No fears for Hartlepool boxer Callum Winton ahead of ring return


CALLUM Winton is geared up for his first fight in eight months when he meets Youssef Al Hamidi this Friday.

The Hartlepool talent hopes to get his career moving with a win against the experienced Syrian campaigner at Gateshead Leisure Centre.

Winton has been inactive since his best performance as a pro, a four-rounds points win over Paul Haines at Rainton Meadows Arena in April.

Life though has not been uneventful – Winton has left two trainers in that time.

First he quit the Gus Robinson Developments gym after three unbeaten appearances and cut short his move to Manchester, where he had worked under Bob Shannon and Ricky Hatton.

But the 21-year-old is now under the guidance of Imran Naeem at the Natural Progression club in Stockton.

And he is unconcerned at the that he is working with his third trainer in 2013.

“To be fair, I’ve worked with a lot of coaches over the years,” said the Hartlepool lightweight. “All coaches have their own ways and styles but the good thing is I’ve learned things from all over them.

“I’ve learned from Peter [Cope] and Bob and now I’m loving working with Imran. He’s very calm and very detailed.

“It has been very good, I’ve been getting one-on-one training on a morning with him.

“He’s done a lot of technical work with me and he’s taught me a lot.

“Josh Leather and Chubzy Asif train at the gym too so I’ve had the best sparring I can get. It has been perfect.

“I’ve enjoyed working with Imran and he’s got me peaking at the right time. I can’t thank him enough for training me.”

Naeem will take an undefeated all-action fighter into the Gateshead Leisure Centre ring on Friday night.

And Winton can’t wait for the first bell.

“I just want to get in there again,” said the former Catholic Club boxer. “There may be a little ring-rust but I’ve trained hard so hopefully I should be all right.

“I’m really looking forward to this, I just want to fight again and then get back in the ring again as soon as possible.”

Al Hamidi presents a tricky though not impossible job.

The 35-year-old, now based in West Yorkshire, has proven a handful to many a fighter over the years. Winton, who is sponsored by Niramax, North East Loans Ltd and Purdy Fabrication & Welding, is expecting a “tough bout.

The former Junior ABA champion will be joined at Gateshead by his former Gus Robinson Developments team-mates Bradley Saunders and Simon Vallily.

l FOR tickets, call Lewis on 07955187277.