John Breen anticipates Prizefighter KO glory for Neil ‘Sinky’ Sinclair – starting with Bradley Pryce

by Brendan Galbraith: The vastly experienced, multi-World Champion trainer John Breen is supremely confident going into next week’s Prizefighter tournament and enthuses that his charge, Neil ‘Sinky’ Sinclair (33-7) is in the best condition of his career and is hitting harder than ever. Breen, who has previously guided the popular Martin Rogan to Prizefighter glory, told me: “I was very confident bringing over Rogie – I am even more confident going over with Neil Sinclair”.

Referring to Pryce’s declaration to yesterday that he will be more prepared with the re-match with “old man” Sinclair, Breen lamented: “Well it is ‘old man with power’ – he is the hardest puncher in the competition… if Bradley Pryce fights the way he usually fights – Sinclair will take him out and take him out very early..

Breen went on to declare that Sinclair has had the best training camp of his career and that he is punching harder than ever. Certainly, Sinclair is entering Prizefighter in a rich vein of form as his last two fights, against Henry Coyle and Janos Petrovics ended in impressive 3rd and 4th round KO’s victories, respectively.

Together, with excellent form and conditioning, an additional ingredient for Sinclair to win Prizefighter is to set up the potential mouth-watering clash with European Champion, Ryan Rhodes. Breen confirmed to me that Frank Warren has told him that Sinclair might be fighting Rhodes. Breen also noted Rhodes’ pick [on Sky Sports last night] of Prince Arron to win Prizefighter: “he (Rhodes) pretends that Neil brings nothing to the table. Sure if Neil wins Prizefighter we will see what he says then”. A post-Prizefighter fight between Rhodes and Sinclair seems a natural route, as both men have frustratingly fell short at World level and are enjoying an Indian Summer in their careers.

In the interview below, Breen elaborates on Sinclair’s training and shares his thoughts on the other contenders, particularly Pryce.

What did you think of last night’s Prizefighter draw?

Bradley Pryce is the least of my worries - it is these other lads, up and coming, I don’t think there is anyone really there to worry Neil. But, Bradley Pryce – Neil destroyed him four or five years ago and I think Neil is punching harder now than he has ever punched. Bradley is just after a bad defeat himself [2nd round KO by Matthew Hall – 2 fights ago]. I am not worried about him (Pryce), we knew we would have to fight him some time to win the competition – so get it over first of all – it makes it easier.

Ok, I know he was a young kid then – his last fight [his last fight was a points win over Micheal Monaghan, before that he suffered the KO loss to Hall] he wasn’t young because he got knocked out in two rounds by someone who wasn’t a puncher.

I have never felt Matthew Hall’s power – but I have felt Neil Sinclair’s power – every punch that Sinclair throws – hurts. It is not just me saying that – anyone that spars him will tell you the same thing [NB: Paul McCloskey recently stated that the toughest spars he has ever had were with Neil Sinclair]. I wouldn’t like anyone to get hurt, but if Bradley Pryce fights the way he usually fights – Sinclair will take him out and take him out very early.

I was talking to Bradley Pryce yesterday and he told me that this time he would be more prepared, as he took the fight with Sinky at short notice and he was young and said things like it was ‘man against boy’ the last time…

…And he was calling Sinclair an old man this time. Well it is ‘old man with power’ – he is the hardest puncher in the competition. Sinclair is in good shape – he is in better shape now than when he fought Daniel Santos [NB: WBO Welter Weight Title challenge in 2000 – Santos won by KO in the 2nd – although Sinclair had Santos on the canvas in the 1st] and is punching harder and is more mature. Neil’s preparation has been brilliant this time.

Seriously, when big Rogie won the Prizefighter heavyweight I was very confident going over with Rogie – I am more confident going over with Neil Sinclair. I genuinely believe Bradley Pryce won’t cause any problems. It is the kids you don’t know – I would be worried more about them. I don’t worry about Bradley because Bradley doesn’t have anything to hurt Sinky – but Sinclair has something to hurt him with.

How has Neil Sinclair’s training gone?

He started off sparring with Stephen Haughian and Willie Thompson. I brought in Jason Quigley (from Donegal) – who was fighting in the All-Ireland Seniors and Willie McLaughlin (Irish Welterweight Champion). McLaughlin and Quigley were down for two weeks. This Prizefighter thing is more of an Amateur Tournament, so these lads were doing three rounds each with him. This is the best training camp I have seen Neil in. He is walking into the gym laughing and cracking jokes all the time – every day and walking out the same way.

Do you think there will be many going over to York Hall to cheer on Sinky?

The phone hasn’t stop ringing – there won’t be hundreds but I know myself there is 40 or 50 going over and Neil told me that there were people ringing him for tickets – I think it is sold out. The Belfast people, any people that love fighters – love a fighter with power – Sinclair has power. I genuinely believe that Sinclair with win this – I have no doubt that he will win it. This training camp here – he is walking into the gym whistling and walking out whistling – so he is enjoying it himself.

What are the plans after Prizefighter for Sinky?

Frank Warren has told me that he might be fighting Ryan Rhodes. Ryan Rhodes, I seen him last night [on Sky Sports] he was saying that he fancies Prince Arron (to win Prizefighter) obviously he can’t say he fancies Neil Sinclair – he pretends that Neil brings nothing to the table. Sure if Neil wins Prizefighter we will see what he says then.

Article posted on 21.02.2010

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