Having a family member in your corner can no doubt be one of the best things for a fighter, as no one knows you better than family right? Well, that is not always the case with some fighters. As they can feel burdened to stay with their father instead of exploring new horizons to potentially improve.
Personally, I think it has its pros and cons depending on the trainer and sometimes the fighter. This list should hopefully highlight some of the issues and successes fighters have had with their father in the corner.
This is a mix of current fighters and retired fighters. To spice things up I’ll rank each of them in accordance to how their career went or is currently going with their father by their side.
Continue reading or watch my video version below:
10. Conor and Nigel Benn
Now Nigel didn’t train Conor for too long as he had moved to Australia with his family, but he did help out in the corner in his earlier career and outside the ring with his training.
You can definitely tell Conor has adapted his father’s warrior spirit since starting his pro boxing journey at a young age. Conor Benn’s career so far has been successful to date, especially as a prospect coming up with not much amateur experience. But with Benn now challenging and defeating former world champions and contenders you can’t deny his father’s attitude and encouragement must have helped Benn to get to this point.
However, the majority of the credit must go to his current trainer Tony Sims, who has really been the one to mold Benn into what he is today.
9. Chris Eubank Sr and Jr
Now if you know British Boxing well, you will no doubt have heard about the Eubanks! When Chris Eubank Jr was coming up through the ranks, his very eccentric father Chris Eubank Sr, was one to guide and train his son. However, he did bring in the help of Ronnie Shields (Sr’s former trainer), but how much influence he had was unsure.
For me, it was always a strange relationship with Eubank Sr claiming his son could be better than Floyd Mayweather Jr. Now we always want the best for our family, but giving delusional comparisons can be an extra burden on them to perform. So, when the time has come for Eubank Jr to show he is up there with the best, he has simply been outboxed or outperformed.
Chris Eubank Jr’s last fight with his father in the corner was his defeat to George Groves. He has since taken on other trainers instead including Nate Vasquez and more recently Roy Jones Jr without any real stand-out fights or performances. We will only find out once or if he faces top opposition one day again and find out if a new coach would really have made a difference.
8. Teofimo Lopez Sr and Jr
Now, this father-son coach relationship has recently been in the spotlight due to the terrible advice Teofimo Sr gave to his son in the defeat vs George Kambosos. With many calling for young Teo to move on from his father. I recommend you check out my breakdown video of the fight if you haven’t seen it already.
However, we can’t forget the past. Especially in terms of how Teofimo Sr helped his son to become a world champion and then go on to defeat former p4p number one star at the time of Lomachenko. He without a doubt gave his son Teofimo the belief to be the very best, but unfortunately, let it get to his head.
Lopez had a quick rise to the top, which has been quickly flipped on its head. Maybe it was an off night from Teofimo Sr and Jr. There were no doubt issues in the lead-up to the fight with Kambosos but there was also the element of underestimating your opponent, which you should never do.
Time will tell if this one will work.
7. Bill and Devin Haney
Devin Haney is the undisputed lightweight star in boxing, with him only being in his early twenties when I posted this list. The young champion has been guided very well throughout his amateur and now professional career. Training and getting advice from coaches in multiple gyms.
Despite getting his WBC world title handed to him in email pretty much…you can’t deny his talent. The lightweight can be a superstar in the sport if he keeps performing the way he is.
Interestingly, it was a joint decision to bring in another top trainer, which ended up being the highly regarded British trainer Ben Davidson. This is an interesting move to get another voice in the camp, which can only be beneficial in my opinion.
However, with Bill still being the main man, you don’t know how much impact another coach can make or if they will conflict over tactics and approach. Another time will tell how this relationship will end up, but he will never be able to take away his support to get him to the top of the lightweight division.
6. Kenny and Shawn Porter
Kenny had trained Shawn throughout the majority of his amateur and professional career. Looking at some of the training footage, there is no denying how demanding he was on his Son. You can tell Shawn had complete respect for his father and I suppose you would have to when he was talking to you the way he was.
But no one will know Shawn better than his Father, and the strictness definitely came out in Shawn Porter’s boxing style and dedication to the sport during his career.
When you look back at Porter’s career they faced all the top guys at welterweight, you can’t say they ducked anyone.
Maybe this hard-lined approach helped Shawn get more success than he could ever get with another trainer guiding him.
5. Shane and Jack Mosley
Shane Mosley for the most part had a tremendous career fighting pretty much everyone including the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Cotto, Canelo, Margarito, and many more. With a lot of success as a fighter coming from his father Jack Mosely’s influence.
Jack Mosley himself was a top amateur fighter in his younger days. And Shane Mosley has said he remembers the sacrifices his Dad made growing up from traveling to tournaments and spending money on gear to help his son to fulfil his boxing potential. Nevertheless, during his pro career, Shane decided to go a different route changing trainers.
However, they did join up again for the rematch with De La Hoya, which was a controversial split decision win. Interestingly I thought this quote by Jack Mosley was interesting on this topic.
