The past few weeks have seen the tributes written and the memories recalled. Veteran trainer John Breen is to retire from being a professional boxing trainer.
The legendary coach was said to have grown disillusioned from the sport following a number of his fighters leaving recently, and that he was set to finish up training and perhaps move into the amateur side of the game.
However, if you were to visit Breen’s Gym on the Antrim Road, you’d see that it’s still, for now at least, business as usual.
The Calor Heaters are still firing and the 66 year old trainer is still bouncing around the ring with a level of energy that a 26 year old would envy.
The Breen Team stable now consists of Coalisland fan-favourite Feargal McCrory and upcoming debutants Sean Magee and Sean Higginson.
Lightweight McCrory boxes tomorrow night in Belfast in his final four rounder before jumping straight to eight in April for a minor title fight. For Fearless Feargal there’s been no difference in camp despite the pages and pages of boxing obituaries being written for his trainer.
“Everything’s just the same between us,” McCrory told Irish-Boxing.com ahead of his fight with Gyula Tallosi tomorrow night at the Europa Hotel. “We have a great bond and we’re working well together.”
“Until John tells me he’s retiring we will work together but there’s no mention of it in and around the gym, it’s as hard as ever.”
Indeed, should Breen make the decision to hang up the pads, McCrory will relocate in an attempt to find a capable substitute. The Tyrone fighter explained that “if John does retire I’ll go fight in America, is there anyone else in this country as good as him?”
Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show: