Jack Raines

Reece Macmillan
“Training with John is hard, very hard!  That man is old school!  But if you want to make it to the top that's what you need to do” says Jack Raines, a 23 year old super featherweight who is preparing for his debut on May 7th.  He has made his coaching choices wisely by teaming up with John Cole and Charlie Rumbol, two men with a wealth of knowledge in the sport.  “Charlie brought John on board.  He's still part of the team but he has a lot of commitments with his amateurs as well whereas John has the time to take me out and about and get me great sparring.”

Raines is learning the hard way what it takes to be a pro boxer.  He had a successful amateur background, 40 wins from 50 fights, where he was able to make it to numerous finals and beat some notable names.  Now he is discovering the graft it takes to be a professional.  “Some days I leave the house at eight in the morning to go to the gym with Charlie.  From the gym I go to pick John up and go to Greenwich Park and then go sparring.  Some days I do twelve hours including all the travelling about, but you're not going to get results unless you do that kind of thing.  Where I live there isn't much there, I have to go to Greenwich to get that kind of fitness. You have to put it in to get it out.  John said 'you'll hate me by the end of this camp' but he's a good trainer!”

Raines is accepting that he is learning the hard way, two task masters in Rumbol and Cole who are treating him with tough love.  That breaking in method though is what he accepts that he needs.  After his amateur career he participated in some unlicensed bouts, winning all of them and picking up a belt on the way.  As he tells me though, he didn’t feel fulfilled from the challenges.  “I wanted to take it another step, that wasn't for me.”
In preparation for his May 7th debut, Raines has been taking in what it means to be in the paid ranks of boxing by joining his trainer Cole at events.  As he tells me, it has been an eye opener and given him an important education before he makes his own start in the profession.

“I've been going to shows with John, watching him do the hands and that in the dressing room.  We've been getting out and about, seen Danny Parsons box as well, just learning the game.  It's a different ball game to the amateurs.  When you go to those shows you take in so much from it, you can see the insights.  It's only since I got my pro licence I've been going to these shows, you see the different light of things rather than watching it on TV.  I got to speak to a few journeymen too, see how they think.  One of them knocked Josh Nelson out and I got to chat to him after.  The journeyman said the fight was won early, he wasn't looking for him, he was just going to get the rounds out the way as he was fighting next week but the kid has walked onto one.  It was a good bit of knowledge.”

It shows a maturity to Raines; there aren’t many newly turned professionals who would complete such diligence prior to stepping between the ropes.  The research into the journeyman mentality could prove priceless, his own debut opponent being one who has gone down the route of travelling for fights and picking up losses.  Although Raines doesn’t know a lot about him yet, he is confident that his training camp has been sufficient to stand him in good stead.  “The lad is from Sheffield, had 57 pro fights and is a bit of a journeyman” says Raines.  “I've not been feeling too good the last couple of days but training has gone well, I started my camp in November for this fight so I've had good preparation.  I was booked to fight in March but didn't think I would be ready.  I've got two days next week sparring then I'm done, just chilling and tuning up.  I've sparred 54 rounds in the build up to this so it's gone well.  I'm running at Greenwich Park most days with John Cole and I'm training in the morning with Charlie Rumbol as well.”
The debut will come at York Hall on May 7th on the Goodwin Boxing show ‘No Excuses’, headlined by Johnny Garton versus Ryan Fields for the English welterweight title.  It is a place that Raines has boxed at before but this time he will be hoping for a better result.  “I've only ever boxed at York Hall once, as an amateur.  I lost in the schoolboys semi-finals but I haven't boxed there since.  It's a big occasion” he says.  The link up with Goodwin Promotions came via his trainers Rumbol and Cole as well as word of mouth from within the boxing community.  “There are a lot of local boxers, the likes of Adam Dingsdale and that, I asked around them.  A few of my mates said to go with Steve Goodwin as he's a good man.  Charlie Rumbol too, he said to go with Steve.  I got his number and we had a meeting then I signed management and promotion contracts.  Everyone says he's the good guy in boxing and who I should go with.”

Raines has a good team around him.  With Rumbol and Cole taking on training duties as well as having teamed up with one of the most forward thinking small hall promoters in the sport, he is also given the backing of sponsors who enable him to concentrate on his boxing at all hours  “I'm a full time boxer, training is all I do” says Raines.  “I have two sponsors who pay for anything I need which is great.  There's Southern Commercials and SB Landscapes.  Southern Commercials have adopted me, they pay for anything I need like training equipment and camps.  They've been great taking the pressure off me and I really appreciate it.”  It is a position many new fighters would envy and gives Raines the best opportunity to achieve his goals.

Those goals are modest at present.  He tells me it is a case of taking each fight as it comes for now before potentially looking at title fights towards the end of next year.  That realistic and measured view is in line with everything that Raines has said to me.  He is balanced, accepting that he is going to have to put in long hours and hard work now to give himself the base that he needs to go on and succeed.  Those that he has surrounded himself with are of the highest calibre and he can put his faith in getting opportunities under the Goodwin Boxing banner.  No doubt Raines will suffer the same nerves and apprehension as any debut fighter on May 7th, but get that fight out of the way and he can start to plot where his next step in the sport lies.