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SCTR & Peacock Gym – Next Gen

Nurturing the Next Generation of fighters; 3 x top prospects all currently 10 – 0 and ready to go!

Exclusive feature showcasing the next generation of fighters training at the Peacock gym under the watchful eye and expert guidance of Martin Bowers and his well-respected training team.

Story by SCTR

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Photography by Hamish Brown

It is a grey misty Monday morning the 6th of December with a bitter cold in the air as we head over to Epping Forest to meet, interview and shoot a super talented crop of young fighters training at the new Peacock gym.

We drive over and enter a very well kept and spacious farm grounds where the new Peacock gym is based, we park up, meet Martin and head into the gym to set up camp for the day.

The first thing that really hits you is how slick, professional and well kitted out the space is and as the fighters arrive there is no messing about, they get changed and crack straight on with the training, starting with a rigorous warm up circuit, consisting of; skipping, treadmill runs, and shadow boxing work that for most people would constitute a full on heavy work out. Once the guys have ‘warmed up’ the real work begins and the intensity quickly increases!

We spent the day in this impressive space to shoot & interview three of the young fighters.

Louie Lynn (10 wins – 0 defeats – 7 kos) the WBC international silver featherweight champion, Chris Bourke (10 wins – 0 defeats – 6 kos) WBC international super bantam weight champion and cruiserweight Ellis Zorro (10 wins – 0 defeats – 5 kos) read the full SCTR fighter profile interviews below.

Louie Lynn sitting on the side of a boxing ring

Louie Lynn,

Q SCTR; Did boxing find you or did you find boxing, how and when did you start boxing – when did you really start taking it seriously.?

A LL; My mum always thought I would be a boxer from when I was young, I was about 5 x years old and I had a fight with my cousin and she let is run on to see what would happen, she reckons I immediately got in a boxing stance and was on my toes. She always said that she thought I would be a good boxer.

I went to over fifteen primary schools and I always seemed to be the smallest one, and my mum always said if anyone starts on you don’t have it and fight back, so I always used to have lots of fights at school.

When I first tried boxing, I loved it, I went to a small gym in Hounslow, and I remember that I just fell straight in love with it.

We were moving around a lot, and we were staying in a women’s refuge in Crawley – so started to go to a gym there as well, I was however, still not sure if I was any good or not, but there was one boy who went to that gym, and he was the ‘boy’ and was decent and one time on the way to training he started on me there I had a fight with him and won so my confidence grew and then I felt like boxing was really for me.

When I was eleven, I had my first eight fights and loved it, I lost a few but that’s part of the learning process.

As I got older it was hard to match me up – so I could not get fights, so I stopped boxing for a bit and started smoking and going out, but then finally got back into it when I was seventeen after I met with Barry McGuigan, and he inspired me to get back into boxing.

I stopped smoking and going out and then started taking it more seriously, built my fitness up and had a quick 5 x fights, I realised that I needed to be fully focussed and what you put in you get out, you can’t blame anyone else in boxing, it is all on you.

When I lost a couple of fights it was upsetting, and I cried but it built my character up.

I started getting up every day early to train and I found faith and prayed every morning – then in 2017 I won the senior aba’s when I was twenty-one and met Kevin Mitchell and he took me under his wing.

I missed out on the Olympics and then when with Kevin, I decided to turn pro and then realised this was what I really wanted to do for the rest of my life. I didn’t really enjoy studying and schoolwork but loved the training and my mum said boxing is what you love, so make it happen, then it all fell into place.

Louie Lynn training with trainers holding practice pads in the boxing ring

Q SCTR; In what way has boxing changed your life and importantly your character/personality over the years.?

A LL: Boxing for me is everything, it’s my life and I must put everything in – boxing is a lot like ‘life’ you must keep fighting and keep moving forward, believe in yourself and be disciplined.

You have to train when you are not in the mood and cannot really be bothered and keep listening to your trainers so that you improved and progress.

Stay humble and give all you have got; just keep persevering and you can get to where you want to get to.

Fortunately, I’m here at the peacock, it’s like family and the coaches are so knowledgeable, as much as its hard work and brutal we also have fun, and the trainers change it up all the time so it’s never boring and we keep learning.

Especially when you have a fight coming up it gives you confidence to know that you have left no stone unturned and you have the strength, thanks to God as well as he gives me strength.

