Sheffield boxing prodigy inspires Kell Brook's former trainer after winning national title in eighth fight

A boxing prodigy from Sheffield has been crowned national champion after just eight fights – and inspired an old-timer to get back in the ring!

Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 2:04 pm

Unbeaten Outwood Academy pupil Millie Fairfax, aged 15, breezed past her latest opponent in the England Boxing National Junior Championships final in Hereford on Sunday to claim the coveted title.

Watching on proudly while barking instructions from Millie’s corner was her uncle, former professional boxer John Fewkes, now 36, who has been inspired to give the sport one last go after seven years out thanks to the youngsters he trains at Titans Boxing Gym in Gleadless.

"On Sunday when I was watching her I couldn't wait to box,” said John, who briefly trained Kell Brook in 2018 and is hoping to make it two wins from two since his comeback on 27 November.

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John Fewkes (left) has been inspired to get back in the ring by his neice, national amateur champion Millie Fairfax. Also pictured is Graham Dickinson, who trains Millie alongside John.

"I have never been one-hundred per cent happy with how it ended before. I need a bit of closure.

“They all inspire me but Millie has especially with her attitude."

No matter what happens next, Sunday will take some topping for John, even if his car did break down travelling home.

"I’ve been involved in boxing for 20 years but it was up there with one of the best days I’ve ever had,” he said.

John had a brief spell training former world champion Kell Brook in 2018. Picture by Mark Robinson.

Millie, who lives in Woodthorpe and trains six times a week, has been boxing since she first attended Saturday morning classes at Titans aged nine.

John said: “She didn’t know her left from right or anything about boxing at first. When she said she was going to box we all had a little chuckle but she just dedicated herself so much.

"The fact she’s won a national title really shows how much she’s putting into it and shows we are doing something well in the gym.”

Dad James added: “I’m so proud of the dedication she’s had towards it. She’s inspired us all.”

The talented teenager now has the vacant Yorkshire belt for her weight category in her sights and wants to follow her heroes Terri Harper and Katie Taylor into professional boxing.

John added: “Women’s boxing is massive now, it’s great for the younger generations like Millie who can see how well they are doing competing on the same level as men.

"These ladies are stealing the show.”