A lot of times, fathers do not allow their sons to grow…They want to live their lives through their sons. Then you have people in the fighter’s ear and the father’s ear, trying to manage things and manipulate. People are envious and jealous. They want the money. There are a lot of reasons why father-son combinations do not work.”Jack Mosley
I think he makes a good point with this as if you consider who I have mentioned already on this list. You could say they are using their sons for the limelight.
4. Roy Jones Sr and Jr
Roy Jones Sr had trained his son from a very young age and was nothing but strict with his son when growing up. Jr even said this himself about his father when growing up on the farm:
“I was in pain all day, every day, I was so scared of my father…He’d pull up in his truck and start lookin’ for something I’d done wrong. There was no escape, no excuse, no way out of nothin.”Roy Jones Jr
Sr would also put a young Roy Jones Jr against boys much older and much bigger boys than he was. You could consider Roy Jones Sr maybe felt he was doing the right thing by making his son tougher. But was it the right way to go about it?
Maybe Roy wouldn’t have been the fighter we know today if it wasn’t for his Father’s actions?
It all came to head between the two after his Father killed one of his dogs…after an incident at home when he was away… From that point, it was the end of the relationship between the two, and Roy Jones Jr has not talked about it much since.
3. Anatoly and Vasyl Lomachenko
Anatoly Lomachenko is very much the driving force behind his son’s huge success.
Sometimes known by boxing fans as ‘Papachenko’ he turned Lomachenko into arguably the greatest amateur boxer of all time, finishing with a record 396-1. Along with two Olympic gold medals at Beijing and London.
Anatoly taught his son from a very young age, but before he could start boxing training he attended traditional Ukrainian dance classes and even gymnastics before finally getting into the ring. Maybe this was an intention of Anatoly so Loma footwork would be perfect for boxing…
Since turning professional, Lomachenko has become the fastest to win world titles in 3 weight divisions with 2 defeats to date. Despite these two defeats, I can’t see Loma ever leaving his fathers’ side.
Anatoly has also had huge influence on not just his son, but Ukrainian boxers such as Usyk and when on the Ukrainian boxing team. Former world champ Gvozdyk once said:
“Lomachenko’s father made this team…He created it. He’s just too humble to say it. But it’s true. Ask Usyk. It’s not only about boxing. He’s a psychologist, a leader. He says something and you believe in it Because everything he tells you, it works.”Oleksandr Gvozdyk
For me you can’t deny the work he has done with Son Vasyl. I’m sure they will want to prove what they are made of since the disappointing setback vs Lopez.
2. Floyd Mayweather Sr and Jr
Floyd Mayweather Jr’s dominant run over two decades that saw him become 50-0 as a pro boxer and winning world titles in 5 weight divisions. Mayweather was very fortunate to have his father and uncle beside him during his career. Not only that, they were both professional boxers who had a huge influence on his defensive boxing style that has made him one of the best to ever lace them up.
However, Floyd Sr and Jr had a very polarising relationship at times. With Sr serving a prison sentence from his teenage years, Floyd Jr was very much left on his own.
In this period, he opted to train with uncle Roger, who was a former world champion himself. Jr explained why he decided to stay with his uncle. He said:
“It wasn’t really parting ways (with his Dad). That’s what people don’t know…My Dad left me at the age of 16 when he went to prison…I was on my own from 16 till 19. I was working by myself. Then I started working with my uncle Rodger. So it’s always been in the family. I would work with my Dad and my uncle Rodger. So it wasn’t like I was departing and leaving my father.”Floyd Mayweather Jr
The reason why I have put the Mayweathers at number 2, is that Sr without a doubt gave young Floyd the boxing tools, education and fundamentals to get to the top. After Rodger’s health started to deteriorate in the later stage of his career, it was nice to see Floyd take up his father again. I always liked the moment between the two in his last proper boxing fight vs Berto. See below:
1. Joe and Enzo Calzaghe
The Italian Dragon Joe Calzaghe is the longest-reigning super-middleweight world champion in boxing history. Having held the WBO title for over 10 years and defending the title against 20 opponents. While also unifying the titles before giving the light heavyweight division a chance in his last two fights.
A big part of that success however was of course his father Enzo, who had no real previous boxing experience growing up himself. It was not until he took up being a trainer at Newbridge Boxing Club in Wales (now the Calzaghe Boxing club). From here, he introduced his son Joe to the sport knowing his son had the potential to be world champion one day.
Enzo, wasn’t just a one-off with his son, as he also trained other famous Welsh fighters to world titles including Enzo Maccarinelli, Nathan Cleverly, and Gavin Rees. However, his Son was without a doubt his greatest success. Sadly Enzo passed away in 2018.
This for me has to be the best father and son duo in the sport of boxing. Mainly because of the multiple world title defenses and helping Joe finish with an incredible undefeated record 46-0.
Hope you enjoyed this boxing list. Make sure to check out more similar related articles below or sign up to my boxing newsletter and get 5 Free discounts!
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