Q SCTR; What emphasis do you place on training as a team when essentially this is an individual sport – is camaraderie important when training and getting ready for a fight.?

A LL: Training as a team is so important as and it’s a blessing that we have a great team – we lift each other up and push each other on and we are all on the same journey together, Martin says it as well we are out there on our own fight night, but we really learn off each other and it’s nice to have that team ethos when we train.

When we train as a team that does make us train harder, but I do always compete with myself especially on the bags and pads.

I love all the team and all the coaches sing off the same hymn-sheet so its consistent and the trainers know exactly what it takes, hard work and really, it’s all the little things done well that all add up.


Q SCTR; How would you describe and explain the trading ethos here at Peacocks gym.?

A LL; Great facility and really great coaches and the training is different all the time, every session we do a bit of everything, and the trainers always push you further and harder, which we need.

Even now when we don’t have fight dates yet – we still train hard, and they don’t show us any mercy at all.

Louie Lynn wearing boxing gloves in the ring

Q SCTR; What key advice would you give to a young boxer just starting out – what should they do or alternatively not do.?

A LL; I would say first you have got to believe in yourself, I never really did when I started but luckily my Mum did, and she pushed me. Always back yourself and don’t worry about watching other people and what they are doing stay focussed on yourself and put the work in – even when you have down time at home and stuff do some shadow boxing. Mainly never give up, be focussed, and live the life, give it all you have got and be prepared to take the losses but always learn from it.


Q SCTR; Finally – who is the one fighter past or present that you admire and why, inside and/or outside the ring.?

A LL; As a fighter it must be Manny Pacquiao in terms of boxing, as the guy is a legend and has built one of the greatest legacies in the sport, he is doing great stuff in boxing and outside of boxing. But also, Jesus as he always guides me.

Chris Bourke,

Q SCTR; Did boxing find you or did you find boxing, how and when did you start boxing – when did you really start taking it seriously.?

A CB; When I was growing up I had a close family friend called Gary Mason who was a heavyweight fighter and did well in the sport. I used to get into a few fights at school and had a lot of energy and then one day one of my mates was going boxing and invited me along when I was about 15, and I just fell in love with it straight away – I started in a gym in Thornton Heath, and just got the bug for boxing on the first day I tried it. Then I moved gyms as I found a club that was more local to me called Balham boxing club – so started going there every day and then at 15 had my first fight.

I think after my first fight is when I realised boxing was what I wanted to do – school was not for me really,  I was not naughty, but I was always distracted and needed something else to channel my energy into.

I was fifteen and sparing grown men and I was doing really well – so I was naturally getting more confident.

When I had finished school, I literally couldn’t wait to get straight to the gym and I decided that is what I wanted to do, I had about 8 x fights and then I started taking it really seriously, before then I was still going out, partying – and then I started realised that my fitness was not what it should be.

I remember, I had a fight, but I lost because of fitness, I felt like I could have beat the kid, but I totally run out of gas, and I realised I needed to focus on the training more and stop the going out and all that.

Q SCTR; In what way has boxing changed your life and importantly your character/personality over the years.?

A CB; I think my whole outlook on life in general is different now because of boxing, especially in terms of fitness, loads of people say to me ‘I really want to lose weight’ and I just tell them to get down the gym and do something about it. It’s just a life lesson – if you work hard and dedicate yourself and sacrifice things, then the hard work really pays off.

I cut off the people that were bad influences on me and focussed on the work and then once I made it to team GB when I was twenty it was amazing, and a changing point.


Q SCTR; What emphasis do you place on training as a team when essentially this is an individual sport – is camaraderie important when training and getting ready for a fight.?

A CB; Boxing is only lonely when you are in the ring, the rest of the time you are in the gym, so you need that team around you pushing you on days when you do not feel like it and you do the same for them when they don’t feel like training.

All the boys in the gym are roughly the same age and around the same level of our careers and we are all pushing on and we all want bigger and better things. It boosts you to train with others when you are not feeling good.

It ends up becoming a fun session instead of something boring, so you end up looking forward to training.

I spend more time with these boys than most of my family – so it is important that we get on!

Q SCTR; How would you describe and explain the trading ethos here at Peacocks gym.?

