Suffolk ace helps Lennox glory bid

BOXING: Suffolk boxing star David Starie is helping Britain's world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis in his preparations for the ring showdown with Mike Tyson.

By Dave Allard

SUFFOLK boxing star David Starie is helping Britain's world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis in his preparations for the ring showdown with Mike Tyson.

The champion's training team have revealed that Lewis is using video footage of Starie fights as part of his training for his eagerly-awaited clash with Iron Mike in June.

And today Starie's former amateur trainer Barry James, of the Hurstlea Kerridge Club at Needham Market, insisted: "It doesn't surprise me. David's got a terrific style."

As the Evening Star revealed on Saturday, Starie – the 27-year-old British and Commonwealth super-middleweight champion – is set to fight for the vacant WBU world crown.

His clash with Australia's Rick Thornberry is scheduled to take place on June 8 at the Norwich Sports Village – on the same night that Lewis takes on Tyson in Memphis in defence of his coveted belt.

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James, who coached Starie from the age of 13 and piloted him to two national ABA titles, says: "Lewis claims that he is a perfectionist, but I'm sure there are many things about David Starie's make-up that he admires.

"Lewis will probably never be as perfect as David when it comes to boxing technique. Several of the top London professional trainers have said that David's style is so special and hard for opponents to work out."

So what is it that makes the part-time fireman from Elmswell so unique and why is he tipped to go on to make a big impact on the world super-middleweight scene?

Veteran trainer James, who always tipped Starie to lift a world crown, explained: "David's footwork is so accomplished and he knows how to keep an opponent just the right distance, something very hard to teach in any gymnasium.

"Another great thing about David is his temperament. He's so cool.

"If you feel the palm of the hand of a boxer before he goes out to fight it will usually be very sweaty, but this is not the case with David. I used to feel the palms of his hands before he went out and they were always as cool as a cucumber.

"To get the accolade he has got from the Lewis camp doesn't surprise me I can assure you. Lewis is a known studier of films of other boxers and it is quite something to be in that hall of fame."

James is confident that Starie can beat Thornberry to lift the WBU crown.

He explained: "David lost in his bid to take the WBO title from Joe Calzaghe a couple of years ago. I think he could beat Calzaghe now and he is much better than Thornberry.

"I think that David will have a comfortable victory over Thornberry to get a world title victory that could be the first of many."

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