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Daniel Dubois’ trainer Martin Bowers has seen a lot since he opened The Peacock Gym with his brother in 1978, as Matt Christie discovers
PROUD AS A PEACOCK: Dubois, recently named the Boxing Writers’ Young Boxer of the Year, stands menacingly while Bowers looks on

B RADLEY STONE lost his life to boxing in 1994. Today he guards the Peacock Gym where he used to train in Canning Town. The statue of Stone stands tall and is locked in a fighting pose, eternally 23 years old. The words, ‘A brave young man who died in pursuit of his dreams’, are etched into the plinth beneath his feet. Inside the gym lies a welcome so warm it’s impossible not to smile as you walk through the doors. The juxtaposition of the dead boxer and a gym alive with optimism is no accident.

Brothers Martin and Tony Bowers founded the gym in the 1970s and were responsible for the statue after organising a series of fundraisers that are typical of their family. Stone’s death occurred two days after he lost to Richie Wenton in 10 rounds. But the Stone family do not blame boxing. Instead, they recognise the positive effect it had on his short life. His nephew, also called Bradley, still trains at The Peacock.

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D-DAY – We talk to Team Dubois ahead of title challenge BENN RETURNS – But the British legend should not come back SPENCE-PORTER – Interviews, insight and prediction MUCH, MUCH MORE – Ricky Burns, dangers of boxing, Phil Martin