A CB; The big thing is there are no egos in this gym, everyone is friendly there is no backstabbing, everyone is trying to help each other, and we are all here to do the same thing, which is train hard and win fights.

We have a great bunch of lads, and we all know what we are capable of, and we are working hard together to achieve that.


Q SCTR; What key advice would you give to a young boxer just starting out – what should they do or alternatively not do.?

A CB; The big thing is to remember to stay focussed as there is inevitably going to be setbacks, if you want to be the best you have to dedicate yourself 100%.

Boxing is a short career so if you can really dedicate yourself for 12 – 15 years it will pay off. You must really knuckle down and put all the distractions to the side.

Q SCTR; Finally – who is the one fighter past or present that you admire and why, inside and/or outside the ring.?

A CB; For me in terms of inspiration it has to be my mum and dad just because they have not had it easy and they are doing well now, and they have shown me that anything is possible, they have stuck by me and really supported my boxing and made it possible for me to train.

In terms of boxing, it has to be Arturo Gatti as he had all the skills but then he always loved a war and ended up having a tear up, my favourite fights are between him and Micky Ward.

Ellis Zorro,

Q SCTR; Did boxing find you or did you find boxing, how and when did you start boxing – when did you really start taking it seriously.?

A EZ; I would say that I found boxing, it is something that I decided to pursue. I would not say that I needed to box necessarily so it’s definitely something I choose to take part in. I started boxing at university in 2012, at the time I was just looking for extra activities to do while studying at university. I decided to take it seriously once I graduated in 2014, I came out of university and worked for about two years, during this time I was training and fighting as an amateur. Then in 2017 I decided to turn professional and was full on dedicated to the sport.


Q SCTR; In what way has boxing changed your life and importantly your character/personality over the years.?

A EZ; To be completely honest boxing has not really changed my life, character, or personality. Most of my growth as a person was done before I started boxing.

Q SCTR; What emphasis do you place on training as a team when essentially this is an individual sport – is camaraderie important when training and getting ready for a fight.?

A EZ; Training as a team allows each and every person to challenge another, we do not have the privilege to work at our own pace as we are constantly being pushed by our training partners. Yes, boxing is an individual sport, but it does help to share the journey with others as it makes the lows easier to deal with and the highs all the sweeter.

At the peacock gym we have different fighters who all poses different attributes, some are really fit, some are fast, some strong and some really skilful. So, you can take things from each person whether it be in sparring or just someone’s approach to training. So, all in all, it’s a real positive to be a part of a training group and have that sense of community when preparing for a fight.


Q SCTR; How would you describe and explain the trading ethos here at Peacocks gym.?

A EZ; I would describe the training ethos as hard work. I think the coaches would testify that the sessions are focused mainly on condition both mind and body to endure whatever may take place within the ring.

Q SCTR; What key advice would you give to a young boxer just starting out – what should they do or alternatively not do.?

A EZ; My main piece of advice I would give to a young boxer would be to be dedicated and obsessed with improvement because if they are not, they will get found out eventually. What they should not do is to become comfortable or complacent with where they are, as there are always new heights to reach in this sport.


Q SCTR; Finally – who is the one fighter past or present that you admire and why, inside and/or outside the ring.?

A EZ; Very tough question, I would say Inside I admire Roy Jones Jr as he was just levels above anyone else in his prime. His skill set was so high that he made other great pound for pound hall of fame fighters look ordinary and he made it look easy. So, for that reason I would say Roy Jones.

A boxing glove being tied

Once all packed up we headed home, after a very intense and highly satisfying day with the Peacock team, the one thing that really sticks in my mind following the day, is really how focused, level headed and grounded these young fighters are, they all seem to fully understand that to succeed in the sport of boxing it really is all about ‘getting out what you put in’ and that the real hard work is completed in the gym away from the bright lights and crowds. I have spent a considerable time in many boxing gyms training over the past 20 – 30 years and meeting these three young prospects really cemented and confirmed to me that to be a success in the sport you don’t need the ego, bravado or brashness – just an inbuilt unwavering determination, a very strong will power and an OCD like approach to the training, that will drive you forwards.

Keep a close eye on these three fighters, as they are destined for the top and will most certainly achieve great things in the noble art with the peacock gym team supporting them.

Thank you to the fighters and the full team at the Peacock gym, especially Martin Bowers.

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