Blinkhorn switches trainer for title tilt

CHRIS Blinkhorn has joined forces with Oliver Harrison in a bid to become ABAE champion.

The 20 - ye a r- o l d boxer, pictured, has split from long-term trainer John Hart as he aims to go one better after losing this year’s final.

A n d B l i n k h o r n believes the chance to link up with Amir Khan’s former coach was too good to turn down.

The Deane ace said: “Oliver’s coaching will suit my style of boxing a lot better.

“I’d been with John since 2005 and needed a change.

“My plan is to win the ABAEs next year then turn professional – and I have a better chance doing that with Oliver.

“John wanted me to fight more but I’m not that type of boxer. My style is more about speed and movement and Oliver knows that.

“He has trained some brillinat boxers, like Amir Khan, and it’s a great opportunity for me.”

Harrison was Khan’s first coach after the Bolton superstar turned professional in 2005.

They were together for three years before the 24-year-old left and went on to become WBA and IBF world light-welterweight champion.

Jamie Moore, Anthony Farnell and Alex Matvienko were all coached by Harrison, while his current crop of fighters include the unbeaten super-middleweight Martin Murray, who takes on Felix Sturm in Germany for a world title in December.

And Blinkhorn insists the move to the Salford gym is already paying dividends.

The former Castle Hill ABC fighter said: “I’ve already sparred with the likes of Derry Matthews, who fights for a European lightweight title tonight.

“I never got that opportunity at Castle Hill. There were only four or five fighters and none of them were my weight.

“Now I’m sparring with people in and around my weight. It makes such a difference and I’ve improved loads even in such a short amount of time.

“My nutrition and diet were also bad. I was always struggling to make the weight and that left me weak for fights.

“That’s changed now and I will be fighting at 60kg rather than 57kg in the future.”

Blinkhorn, who coaches at Bodyworks gym in Deane, hoped to become the first boxer from Bolton to win the ABAE title.

But he lost to Welwyn Garden City’s Mitchell Smith 34-19 in Colchester in May.

The former junior ABAE champion is confident he can go one better this time.

“I know I can win it,”

he said. “There were reasons I didn’t win it last time that I don’t want to go into but they’re behind me now. I’m looking forward to the future with Oliver.”

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