After Joe Gallagher and his stable of fighters were evicted from their building by Kerry Kayes, British boxing star Amir Khan has opened his Bolton gym to the group to give them a place to work.
Kayes is a former bodybuilding champion who has made a name in UK boxing as a nutritionist and strength and conditioning coach. He was formerly associated with now-retired trainer Billy Graham, and worked with Ricky Hatton for a number of fights to help the "Hitman" cut his infamous excess weight. He also owns CNP, a sports nutrition company, which you may remember seeing logos for on Hatton's team gear in the past.
Long story short, Kayes opened up his gym to Joe Gallagher and his fighters and was working with them. But recently he sent them packing, feeling -- in his long-winded way -- that the relationship was no longer mutually beneficial:
"I never charged Joe a penny for the use of the gym – I paid the rates, bought the equipment and spent nearly twelve thousand pounds refurbishing it when Billy Graham left. I changed all the signs from ‘The Phoenix’ to ‘Gallagher’s Gym’ and it was me that had the final decision to call it that because I could easily have called it ‘The CNP Boxing Gym’. I wanted Joe to have a place to call his own. I have never charged Joe a penny for rent, gas or rates. ... Joe is good at publicising the gym but he wasn’t as good at pushing CNP, who sponsor the gym through me."
Now the speculation is that at home, in his own gym, Khan could get some work in with Gallagher's fighters. From Khan's business manager, Asif Valli:
"It was Amir’s decision to offer his gym to Joe. He read the article and he wanted to help. Joe has got a lot of great talent in his stable and Amir is happy to have them at his gym.
"If it means he gets in the gym and trains with them sometimes then we are happy with that as well."
What this all really means is that Amir Khan sure seems like a nice dude, ego and all. I mean, all good fighters have egos. A lot of bad ones have egos. But Khan has been a pretty notable "give back" guy since he became a star, and despite the perception that he's not invested in British boxing any longer due to his star being on the rise in the United States, it's pretty obvious he hasn't forgotten where he came from. I don't really much care, personally, about the dispute between Kayes and Gallagher (and Kayes seems reasonable enough, really, just a businessman), but it's good to see Khan helping out the UK's current top trainer and his fighters in a time of need.