By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
TONY JEFFRIES is so keen to see his career take off that he is living on the flight path of an airport.
The Sunderland fighter has spent more than £20,000 to get back on track and has based himself in the States to boost his chances.
The ‘Mighty Mackem’ has his second fight under new trainer Tommy Brooks at Doncaster Dome on September 3 against an opponent yet to be named.
And the super-middleweight, who has won eight and drawn one of his nine professional bouts, wants to start making a much bigger impact.
The 26-year-old is so determined, in fact, that he now lives in a converted garage on the approach to Santa Monica airport, where he trains under Brooks.
He is revelling under the tutelage of Brooks and his manager Frank Maloney said: “I am getting glowing reports about him from over there. He had a lengthy lay-off after an eye injury but now he is really fi t and I think we are going to see the best of him this year.”
That eye injury was sustained after a horrific clash of heads with Irishman Tommy Tolan last December and required surgery.
That was his fi rst fi ght under Brooks but gave little indication of what he has learned from the master trainer after a second-round KO.
Jeffries said: “That was a setback and I stayed out in LA ticking over. I cannot wait to get back in the ring again and fi ght.
“Being alone in America shows the sacrifi ces I am making to succeed. I love my own surroundings and having my family around me.
“But you have to make sacrifi ces to succeed and this is a short career compared to most, so I want to make the most of it.
“It is costing me an arm and a leg to be in America, but it’s an investment. If I am going to make it, my best chance is being out here with a world-class coach.
“It’s been costing me £2,000 a month and I have spent more than £20,000 so far on accommodation, car rentals and fl ights.”
But the Olympic bronze medallist believes it is all worthwhile and is delighted at the way in which Brooks has helped him.
He said: “Tommy is laid-back and I get on with him well. I have had respect for all my trainers, but I have so much respect for what he does.
“He doesn’t get involved in my personal life and doesn’t ask any questions about outside the ring. All he concentrates on is our two hours together each day in the gym.”