TONY SIMS is overseeing a thriving gym. On Saturday (October 11) at the O2, his heavyweight star Anthony Joshua boxes Denis Bakhtov in a scheduled 10-rounder. “He’s always ready to do the distance. He’s a diligent trainer. He loves training, which makes it easy. He’ll be ready to do the 10 rounds. Whether Bakhtov can take him that will be another thing on Saturday,” Sims told Boxing News.

Tony’s exciting middleweight John Ryder boxes on the O2 show, against Theophilus Teteh rather than Sergei Khomitsky. “That was all to do with politics,” Sims said. “That fight was done a few weeks back and then cancelled at the last minute.

“Teteh I know pretty well. He fought a fighter of mine, Lee Purdy about three years ago, he’s a tough customer. His last seven fights, he’s won his last seven all by KO. So he can punch a bit. It’s still a decent fight for John.

“Next year he’ll start moving up the levels into world class.”

Sims has also taken on Scotland’s Ricky Burns, who lost to Dejan Zlaticaninin June but picked up a points win over Alexandre Lepelley at the start of this month. “It was a bit frustrating because we haven’t developed what weight he is and that is a frustrating thing as well. He struggled badly to make lightweight,” Sim explained. “So we got a dietician on board to make light-welterweight and the fight was made at 10st 1lbs and he came in at 9st 13lbs after working just six weeks with a dietician. So we’ll sit down again with the dietician. I think he’ll make lightweight comfortable if he continues with the dietician. I think lightweight is his weight.

“It wasn’t a good performance but a confidence booster. He needed to get the win under his belt. He was under a lot of pressure to get that win because he knew if he got beat it was over for him. The pressure of the fight was probably like a world title for him.

“I think another eight round fight to get him back in the frame again.”

Kevin Mitchell is coming back from a niggling shoulder injury but is back in the gym and hopes to box before the year is out. But look out for Martin J. Ward at super-featherweight. He could be in a British title eliminator in December. “I think Martin’s ready to do that,” Tony said. “I’m pleased with Martin’s progress. He’s got good sparring in the gym, Kevin, Ricky, a new kid, Ohara Davies who’s fighting Saturday.

“He’s definitely capable of winning a British title.”

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