Giant: Why film about Naseem Hamed and his coach Brendan Ingle is not being filmed at famous Sheffield gym

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The eagerly-awaited boxing biopic stars Pierce Brosnan as the legendary coach and Amir El-Masry as his protégé

A new film starring Pierce Brosnan tells the tale of the relationship between two of Sheffield’s most celebrated stars - Brendan Ingle and Naseem Hamed.

Brendan Ingle with his protege 'Prince' Naseem Hamed. A film about their relationship is being made, starring Pierce Brosnan as the famous boxing coachBrendan Ingle with his protege 'Prince' Naseem Hamed. A film about their relationship is being made, starring Pierce Brosnan as the famous boxing coach
Brendan Ingle with his protege 'Prince' Naseem Hamed. A film about their relationship is being made, starring Pierce Brosnan as the famous boxing coach | Sheffield Newspapers

Yet filming for the eagerly-anticipated boxing biopic is taking place at a gym in Leeds and not the famous gym in Wincobank, Sheffield, where Ingle helped propel Hamed to glory.

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Dominic Ingle, son of the late, great boxing coach, has explained why it was not possible for the film to be shot at the gym on Newman Road, where his dad also trained stars including Johnny Nelson, Junior Witter, and Kell Brook.

“It couldn’t be done in our gym because they needed to close it down for six weeks and we’ve got that many kids coming in that we just can’t stop the gym for filming, as big as it is,” he told BBC Radio Sheffield.

“But there’s a gym up in Leeds that can do it and they’re going to recreate our gym inside of that gym and the film’s going to be done, so, yeah, perfect.”

Pierce Brosnan will play Sheffield legend Brendan Ingle in the new boxing biopic Giant. Photo: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty ImagesPierce Brosnan will play Sheffield legend Brendan Ingle in the new boxing biopic Giant. Photo: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images
Pierce Brosnan will play Sheffield legend Brendan Ingle in the new boxing biopic Giant. Photo: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images | Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

When Brendan Ingle met Pierce Brosnan

Dominic also said that while many people assumed the film was about Hamed’s rags to riches story, the focus is actually on his father and the key role he played in ‘bringing the fighters through’.

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He told how Brendan had met Pierce Brosnan during Hamed’s heyday, and when Naz said it’s James Bond, Brendan replied ‘that’s not James Bond, Sean Connery’s James Bond’.

“Pierce, when he came to the gym the other day, said ‘I remember that moment. I was riding high at the time and it kind of brought me back down to earth’,” Dominic said.

He described Pierce, aged 70, as a ‘really down to earth fellow’, who was ‘very fit’, and said they had walked around Wincobank together seeing the area where Naz grew up.

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