own TV deal but I still want to keep on with all the things I’ve got going now” he says.