New football focus at Jennings’ gym

Michael Jennings with British welterweight belt back in 2005.
Michael Jennings with British welterweight belt back in 2005.

The reputation of the Jennings gym in Coppull is growing all the time – not just in the boxing world, but the word is spreading in football as well.

Brothers Mike and Dave Jennings, who have just celebrated four years at the gym, opened the facilities up for the first-team squad of Wigan Athletic, preparing for life in League One.

As part of their pre-season fitness regime, the Latics players worked out, including sessions with the gloves on the punchbag.

On the boxing front, the gym is earning a reputation as one of the best in the North – cruiserweight Matty Askin recently became the Jennings’ first British champion. They have a chance of making it two when Jack Arnfield challenges Tommy Langford for the middleweight Lonsdale Belt.

Both Arnfield and Askin have enjoyed in an upturn in fortunes since coming under the Jennings’ influence.

Indeed, the brothers were responsible for resurrecting their careers when both came close to hanging up their gloves.

Mike Jennings said: “Both of them were on the verge of retiring. All they needed was a bit of TLC.

“They always had the ability – we just needed to break things down, get back to basics and build it back up again.

“Now they have got a career that they should have had a few years ago.”

Mike added: “You can be the best coach in the world, but if you haven’t got the fighters what you tell them falls on deaf ears – a lot of it is down to plain commonsense.

“We are very selective which boxers we pick – we have six lads and we can concentrate on spending more individual time with them.

“If we had a lot more 
boxers, we would have a lot less time and not be able to give them the one-to-one time they need.”