By Terence Dooley
Veteran trainer Billy ‘The Preacher’ Graham has reached out to BoxingScene.com via a third party to confirm that he is set to resume training duties later this year. Graham says that he has “Got the itch again” and has his heart set on dusting off his coaching mitts.
Billy guided Ricky Hatton to the linear light-welterweight title. The two men parted company after Hatton’s points win over Juan Lazcano in 2008 – a split that prompted Graham’s retirement.
The Salfordian will make extensive use of his Atlanta-based, in-house training facility yet has admitted that he intends to launch his comeback here in Manchester, England. Graham had spoken about the possibility of returning to the fold during our last interview.
“This one thing sticks in my head, gets on my nerves, and that is that I’d love to train the world bantamweight champion, undisputed and everything else. I’ve always wanted to train a top bantamweight. I do miss the excitement and the drama of the work. You’ll see me in the corner again,” said Graham during last year’s discussion.
Graham learned his trade under Phil Martin at the Champ’s Camp gym before branching out and launching his Phoenix Camp stable, which produced champions galore for the long-serving cornerman.
Billy worked closely with nutritionalist Kerry Kayes, head of CNP Professional, and cutsman Mick Williams, his close bond with both men played a major role in his decision to return to the sport.
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