CHORLEY boxer Michael Jennings is relishing his fresh start after joining forces with trainer Joe Gallagher at Amir Khan’s gym in Bolton.
Jennings has been out of action for 16 months since a British title loss to Kell Brook, with a shoulder injury keeping him on the sidelines throughout 2011.
The 34-year-old had remained affiliated to the Collyhurst and Moston gym in north Manchester following the retirement of veteran trainer Brian Hughes last year but has now linked up with Gallagher as he prepare to make a comeback.
Gallagher already trains a number of top British fighters including John Murray, Paul Smith, Anthony Crolla and Scott Quigg and has gained a fine reputation after his boxers went on a remarkable run of 49 fights undefeated until June 2011.
The stable moved from Manchester to the Gloves Gym in Bolton last summer. The gym was set up for the community by Khan, who trains for his own fights with Freddie Roach in Los Angeles.
Jennings is now back in training and believes the change of scenery could help reinvigorate him as he eyes the British title once more.
“I brought a friend up from London to do some sparring there about three weeks ago and I went in, did a work-out and loved it there,” he said.
“I’ve not fallen out with anyone at Moston and the move wasn’t planned but I just really enjoyed it.
“Joe’s got Anthony Crolla, Liam Smith, Stephen Smith, Paul Smith, Scott Quigg, Joe Murray, John Murray, Scott Cardle, there’s a lot of good up and coming fighters there.
“It’s a really good atmosphere, there is banter but everyone works hard too.
“I’ve had six months off with the injury and I didn’t know whether I was going to be able to carry on.
“I’ve had time off and a change as well now, so I just feel really fresh.
“I realised being in the gym is what I’ve been missing. It’s hard work but I’ve been doing it for 20 years.
“I didn’t want to finish my career on a downer, I still feel fit.
“I’ve been boxing a long time, 12 or 13 years, but I’ve not had too many wars, I tend to box my way through fights.
“I’m not one of those who’s slap bang wallop, I’ve never been that sort of fighter.”
Jennings is wary of returning to action too quickly but the former WBU world welterweight champion, who challenged Miguel Cotto for the WBO title at Madison Square Garden in 2009, believes he can move back into British title contention within three fights.
“I think I will be looking at about May, I’ve been out for six months so I don’t want to fight before I’m 100 per cent ready,” he said.
“I’ll probably have two fights and if I win them hopefully go for the British title.
“Colin Lynes has the title at the moment so it could be against him. He’s 34 so it could be two old timers!”