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John Dennen visits Birtley boxing club to find out the secrets behind its success

The very best action, previews and news from Olympic-style boxing

With JOHN DENNEN | @BoxingNewsJD

SEND us your club’s news, results or upcoming events to or 020 7618 3478

IT is a special place. They do train hard at Birtley. The work is serious. In a wide hall, with rings set up at either end, boxers move round one another. They fire out complex combinations, using their gloves as pads for quick technical work. The coach Graeme Rutherford barks out directions. To the untrained, these instructions are hard even to follow, yet the boxers respond quickly, their hands, the footwork all moving fast.

Eventually the boxing session finishes but they go straight into strength and conditioning. After what would appear to be more than enough work for one day, they move on to the football pitch alongside the club. They run round the paddock, Rutherford has them sprinting in bursts before slowing to a jog, varying the pace for lap after lap.

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