As Luke Campbell bids to become the fourth fighter taken to a world title by Shane McGuigan, Danny Flexen recalls the others
Shane McGuigan must now be considered one of Britain’s finest trainers. The latest challenge for the Wandsworth-based coach is finding a way for his man Luke Campbell to defeat Vasiliy Lomachenko, widely regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers on the planet, next week. Should Campbell succeed, Hull’s former Olympic gold medallist would be the fourth fighter young McGuigan has guided to a world title.
So it seems an appropriate time to recall the other three.
1. Carl Frampton
Having worked alongside Gerry Storey to mentor the Belfast hero early on in his career, McGuigan became Frampton’s sole coach just 24 hours before his 16th pro fight. From there the pair captured the European title (the next day!), the IBF and WBA belts at super-bantam and another WBA strap up at feather. They split in August 2017, Frampton joining Jamie Moore amid a protracted legal battle with the McGuigans.
2. George Groves
Something of a reclamation project, Groves joined McGuigan from Paddy Fitzpatrick having already fallen short in three previous world title opportunities. McGuigan did excellent work in refreshing Groves’ technical skills, enhancing his engine and teaching him to pace himself better over 12 rounds. Allied to Groves’ undoubted ability and power, those improvements formed a formidable combination and he took the vacant Super WBA super-middleweight title against Fedor Chudinov in May 2017. An emotional Groves was predicatably elated. The WBSS semi-final win over Chris Eubank Jr was a masterclass but a shoulder injury sustained in the closing moments added extra miles to the clock and Groves would be stopped by Callum Smith next time out before retiring from the sport earlier this year.
3. Josh Taylor
The most recent coronation of a McGuigan fighter took place in May as Josh Taylor, who has been with Shane since turning pro, unseated IBF ruler Ivan Baranchyk in their competitive WBSS semi-final. The acid test for this amateur standout and Olympian, who McGuigan has helped adapt seamlessly to the paid game, will come in the to-be-scheduled final, against impressive WBA king Regis Prograis. In the meantime he has been sparring his stablemate, Campbell.