2019 Love Island finalist, Curtis Pritchard, was training for an upcoming white-collar match in an amateur boxing gym in Salford last week.

Conor Mannion, 23, from Salford, is a personal trainer and boxing coach at Salford Bridgewater Amateur Boxing Club, with 15 years of amateur experience in the sport. Mr. Mannion worked with Curtis Pritchard when he came into the gym, focusing on pad work and sparring.

The punch bags in Bridgewater Salford ABC.

Salford Bridgewater Amateur Boxing Club (ABC), located at Cobden Street, Salford, M6 6WG, has been one of the most respected amateur boxing clubs in Salford for over 30 years.

Originally from Stoke-on-Trent, it was asked why Curtis had come to Bridgewater ABC, which Mr. Mannion replied: “Curtis has asked Ric Moylan to train him up and get him fit for his white collar fight, and Ric has asked at the gym to help with his boxing”.

Ric Moylan, a well-known strength and conditioning coach from Manchester, has connections with Bridgewater ABC and has trained the likes of Anthony Crolla and Scott Quigg, both former British boxing champions.

Ric Moylan, stood left in the above post, coaching white collar fighters at Bridgewater ABC. 

With 35 amateur fights under his belt, it is safe to say Mr. Mannion’s knowledge and experience in the sport is respectable.

After watching Curtis Pritchard, 23, box for the first time, Mr. Mannion revealed: “From seeing him spar and holding the pads for him he is quite natural.

“As a professional dancer he has good rhythm which is a massive part of boxing.”

Speaking about his experience in boxing, Mr. Mannion said: “I’ve been involved in boxing for quite a few years. I started when I was about eight years old and had my first proper fight at 11 years old.

The boxing rings at Bridgewater Salford ABC.

“Now with work commitments and just having a busy life, I’m not fighting anymore but now working out of the gym as a personal trainer and boxing coach”.

Conor Mannion (centre in white) after a boxing match. Credit: Conor Mannion

Asked on his personal connection with Bridgewater ABC, Mr. Mannion said: “All in all about 10 years of my life have been spent in Bridgewater. I wouldn’t go to any other gym now as it’s been part of my life growing up”.

Bridgewater ABC has recently been working with the Maverick Stars Trust, a Manchester charity with the project ‘sting like a bee’, that is focusing on reducing knife crime by getting children off the streets and into boxing.

The club is also involved in local white-collar boxing fundraisers. Recently, Manchester based charity, Pound for Pound Promotions, used the facilities at Bridgewater ABC for an eight-week training programme for their fighters, with around one thousand pounds raised for local mental health charity, Mind in Salford.

The charity night was hosted at the AJ Bell stadium earlier this month, with plans for another white-collar event in March 2020 in progress.

Mr. Mannion was one of the trainers for the white-collar fighters and has also been involved in previous boxing fundraisers for local charity, Kidscan, a children’s cancer research charity, where again Bridgewater ABC hosted the training camps.

With Curtis Pritchard preparing for his very own white-collar match, Mr Mannion said: “I think Curtis looks like he has potential. With his natural ability I think he stands a good chance of winning”.

To find out more information about Bridgewater ABC, they are available on Facebook.

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