Brendan Ingle, respected trainer, dies aged 77: ‘Boxing has lost a legend’

Brendan Ingle, the highly respected trainer, has died at the age of 77, the British Boxing Board of Control has confirmed.

The Irishman became one of domestic boxing’s most influential figures during a decorated career in which he trained four world champions, including Naseem Hamed and Johnny Nelson. His gym in Wincobank, Sheffield, continued to thrive when his sons Dominic and John assumed control, but it is Brendan Ingle who is still credited with inspiring its success.

Ingle established the Ingle Gym to provide a place for young people to train, and was made an MBE in 1998 for his services and contributions to British boxing and for his work with young people in Sheffield.

His success and that of his fighters owed much to his unique methods. If not the highest profile, Nelson perhaps represented Ingle’s biggest success in the way he was transformed into a world champion having lost his first three fights and he was among those to pay tribute.

“A good, good man has left this earth today,” Nelson said on social media. “A good friend. A good father figure. And the best trainer in the world.”

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R.I.P Brendan Ingle MBE

The sport has lost a great man who created a legacy … pic.twitter.com/3q9WL2wHzO

May 25, 2018

Dave Coldwell, another of Britain’s leading trainers, said: “The man that started me off on the road to where I am. He changed so many lives that were going nowhere and did so much for the sport of boxing in the UK. Thoughts with his family, friends and all the fighters he worked with.”

The British heavyweight Tony Bellew said: “Brendan Ingle has left a legacy that very few can ever compare to, so sad.”

Frank Warren, who promoted Hamed while he was trained by Ingle, said: “Deepest condolences to [wife] Alma and the Ingle family after the passing of trainer and mentor Brendan. Boxing has lost a legend and I will look back fondly on the many great moments we shared together in the sport. RIP my friend.”

On a painful day for the sport, the BBBC also confirmed that the former European super-middleweight champion Dean Francis had died at the age of 44 after being diagnosed with terminal cancer in January 2017.

Francis, who is survived by his wife Ghalia and son Rocco, also won English, British and Commonwealth titles during a career in which he also fought at light-heavyweight and cruiserweight. Joe Calzaghe considered Francis, who retired four years ago, the finest British fighter to never win a world title, and the British boxing community has paid tribute to the Bristolian.

Former world cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli wrote: “So sad to hear of the passing of Dean Francis my thought and prayers are with his family at this tough time.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/sport/rss