Michael Jennings eyes more improvement from Mark Jeffers in seventh pro fight

Mark Jeffers
Mark Jeffers

Trainer Michael Jennings is looking at the bigger picture ahead of Mark Jeffers’ seventh professional fight.

The Eccleston middleweight fights on the undercard of Sam Sexton and Hughie Fury’s British heavyweight title clash at the Premier Suite at Bolton Wanderers’ Macron Stadium this Saturday night.

The 20-year-old, 6-0 in the paid ranks, will be in action over six rounds against an opponent to be confirmed with his cornerman hoping the work they’ve put in at Jennings Gym in Coppull comes out on fight night.

“I just want to see him progressing and improving with each fight,” said Jennings, a world title challenger during his in-ring career.

“He’s a big, strong lad for his age but he’s still got a long way to go before he matures and gets his proper man strength.

“Even though he’s a big, muscular kid he’s not a man yet. He’s still very, very young.

“We’re just building him up, getting the rounds under the belt and getting experience in the ring.

“Then when it comes to the stage of fighting for titles you can keep them.

“It’s good winning them but it’s about being able to keep them at that top level.

“That’s the hard part. We need to make sure he’s ready.”

The problem is sometimes curbing Jeffers’ enthusiasm as Jennings and brother Dave look to manage his development, the former Chorley ABC youngster having only turned 20 in February.

“The problem with Mark is that he’s never out of the gym and we sometimes need to put the brakes on him,” he said.

“He tends to overtrain, we just need to make sure we keep an eye on him and when we do give him a day off, he has a day off.

“In the past I’ve given him a day off and he’s gone and done a 10-mile run, which defeats the object of the day off!

“Now we just make him come in the gym and basically sit there and not do anything.”

That exuberance comes from being able to turn his hand to most things.

Jeffers plays for Eccleston Cricket Club and is also a talented golfer and footballer.

“He used to play football for Blackburn and Preston as a kid,” said Jennings.

“He started golf and within a few months had won a tournament.

“He plays pool, he’s really good at that and cricket is one of his other main ones.

“Don’t get me wrong, he’s put them all on the backburner for the boxing, but he’s pretty good at them all.”

Bolton is nice and close to home for the Eccleston lad with a big following expected on fight night.

“He brings a good crowd and a good atmosphere,” said Jennings.

“When I was fighting I always preferred the Bolton Arena, that was my best venue I thought.

“This is a good venue as well and creates a really good atmosphere.

“Mark’s been on a couple of the big bills. He sells quite a few tickets which all promoters love and he’s an exciting fighter to watch.”