Former Irish boxer making waves in Thailand and the world of UFC

John Hutchinson always knew he’d end up coaching, but at first imagined it that would involve bringing along young boxing talent whilst doing some fitness teaching back in Buncrana.

The former Celtic title challenger got the training part right, but was somewhat off with the code and a million miles away in terms of where he would passing on his knowledge.

‘The Buncrana Banger’ has become a Thai based teacher – and rather than coaching boxers in Donegal he is a successful MMA corner man based on the picturesque island of Phuket.

The 33-year-old, who was quite nomadic as a fighter, trading leather in Ireland, the UK, America, Australia and Thailand has found himself back in the land of smiles and has become a UFC striking coach in the Tigermuaythai Phuket gym.

“I was always going to coach,” Hutchinson told Irish-boxing.com.

“I had my own little gym in Ireland, it was more for fitness classes, for money and to keep me training when I was boxing. Still at the time I started coaching, but I found it hard to walk away from boxing and just coach.

“When I went to go back into camp to train for fight I had people asking me to train them, particularly when I was in Thailand at the start I had to refuse, but now fighting doesn’t interest me. Now I am motivated to win world titles with fighters.

“Now I am a full time boxing and striking coach in Tigermuaythai Phuket, Thailand. I am working close to UFC fighters working on their striking and boxing in camp,” he continues.

“I first came to Thailand 2011 and funny I sad to a few friends at time that I was going to live here and years later here I am.

Hutchinson does coach boxing and helped out in a bare knuckle camp recently, but most of his time is taken up by MMA at present.

Indeed, he has been working closely with two UFC fighters in Petr Yan and Mosvar Evloev recently. Hutchinson does striking training with other UFC and MMA names, but has a wider role with the aforementioned as part of their backroom teams.

“I corner Petr Yan and Mosvar Evloev. When they arrive in camp we schedule and plan there camps from start to finish. There are conditioning coaches, MMA coaches and me as striking coach. It comes to together as team then and after we finish camp we corner them.

“For other MMA and UFC fighter I am just employed as there striking coaches by there main MMA coaches,” he adds before revealing the main differences between taking a boxing and an MMA name on the pads.

“There is a big different to boxing. Lots of things are different like keeping distance for knee and elbow strikes , but end of day its same tactics drilling hard hitting and hand speed over and over until they get it right. These guys are masters of learning their craft it’s a real joy.

“I love coaching , coaching ain’t work for me I wake up to coach day in day out and wouldn’t change a thing. Boxing is life!”

Boxing maybe life but it’s MMA that is primarily paying the bills at present and takes up most of the fighter, who retired in 2018 with a 12-2-3 record, time.

“I coach boxing everyday at Tigermuaythai. Boxing will always be my game and I am training some real top guys at moment. It’s something I’ll always be involved with, but at moment UFC is taking me the MMA route.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com