The return of Nathan Farrell

Dennis Dodge

Dennis has followed boxing on and off since he was a kid and his dad used to tape the fights on the radio. Dennis got back into the sport properly about 10-years-ago and he is now a qualified boxing coach for the People’s Gym in Heywood.

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Whilst the professional boxing community seems to be anticipating a bunch of fights that might never happen, this one might have slipped under your radar as the man hasn’t been active for a long while with some expecting him never to step foot in the ring again (other than coaching).

I am talking of course of Heywood’s own Nathan Farrell, Coach and all round part of the furniture at The People’s Gym. A superb amateur Farrell wowed the crowds as a youngster and won the East Lancs Championship, North West Championship and National Finals. Engaging the crowd in all these events Nay would go on to show that not only could he stand and tear up with the best but there was also a big boxing brain rattling around his noggin that allowed him to not only power through but also bamboozle opponents and show the naysayers he was a force to be reckoned with

A Hiatus came next as he elected to help Brother Kieran out as he turned pro, always ready to help Nathan went around the country and saw there was a chance for him to do the same. Tragedy as it so often does, struck as Kieran was injured during a bout with Anthony Crolla. Nathan, selfless as always was by his brother’s bedside and helping with the recovery. The Peoples Gym setup was next as like a phoenix from the ashes Kieran went from strength to strength with Brother Nathan by the side and established one of the better gyms in the region.

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During this time tragedy would hit the younger Farrell as during a football game (for local side (and champions) Avenue FC, Nathans knee would be virtually destroyed and a career that was due to start again looked to be over, whilst many of us may have walked away Nay threw himself into the gym and began training with the amateurs selecting those that would show the same dedication he had and expected of his charges.

Taking this on shown a dedication to a sport that can be as brutal as it is beautiful Nay molded some great fighters from the surrounding areas. Chief amongst them would be future North West champion Acacia Barron whose natural skill was enhanced and maximized by the strict regime set out by the younger Farrell climaxing in her selection for the England Elite squad. A stint away from the gym would follow as Nay came to terms with the doctor’s opinion that his knee would forever be ruined. As the saying goes, ‘you can’t keep a good man down,’ and he would soon be back upping the ante by working with professionals and turning round careers that had started to stutter and changing the mind-set of fighters that needed a touch more defense to really show their skills. (I must also note he was (and is) a wealth of experience to a coach that continues to learn from him to this day (cheers buddy.) Whilst sparring and training these behemoths of the North West, Farrell discovered the hunger was still there, the skill was still there and more importantly his knee could hold up. A couple of tweaks to a regime he’d followed years before and he put himself forward to get in shape and see if he still had ‘it’.

Dedication and hard work got him down to fighting weight but it was time to start stepping it up again in the ring and see if he really could float with the ‘big boys’. If ever there was any doubt videos started appearing on social media showing that he had it in spades, with many a pro jumping in the ring just to see if they could lay a glove on the natural nobody could and the fire that was burning turned into a raging inferno. Imbibed with a belief that his destiny was his to grab hold of Nathan went forward for his license and medical and was cleared to fight. The date was set for the 02nd Mar and the tickets flew out the door. As with everything in Nathans life nothing is quite as easy as it seems, and a few days before the BBBofC notified him that his license would not come through on time. Lesser men may have crumbled and thrown the towel in but Nathan is definitely not one of them and vowed to be back and more than that to make it up to those that were salivating at his return.

He is in great shape waiting the announcement that will start him on the road to what I and many others believe will be world titles. His journey to eat has not been as easy as he would have liked but he will tell you himself it has made him hungrier and harder to what he believes must come to pass. Something shown in a quote from him to the detractors that often buzz around those that can do the things they cannot.

‘Oh and just one more thing then. Do you think its coincidence or chance that Nathan Farrell was able to prove 2 knee surgeons wrong? Get his knee moving again struggle every day, but yet still throw down inside a boxing gym? Do you think that’s chance? I’ve not met another man who could come back from what I have come back from and when I make my debut, do you really think I’m going to lose? Really? I’m Kieran Farrell’s brother am I not? We lay it on the line and we get to straight to it? I’m coming back to show you how it’s done and I’ll be disappointed if I don’t destroy your perceptions of me.’

Kieran’s response says what those of us that know really know.

“I don’t know another man that can come home from work, eat shit everyday eat Ben n Jerry’s, not train & yet if I asked you to come up tomorrow to spar you’d still school everybody and anybody. It shouldn’t be possible; it’s just a different level”


As soon as the debut is confirmed, your damn right I’ll be posting it everywhere if there’s one thing you’re waiting for this year, make it this. As said above, forget those dancing around their rivals and watch a man that will take this sport by its bollocks and turn it on its head and be absolutely massive.


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