Gary Logan: Being A Boxing Trainer
By Rob Sloan
“I know he has a great chance in becoming the king of the domestic scene, I just hope that we get the opportunity to show people.”
The story of Gary Logan and Deion Jumah’s relationship goes back to 2011. Adam Booth, who was training David Haye and George Groves at the time, asked the London born ex-fighter to join forces by helping him coach his developing stable.
“When Adam was still training George Groves, he asked me to come to the 2011 ABA finals in Croydon to help him.
“He said to me ‘watch this kid I think he’s going to be good,’ but he needed someone to coach him and he asked me.”
“Low and behold, it was Deion Jumah.”
When Logan and Booth decided to part ways in 2014, Jumah stayed on with Adam to continue his career, but their story wasn’t finished; in fact, it was only just beginning:
“Me and Adam split up just after the Mike Perez fight at the end of 2013 and Deion stayed on with Adam. Deion then became ill and took a couple years out. When he was well enough, he decided to make a comeback, and he came to visit me at BXR (a boxing gym in central London) to talk about it. Now, we have been riding this thing out ever since.”
Logan believes the 13-0 prospect has all the makings to stir up the domestic cruiserweight scene, with potential matchups with Richard Riakporhe, who is mandated to fight Jumah for his British title, and Lawrence Okolie, the current European champion.
Although there are plenty of exciting matchups domestically, Logan thinks the politics in boxing may get in the way of defining nights for Jumah.
It has been rumoured that Okolie will take on Glowacki for the WBA world title, and according to Logan, Riakporhe has been touted to move up to the international scene before consolidating his reign as British champion:
“When these guys become British champions, invariably, because they are with a big promoter, they become world ranked and then they start thinking about fighting for a regular world title with the WBA or another governing body,” Logan remarked.
“We are currently getting that conversation with Richard Riakporhe – his mandatory defence is with Jumah, but he’s talking as if his next fight is going to be for a world title, because why wouldn’t he? Why not got paid better for fighting for a world title, rather than taking a risk with Deion Jumah for a lot less money.
“I think he would defend his obligation, but it wouldn’t surprise me if a world title shot came up and he took that instead.”
The former British title challenger is critical of the current mindset that promoters and fighters share today, as he believes boxers aren’t gaining the necessary experience before competing at the top level.
Okolie, who recently defeated Yves Ngabu for the EBU European cruiserweight title, is a fitting example of this, according to Logan:
“He’s not ready for a world title fight,” stated the former southern area title holder. Lawrence is one of the best overachievers that we have seen in a long time. I don’t think his style is particularly conducive, unless he is chinning them. If he has got to box and go several rounds it is not that great to watch.
“He is very effective at what he does, he is very good at keeping you at range, and if you walk on to the right hand then he can knock you out with that,”
Although Glowacki is a monumental step up for Okolie, Logan believes that the Hackney bred fighter, who is nicknamed ‘The Sauce’, wholly believes that he can win a world title now, thanks to his unwavering self-belief and bravado.
“Lawrence is one of those guys that stands in the mirror and talks to himself and tells himself that he is great just so he can believe it, and it works for him. We shall see how he fairs – Jumah will be waiting for him if he loses or wins.
“He is living in Lawrence Okolie’s head rent free.” said Logan.
Aside from the debate of hypothetical matchups, On January the 17th, Jumah scored a spectacular win against domestic rival Sam Hyde at the M.E.N arena in Manchester.
In what was a thoroughly entertaining fight, Jumah edged a points decision win due to his courageous and never-say-die attitude in the championship rounds.
As a professional trainer, Logan insisted that this was his proudest moment, especially since Jumah, his first boxer, was the man that had faith in his training and fighting philosophy.
“It was by far my best achievement with any fighter I have worked with. He was my first champion [English champion], I have had southern area champions, but when you get to English level, you are only 1 or 2 fights away from a British title fight.
“I was massively proud. From my experiences, you don’t know if you can do 12 rounds until you step into the ring. You can do all the preparation in the gym, but it doesn’t matter.”
In a fight that tested the heart and guile of both fighters, Logan was under no illusion that this would be an easy fight.
Hyde, in a bout with Richard Riakporhe, was winning the fight on all three judges’ scorecards until the Mancunian suffered a grotesque eye injury in the eighth round, causing trainer and manager Joe Gallagher to throw in the towel.
“Because I knew it was going to be a tough fight, I brutalised Deion in camp, and he will tell you that. I would always roll in fresh sparring partners every three rounds so he never got a rest. I said to him you’re fighting away from home in Sam Hyde’s back garden and Joe Gallagher has not bid to win this show to let you walk away with the title.”
As the fight progressed, it was easy to see this was the toughest test of Deion Jumah’s career. In what was an incredibly difficult bout to score, both men were having their moments in a breathless 12-round war.
But Logan believed he came through the bout victorious due to the persevering attitude he instilled in the London-born fighter throughout camp and during the fight.
“He was in there with a couple of injuries, like most fighters do, and he had to fight through it, and he had to dig in.”
“I told him at the end of round 9 that, ‘you’ve got to show me what your made of as your letting these rounds be too close “He replied and said, ‘but I’m winning, aren’t I?’,”
“You are winning in my eyes, but we are up north which means your level.” Said Logan, chuckling as he spoke.
“From rounds 9-12, I believe he won all of them – they were very close, but I just feel that Deion had the edge.”
A boxing match that arguably deserved to be on a bigger broadcasting platform, Logan believes both men deserve an enormous amount of praise for taking a risky fight at this stage of their respective careers.
Logan showered the unfortunate Hyde with praise and believes both men will fight again at some point, with hopes that next time it can be exhibited on a bigger stage:
“I’ve got to take my hat off to Sam Hyde for taking that fight,” complemented Logan.
“No one wanted to fight Deion. He looked really good against Riakporhe before getting stopped, so we knew it was going to be a tough fight. Sam has been very unlucky in his career, and I said to him after the fight that I don’t believe that this is the end of him and Deion Jumah, I believe that you will fight down the road.
“It was one of the best fights that hasn’t been on mainstream television in recent years, and definitely needs to be talked about as one of the fights of the year.”