After spending the last few years travelling from country to country and from arena to arena, Jamie Moore quite enjoyed recharging and relaxing during the enforced worldwide lockdown. The ambition and determination he was renowned for in his fighting career quickly returned when he re-opened the gym doors after the unscheduled but productive break, however, and although it isn’t quite business as usual just yet, he has been pleasantly surprised by the condition his troops have returned in.
“All the lads came back in good nick. I was a bit surprised really,” said Moore, who trains 32Red ambassadors Carl Frampton and Jack Catterall. “To be honest though, I’m the same. I’m in the best shape I’ve been in for ten years. Because I’m usually that busy training other people I never get the chance to do anything myself. I could just crack on with my own training and enjoy it.
“As a fighter, when they are out of training after a fight they think, ‘That training camp was hard. I’ll have some time off,’ but they haven’t thought like that this time. They’ve used the time wisely because they all want to fight. They’ve all thought, ‘If I’m in shape, I’ll be able to take one of the first dates that comes up.’”
As unusual a situation as this is for the boxers, it is the trainers who must make sure their fighters enter the ring in perfect condition and they face a whole set of new challenges. Making sure a boxer peaks at a precise moment is an art when you have the facilities, sparring partners, and time you need to hand. When all those necessities are restricted or unavailable it becomes a much harder and unpredictable task.
“It’s gonna be difficult. The only saving grace I’ve got is that we’ve got such a big gym,” Moore said. “We’ve probably got enough people in house to get the sparring done. We’re lucky in that sense. It is gonna be difficult but everybody else is in the same boat so the playing field should be levelled out a little bit although gyms like mine will probably have a little bit of an advantage in terms of sparring. Timing is gonna be difficult and we don’t really know how long things are gonna last either. It could be like this for another two weeks or it could be another two months we just don’t know.”
Frampton is already back in Manchester and training for his return to action on an undisclosed date against an undisclosed opponent at an undisclosed location. His shot at WBO super featherweight champion, Jamel Herring, is on the back burner for the time being and the added unknowns make Moore’s already difficult job even more tricky. Frampton’s professionalism will be crucial in helping make sure that things run as smoothly as possible.
“Carl’s got a lot of experience. He’s got muscle memory and his body will pick up the places it’s already been to quickly.
“Nothing is set in stone yet but he’s back over here training now. Depending on restrictions it might be a foreign opponent or it might be a domestic guy. We just don’t know. If it is restricted to domestic fighters, where do you get somebody for Carl? It’s a difficult one. Look at Jack Catterall. He’s the number one contender for the world title. You could probably just about get away with making a fight between him and another domestic opponent but for a two weight world champion who’s going for his third title in a third weight division, that’s going to be difficult to do in terms of a British opponent.
“If it’s gonna have to be somebody domestic then it can’t be a ten round keep busy fight, it has to be a big one and when you’re around that calibre then you’re talking big dough and there is gonna be a fine line between being able to do it and it being out of the question. That’s not my job. My job is to get Carl ready for whatever is presented to him and whatever gets accepted.”