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Mick's got an eye for talen
ACCEPTANCE into the Bury ABC ranks is never guaranteed for any youngster knocking on the door, because space is limited and trainer Mick Jelley is a shrewd assessor of potential in any boy – based on one look and one conversation.
“I know when a lad walks through the door, just by looking at him and speaking to him – I can tell you whether he’s going to make it or not,” said Jelley.
“If you want to become a boxer, you’ve got to be intelligent. Through all my life doing this, 80 per cent of my lads have gone on to get fantastic jobs. They’ve either got their own building companies or been to university. Boxers are not dumbos.
“And most of them go on to have nice families – that’s the reward.
“There are lads I know, who’ll tell you, they’d have been in prison, but for boxing. I keep them on the straight and narrow, give them something to do and keep them on the right side of the track.
“There’s the discipline involved in learning to box, but you’ve also got to work hard. I’ve sent a lot of lads away because I know I can’t do anything with them, because they haven’t got the ability and I haven’t got the room.
“If I took every lad who walks through the door, I might have 30 lads who can’t box and 30 potential world champions sitting outside the door.”