Trainer Derrick James Leads The Elite To Glory In 2022
For 2022, 3kingsboxing.com recognizes Derrick James as Trainer of the Year. Many responsibilities come with being a boxing trainer. One part is the daily grind of preparing their fighter for battle. The other part is the instruction in-between rounds on fight night.
THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING
Chief among the fighters under the tutelage of James are undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs), unified welterweight Errol Spence (28-0, 22 KOs), and top lightweight contender Frank “The Ghost” Martin (17-0, 12 KOs). All three had an outstanding 2022, thanks to the work of James.
Charlo’s lone fight was a tenth-round stoppage win over Brian Castano in May 2022 to become the undisputed junior middleweight champion. They fought previously to a split decision draw in July 2021. The rematch win over Castano was arguably Charlo’s career-best outing. Much credit goes to James for Charlo’s adjustments and improved performance from fight to second fight against Castano.
Following a sixteen-month layoff due to a detached retina, unified welterweight champion Spence returned to the ring with a tenth-round stoppage over then-WBA champion Yordenis Ugas in April 2022. Facing a cagey veteran who was no pushover, Spence outworked and outfought Ugas on the way to victory. Going in, some wondered if Spence would be a victim of ring rust. That was far from the case. He was sharp throughout the contest. James had the unified champ ready after a long time away from the ring.
Insiders knew Martin was a talented fighter. In 2022, he went from a touted prospect to a major contender in the lightweight division. Martin looked sensational in a WBA lightweight title eliminator win against Michel Rivera in December 2022. He out-boxed the boxer. Martin’s evolution to becoming a complete, well-rounded fighter is due to the countless hours he and James have done in the gym.
A sign of their credibility is how much a fighter improves and their success over time. When it comes to all that accompanies the role of a chief second, few do their job better than James.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.