Welcome to Wales! Josh and Kalam Leather switch stables from the North East to Cardiff

Welcome to Wales! Josh and Kalam Leather switch stables from the North East to Cardiff

North East twins Josh (13-0, 6KO) and Kalam Leather (3-0) have moved to Cardiff in a bid to boost their promising boxing careers.

The super-lightweights will train with Gary Lockett after deciding to travel from Guisborough, near Middlesbrough, and make the 600 mile round trip.

The 26-year-old brothers previously worked with Imran Naeem but that relationship has now ended. The Leathers then approached Lockett and have enjoyed their first week in South Wales.

Josh Leather, promoted by Hall of Fame entrant Frank Warren, is the current International Boxing Federation [IBF] European champion and placed at 13th in the governing bodies world rankings.

His last outing was a Fight of the Year contender against local rival Glenn Foot, climbing off the canvas to earn a fiercely fought Unanimous Decision win after 12 bruising rounds.

“He (Lockett) has got the experience and knowledge to take us that step further in our career and that’s what I think we need,” said Josh. “It’s about a five and a half hour journey to here but we need to do these things; move away from home, away from our families and it’ll be worth it. It’s been great so far. Hard work, hard training and that’s what we need to push us.

“We’ve still got each other, that’s the main thing and hopefully we can go to the top together. I knew we had to move to further our career, I had to do something about it and it’s the right choice.”

Kalam Leather, the elder sibling by 30 minutes, also fought on the same show in Newcastle, which was headlined by Liam Williams’ rematch with Liam Smith. He collected a routine four round points win against Naheem Chaudhry after turning professional 14 months ago.

“This is massive for me,” said Kalam. “Like Josh said, we need to move and it’s more experience for me. If I do what he’s doing, I can’t go wrong, can I?”

It’s been a busy few months for Lockett, whose stable have also moved from the U-Fit facility in Cardiff Bay to Llanrumney Boxing Club in the east of the city.

Speaking of the new additions, Lockett said: “It’s always flattering to be linked with fighters outside of Wales, to be honest. They’re two cracking kids. I’ve not seen loads of Kalam but I’ve seen Josh and he’s a really good prospect. Good wins over Glenn Foot and Phil Sutcliffe and I’m really excited about working with them.

“Their old coach, Imran Naeem, is a friend of mine. I had to call him and okay it with Imran, I wouldn’t have done it without his blessing. Me and him are cool and he’s giving his blessing.

“For 95% of my career, I travelled away to train in Liverpool and Manchester. Anyone who is willing to do that, I have high respect for. I can see they’re both really sharp. There are things to improve on and they have to get used to me and the way I work.”

The world title challenger turned trainer is now also working with cruiserweight Craig Kennedy (16-1, 8KO). The 31-year-old is aiming to bounce back from a British title stoppage loss against Matty Askin, which also ended his relationship with former coach Steve Robinson.

‘The Kid’ will start his rebuilding process with Lockett at the Rhydycar Leisure Centre in Merthyr Tydfil on Friday 15 December. Kennedy is yet to learn of his opponent for his appearance on the Sanigar Events undercard, which will be shown live on terrestrial broadcaster S4C.

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