British Champion Tyrone Nurse has been guided throughout his career by his father and trainer, Chris Aston. He told Ringnews24.com:
“I started going to an actual boxing gym (at the age of) about 10 or 11. Obviously my dad, being who he is, I always trained a bit of boxing. It was just more messing about and a bit of fun with my mates from about seven, eight or nine. We put gloves on and it was like a little Royal Rumble, five or six of us just fighting each other. I didn’t really properly get into going to the gym and training until 10-11.“
Nurse had a good amateur career and started to realise he could have a career in boxing but, he didn’t have any expectations. He explained:
“Obviously, as an amateur and a kid at first – It was just, I enjoyed it. Obviously when you get older and start doing well in championships and you’re getting to semis and finals and mixing with England reps, I thought, well, maybe I’ve got a decent future in this.
“Before you know it, I’m 15 and taking the day off school to spar Steve Foster Jr. The little things, then you realise to yourself “oh-yeah this is something I can definitely do.” When I started as a pro I didn’t have any intention to become a British Champion or moving on above that. That’s where we are now – it’s looking good.”
Nurse shared his game plan going into the fight:
“My game plan wasn’t the same as my trainers [laughs]. I think subliminally I knew I was going to end up standing and spending more time having a scrap and beating him at his own game.
“I think I was looking forward to a fight like that. I’ve never underestimated Tommy, you know what Tommy brings. But, I played into his hands to a sense – I still beat him at that game.
“I could have easily spent 12 rounds jabbing his head off and picking him off at long range, which I did in spurts. But I really enjoyed it up close, rough and tumble.”
Nurse worked the body early on – Was this an attempt to slow the come forward Coyle down?
“I’ve always been one that picks my shots out to the body. I’ve always trained on body shots; it’s something we work on quite a bit. I think it’s essential for any fighter to have.
“You see a lot of fighters who don’t tend to work it a lot and just go to the head constantly. It weren’t anything specific. It’s just something I do anyway, to be honest.”
Coyle’s strength surprised Nurse:
“We knew what to expect. Everyone knows how brilliant he is; he wears his heart on his sleeve, doesn’t he?”
“I thought the weight suited him to be fair, he felt stronger than I expected at the weight. Other than that, nothing else really surprised me about him.”
Coyle landed a big shot in round 1 which rocked the head of Nurse. But, Nurse fought back:
“You always expect to get hit at some point. You take it on the chin and try and get him back with two better ones.”
Coyle started the fight at a high pace, perhaps emptying the tank too soon. But how did the champ feel going into the later rounds?
“I felt fresh still late on in the fight. I think maybe he thought if he can get on my chest and keep working and working and working he could take it out of me.
“But I’m used to that sort of stuff. I’ve sparred like that since I was 15-16 against world level fighters. It was never going to be an issue in my head. Obviously that’s their game plan that they took into the fight by the looks of things – it didn’t work for them in the end.”
Nurse hit the canvas in round seven and referee Steve Gray started the count. A surprised Nurse got to his feet and looked shocked at the decision:
“To be fair he caught me with a good jab at the same time. But I think if I remember right I was stepping through, so going from orthodox to southpaw, but throwing a shitty shot at the same time.
“Before he caught me with a couple of good shots, but in my head it felt more like a slip than out.
“I remember getting up and smiling and laughing at referee Steve Gray. He was counting out and I’m like “what, you serious?” But, watching it back he hit me at the same time so rules are the rules, aren’t they.”
Shots landed after the bell at the end of round 6 and you both smiled and touched gloves. Referee Steve Gray stepped in to offer both fighters some advice:
“I think he just told both us to keep it clean and behave yourselves. It had been a good fight up to that point and we don’t need to be winning fights by someone doing something stupid.
“All it could have taken is one of us to take it the wrong way and you could have come out losing the round. Were both sportsmen and just looked at each other and thought ‘fair play to you.’“
What was the reason for licking your glove during round nine?
“God knows [Laughs], I could have had a hair in my gob – it could of been out [Laughs]. We’re all going to start doing daft stuff one day aren’t we? [Laughs]”
It can’t be easy for a fighter waiting for scorecards to be read out, Nurse added:
“I never thought at any point I was losing the fight or anything in my head or my corners head. We thought we were comfortable.
“You could see Tommy thought he got it, he was jumping up and down and I was just cool, calm and composed and thought ‘yeah we got this’, it was a routine victory in my head.
“So I didn’t go over the top of the steps or jumping on the ropes or doing nowt like I would normally do. I thought we won comfortably to be fair.”
