Mal Gates is getting Tom Whitfield ready for his next title assault – vowing there would be no “mistakes” next time.
The South Shields fight team are excited by Whitfield’s British Promoters Challenge light-middleweight contest with Ferryhill’s Billy Snaith in Newcastle on Saturday, March 11.
Looking back, I blame myself for the loss, I over-trained Tom.MAL GATES
Coach Mal Gates is looking to bury the nightmare of Whitfield’s first pro defeat when he lost in a crack at the vacant Northern Area welterweight championship last October when he was stopped in eight rounds by old rival Daniel Cope.
An honest Gates says he accepts the blame for the defeat in Ashington, where his talented boxer led on points before being felled by the Hartlepool fighter.
“Looking back, I blame myself for the loss,” said Gates. “I over-trained Tom.
“When there were the delays ahead of the show I should have taken the foot off the accelerator.
“Congratulations to Daniel, who is a nice lad and deserved his win, but you learn by your mistakes and it will be right this time.”
Credit to Gates for his frankness though his record at the Harton & Westoe Miners Welfare gym is outstanding and should not be reproached.
Ironically, the opponent this time is an old team-mate of Cope.
Snaith boxed out of the same Gus Robinson Developments camp in Hartlepool as Cope though he has now transferred to the Jeff Saunders gym in Fishburn.
The 28-year-old, who dubbed himself “Too Sharp” has begun well in the pro ranks, winning all three of his contests.
“Billy actually asked for this fight,” said Gates. “We were happy to take it.”
Whitfield will start favourite, especially given it is over eight rounds – Snaith has never been beyond four – but the County Durham man has a decent dig on him.
Gates hopes to have three of his team on the bill at the Walker Dome event, which is being co-promoted by Steve Wraith and Fighting Chance.
Paul Gidney returns after his daughter, Poppy, was given the all clear after cancer treatment, while title hopeful Lee Mould should also box.
“It’s been great having Paul back in the gym,” added Gates. “We’ve supported him all the way through and it was great when he rang up to say Poppy had been given the all-clear.
“Lee is training well – he’s hard to match but he’ll definitely be on this show.”
Team Gates are looking for sponsorship for Whitfield and any interested parties are asked to ring Mal on 07510320981.