Stateside adventure for Sheffield boxing trio

Boxer Robby Brooks who is off to America
Boxer Robby Brooks who is off to America

Teenagers Keanen Wainwright (19), Leon Musson (14) and Robby Brooks (17) will take in the bright lights of California and Las Vegas from Wednesday.

They will box at the Riverside County Boxing Club in Canyon Lake.

The Sheffield contingent will also visit one of the world’s most famous fight gyms, Wild Card Boxing, in California.

Trainer Freddie Roach has produced some amazing talent from that gym, including Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.

It’s the biggest opportunity of their young careers so far, and for Brooks, it’s the chance to make up for the disappointment of a previous visit to the US.

Brooks was set to fight in New York in 2014, but his opponent pulled out on the day with illness.

Boxer Robby Brooks who is off to California with trainer Glyn Rhodes

Boxer Robby Brooks who is off to California with trainer Glyn Rhodes

The youngster was devastated to miss out.

“It took us about an hour and a half to stop him from crying” coach Glyn Rhodes recalled. “There were a few tears, but he got over that and picked himself up.”

Brooks said: “It was brilliant being in New York, but I would love to have boxed.”

“Now I’m right looking forward to the trip; I’ve been training hard.”

Brooks and his fellow fighters have worked hard to raise money to get to the States. They’ve done boxing exhibitions, sponsored walks and even the Leeds Half Marathon to get people to donate cash.

Each fighter was challenged to raise at least £400.

The lads’ boxing showcase last week at Crookes Working Men’s Club brought in close to £1,000.

Rhodes was thankful to Sheffield people for their generosity.

Some donations were more than £100.

“A few people donated quite substantial amounts,” he said. “It restores your faith in human nature.”

Visiting Roach’s gym, and fighting in the Riverside tournament, would be the experience of a lifetime for the boxers. “It’s a bit of a pilgrimage,” Rhodes said.

John McCormack and Mat Mowatt will join Rhodes as coaches on the trip.

*American TV giant Showtime’s live telecast of the Errol Spence v Kell Brook title fight in Sheffield peaked at 337,000 viewers, according to ratings released by Nielsen Media Research. It drew an average audience of 291,000.

Barry McGuigan, in his Mirror column, wrote: “I want to pay tribute to Kell Brook. No way did he quit.

“That was terrifically brave of him. Errol Spence Jr is a fearsome puncher.

“Only a moron, or someone who has never taken a punch, would see a man with a busted eye socket as a quitter in the 11th round. And any boxer who says that is talking through his backside.

“Spence proved to be the fighter I thought he was, and will go on to become one of the best fighters of this era. Together, they put on one of the great welterweight fights this country has seen in the last 50 years.

“It was fought at a ferocious pace, with world-class punches thrown and taken. I was sitting right behind Brook’s corner, and was proud to be ringside.”