Derrick James Says He Will Retire With Current Core, Won’t Train New Fighters

Boxing Scene

Reigning trainer of the year Derrick James is currently in charge of leading boxing’s best stable. 

The Texas-based fighter-turned-coach trains a star-studded group that features Errol Spence Jr., Jermell and Jermall Charlo, Anthony Joshua, Ryan Garcia, and Frank Martin. 

James linked up with Joshua and Garcia earlier this year, but if another top star comes knocking on the door of James and offers him the coaching keys to their career, don’t expect the 51-year-old to oblige. 

“No, no, no, no, no. I’m done. I’m retiring. No more. I’m out of boxing after my guys retire,” James said in an interview with BoxingScene.com.

James — a professional fighter from 1992 to 2008 who compiled a record of 21 wins (12 KOs), 7 losses and 1 draw — will have an incredible stretch of fights coming up on his calendar. 

Martin will face Artem Harutyunyan on July 15, Spence will fight Terence Crawford on July 29, Joshua is slated for a rematch against Dillian Whyte on August 12, and Jermell Charlo will be fighting Canelo Alvarez on September 30 in a battle between undisputed champions.

The stars can be out at any given time at the World Class Boxing Gym in Dallas, a scene not many can often stomach, said James. 

“I think they all feed off of each other. I think it’s more about inspiration. That’s the key element. To be in a room with a lot of guys who are successful, to have enough humility,” said James. “A lot of people can’t take it. A lot of people can’t be in that type of room and work. You have to find out who you are before you walk in the room to be with a group of guys like that. Everybody gets along really well.” 

Spence said the star fighters that he trains alongside serve as a source of inspiration for him.

“It’s great just to have other great fighters in the gym,” Spence recently said in an interview with Brian Custer on The Last Stand. “It makes you stay on point, especially in sparring when knowing that they’re watching you. You try to work a little harder.” 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.

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