Boxing can be cruel at times and Tommy Coyle was left heartbroken after the loss to Nurse. The British belt remained around the waist of Nurse and he explained how much it meant to him:
“Yeah, it means the world obviously. It’s something you dream of as a fighter; I never thought that I couldn’t win it. I always felt within myself I had the ability to be become the British champion and move on further.
“It was just another achievement I expected myself to grasp, and I’m over the moon that I achieved it. I became the first super lightweight British champion. I’m over the moon and happy where I am at the moment and looking forward to progressing.”
Are there plans to win the British outright?
“That’s what most fighters want to do. You want to get that belt for grabs. But the last two mandatories have pulled out now. I haven’t had much fun in boxing since the Coyle fight which was July – it’s a long time.
“But, now I’ve signed with Warren and he’s got the big BT Sport deal. I think he’s looking to put us into different opportunities and move us on. I don’t want to sit on the British to win it out right if I don’t need too I can come back to it. I’m still young enough to come back to it if all else fails.”
Nurse recently signed a contract with Frank Warren who has just landed a ground-breaking deal with BT Sports:
”I think the BT deal is good for boxing, personally. I think Warren will have god knows how many shows to fill.
“Which means you’re used to seen regular ticket sellers on TV constantly topping bills and because of that many shows its’s going to give an opportunity to fighters who aren’t good ticket sellers but might be more talented or good scrappers who can’t sell tickets.
“It’s giving everyone else opportunities. It’s going to give fighters who haven’t necessarily topped a bill. I’ve never topped a bill, a big bill, I’ve been chief support and there about. It gives us that opportunity to get used to the feeling and what to expect. I think it’s great for boxing and it removes the Monopoly that Eddie Hearn had on boxing.”
Ohara Davies chose to fight Derry Mathews rather than face British champion Tyrone Nurse. Father and trainer Chris Aston was very vocal claiming Davies avoided his son. Nurse added:
“No, we’re fighters. We will all fight anyone. I don’t think Canelo is scared of GGG. I don’t think GGG is scared of Andre Ward. It’s politics, it’s boxing, we’ve all got promoters. Certain fighters, certain teams won’t work with other teams and that’s what it comes down to a lot of the time.
“That’s just the way the cookie crumbles, I guess. I can understand him [dad/trainer] being p***sed off – the last two mandatories have pulled out. I haven’t boxed since July.
“You don’t hear me shouting about people or mouthing off about fighters. I’ve never done it. When you get fighters who do something like that then they get an opportunity and then for whatever reason they withdraw or whatever – I can understand why he was peed off about it to be honest.”
Chris Jenkins and Nurse shared the ring on the 18th of July 2015 and the fight ended up a draw. The rematch took place four months later. Nurse explained:
“The first one, I thought I won the first one really comfortably. Especially down the last stretch, the last four rounds – I thought I took it.
“Everyone after Prizefighter raved about him like he was going to be the next Oscar De La Hoya. I think he went a bit cold on the shelf and didn’t box for a while. He’s a good fighter, don’t get me wrong, a very good fighter.
“Me and him, we both were in the same boat. High risk, low reward because neither had out in terms of a title. A champion won’t really take the risk unless they have to.
“I got myself into the mandatory position and lost to Dave Ryan but got myself back in the mix. He was mandatory for Limond. Limond was injured and they stuck us both together – it made out for a cracking fight, the first fight.
“I stood and spent a lot of the time in the pocket with him as opposed to the usual jab and move in boxing. The first fight I think I was 10-3 underdog in my head. It was ridiculous, I thought it was a 50-50 fight. Most were going on this hype around him and I thought I was unlucky in the first fight, very unlucky.
“The second fight, we went in with a slightly different game plan and kept moving a bit more just so that everyone who thought the rounds in the first fight were close didn’t have the chance to think that.
“I kept it long and he caught me with that right and in the fifth – which was an absolute peach. I didn’t realise how good a shot it was until I watched it back. I got up, shook it off and by the end of the round I was pushing him about.
“Again, it was another cracking fight and I thought the scorecards were a fair few rounds wide. I thought it was closer than that, but then again I thought I won. I thought I deserved it and I thought I deserved it the first time, so the second time was justice for me.”
Jack Catterall changed trainers and withdrew from his mandatory position:
“He was the mandatory. At the moment I don’t have a mandatory until the board sorts one out. But he withdrew for whatever reason; I think he just switched trainers. I think that was his reasoning.”
Nurse hopes to be back fighting soon:
“Hopefully March, around that time. I think we are going to announce something next week.
I just want to keep winning, to be honest, and move on from where I am. I have a little daughter and a family, to keep progressing and doing the best I can for my family and me.”
Finally, Nurse had a message for his loyal support:
“Thank you, cheers for all the support, the continued support, the supporting travelling fans, the social fans on social media, just everyone! Thank you – you’re the best in the world!”