Anderson future uncertain as he nears end of ban

Kenny Anderson

Kenny Anderson

First published in Sport Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

KEVIN Maree still does not know whether former British champion Kenny Anderson will return to boxing when his two-year drugs ban expires later this year.

Anderson beat Robin Reid to win the British super middleweight title in October 2012 but was subsequently banned after testing positive for amphetamine.

The 31-year-old trained with Maree at Stirk House in Gisburn but has given no indication yet whether he will make a comeback when his ban ends in October.

Anderson says he failed the test because his coffee was spiked.

“I speak to Kenny regularly but what his future holds I really don’t know,” Maree said.

“We don’t even speak about boxing, maybe in the future we’ll start talking about that again.

“I’d love to get him back, there’s a lot of unfinished business there, he’s far more talented than people have seen yet. He’s a lot better than British title level.

“The ban was a massive shock for me. You don’t know what a fighter does when they leave the gym, you can never be with them 24/7 but I looked at Kenny and asked, ‘Did anything go wrong that I didn’t know about?’ “He swears to my face that there was absolutely nothing at all that he knew about, so I can only believe him.

“Kenny had been drug tested since he was 15 or 16 years old and he’d had harder fights than Robin Reid at that stage in Robin’s career. He was red hot favourite.

“It wasn’t anything performance enhancing, it was completely the opposite, to get banned for an amphetamine is the absolute last thing you’d imagine. It all doesn’t add up to me.

“Kenny has ideas about what might have happened, but it’s just one of those things.

“If he’s got the motivation and the hunger he’ll be back, if he’s not then he won’t do it.

“The last thing I would want is Kenny in the ring not being able to perform like he can.”

Anderson ran George Groves close in 2010, knocking the Londoner down in the third round.

Groves then pulled out of a rematch at short notice in March 2012, later going on to fight Carl Froch in front of 80,000 at Wembley.

“I’ll go to my grave saying that if Groves hadn’t pulled out of the fight we had, Kenny would have won that,” Maree said.

“We had an unbelievable training camp and a brilliant gameplan.

“I think Luke Blackledge would have beaten Paul Smith for the British title but that didn’t happen either and I trained Carl Frampton for his first six professional fights, now he’s training for a world title in front of 50,000 people.

“Barry McGuigan asked me to do some work with him but later his son got involved so you’re never going to compete with that. His son's a brilliant trainer himself. I still get on well with Carl, it was just circumstances and geography.

“You see things and think ‘I was close there, do I give up or keep going?’ “I’m still very young at this game, still one of the youngest trainers in the country and already had unbelievable success so we will without question get where we want to be.”

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