Boxing: John Fewkes brushes off criticism over his selection as Kell Brook’s trainer

John Fewkes
John Fewkes

With the greatest of respect, former tarmac-laying, boxing coach John Fewkes isn't the type you'd normally expect to quote the words of esteemed American playwright Channing Pollock.

But his elevation in becoming Kell Brook's trainer has brought out the philosopher in him. Plus his new role has inevitably attracted barbed comments on social media.

The rookie is hopelessly out of his depth, doing it for peanuts, and won't last long, if you believe the on-line nay-sayers, who have been active while Fewkes has been working in camp with Brook at Fuerteventura.

"A critic is a legless man that teaches running" said Fewkes, leaning on Pollock's saying to deal with the negativity. "I know I am inexperienced and a lot of people won't know about me.

"But I've got my badges and been helping Glyn Rhodes with the like of Jez Wilson and Sam Sheedy for years, padding them, watching, sparring. I've been in the game 22 years under one of the best teachers around in Glyn. I had 90 bouts, amateur and pro. I wasn't the most exciting boxer - people used to bring a book just to keep awake. But I know what I am doing as a trainer and can bring a freshness in” he said.

"I’m not here telling Kell everything he’s got to do; pointíng out things he's doing wrong. He doesn't seem to be doing anything wrong. I just bring to the table a few things from when I was a snidey boxer, pulling a few tricks out of the bag, little angles and dummies to open kids up even more than he does.

"I have ambition and right now I want Kell to win his next fight as much as he does."

That's against Aussie Michael Zarafa at Sheffield Arena on December 8.

Some people saye Fewkes was invited to fill Dominic Ingle's shoes because he was a cheaper option than Ingle.

"That's not true. I don't know what Dom was on all I can tell you is that I am not some cheap option.

"A lot of people saying things like this are on twitter and have never had a glove on in their life. I have a very thick skin though and will just crack on and learn the craft."

Fewkes admitted that he'd been concerned about the possibility that Brook might resist or oppose some of his techniques - and how he'd deal with that.

"I did think about that but I also knew he must have respected me before he got me on a plane to come out here."