Former world champion trains in Newark ahead of ring return
A boxing coach and promoter is again working with a former world champion.
Carl Greaves, of Newark, has put on a training camp for David Avanesyan at his boxing academy in the town for a fourth time.
The pair first teamed up two years ago when Greaves helped Avanesyan to win the interim WBA world welterweight title.
The Russian boxer lost the full title in February — only the second defeat of his career — and is getting back into the ring for the first time since that setback.
Avanesyan had been hoping to fight Alexey Evchenko for the IBF international welterweight title in Moscow, but that was called off on Tuesday after Greaves said the federation in Russia that was overseeing the fight would not sanction the belt.
Instead, he will fight on the card of a Greaves show in Wigan on Saturday against a former Olympian and, if successful, will contest a final eliminator for the world title in March as he bids to regain his crown.
Greaves said: “It is really disappointing that we can’t go to Russia, but without the belt the television company was not interested and so we could not go.
“We did not want to waste the work in the training camp, so have found David another tough opponent.”
Avanesyan will take on Serge Ambomo in Wigan, a durable, strong Cameroon fighter who took part in the 2012 London Olympics and has caused upsets in previous fights.
The possible world title eliminator would be against Kerman Lejarraga, from Spain — the holder of the WBA welterweight international title.
'Inspiring to have someone like David here'
Avanesyan, who lives in Russia, had been preparing for the fight at the training camp, based at the Carl Greaves Academy and Fitness Centre, for the past month.
Greaves, a former WBF world super-featherweight champion, said it was a major boost for the town and fighters at his academy.
“It is inspiring to have someone like David here,” he said.
“A lot of people in the gym look up to him. They see the work I do with him and can see his calibre and quality — it rubs off on the other fighters in my academy and it is good for them to be around him.”
Avanesyan first chose to work with Greaves two years ago and won the interim WBA world welterweight title in Monte Carlo after defeating Charlie Navarro on a technical knockout.
He retained his top ranking with a unanimous decision against former three-weight world champion Shane Mosley in Arizona — a fight Greaves described as the biggest of his career as a promoter and trainer.
The Russian was then elevated from interim to regular WBA welterweight champion in November last year.
But in February Avanesyan lost for just the second time in his career in his first defence of the world title, losing on a unanimous decision (116-113, 116-112, 116-112) to Lamont Peterson in Cincinnati.
Avanesyan first came to Newark after his English manager, Neil Marsh went around the country trialling gyms and looking for an English trainer.
He was impressed with Greaves’ set-up and the trio have been together since.
“They chose me, which was great,” said Greaves. “Obviously they have liked what they have seen over the past 2½ years, which is fantastic.
“When he first came over to this country, David did not speak a word of English, but now he speaks more of the language and we are gelling better every time we meet up.
“We understand each other well and our training camps are getting better. We have got a good relationship.”