The dynamic coaching trio of Brian “Bo Mac” McIntyre, Esau Dieguez and Red Spikes was already known across the boxing world for their success with three-division World Champion Terence “Bud” Crawford, but 2019 has been a breakout year for the team. With the additions of two former world champions, Maurice Hooker and Robert Brant, to their stable and a world title victory for Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring, 2019 was a year to remember for the three-headed monster.
Led by McIntyre, a nominee for the 2019 Boxing Writers award, the Omaha-based coaching team and strength and conditioning coach Jamie Belt are quietly building a boxing juggernaut in Nebraska. The squad went 12-0 in 2019 with victories from Crawford, Herring, Lawrence “BT” Newton, super middleweight prospect Steven “So Cold” Nelson, Cincinnati’s Boubacar Sylla and a year-ending win from Hooker just over a week ago.
Crawford made two successful defenses of his WBO Welterweight title in 2019, stopping former world champion Amir Khan in April and dispatching of formerly unbeaten two-time Olympian Egidijus Kavaliauskas in the ninth round of their championship bout earlier this month. He not only enjoyed wins of his own but also serves as strong presence and mentor for all of his stablemates. Crawford has long sung the praises of his coaches, who’ve been with him throughout his storied career, and he is happy to see them finally start to get the credit and recognition they deserve.
Herring, a 2012 Olympian, received the 2019 Ring Magazine Comeback Fighter of the Year award following his world title victory and first successful title defense in 2019. Herring made a career change in 2018, moving to McIntyre, Spikes and Dieguez following his second professional loss. The coaching and management change completely rejuvenated Herring’s career and after three victories with his new coaches, Herring had his first world title shot in May of 2019. With a renewed spirit and belief in himself, Herring defeated reigning champion Masayuki Ito to win the WBO Super Featherweight World Championship. The U.S. Marine then went on to make his first successful title defense in November of 2019, defeating previously undefeated Lamont Roach by unanimous decision on Veterans Day weekend in Fresno, Calif. With a whole new confidence and devoted team behind him, Herring looks forward to new challenges in 2020 and plans to continue his winning streak with his new team.
The team’s stellar work caught the eye of former world champions, Hooker and Brant. Both boxers made the move to McIntyre and team after recent losses and spent much of the fall in training camp with their new coaching staff. Hooker made his debut with the squad on December 20 and did so in impressive champion. The Texas super lightweight scored a first round knockout in his return to the ring, ending his opponent’s night with a thudding body shot. With his first win under his belt, Hooker is looking forward to returning to world champion status in 2020.
Brant was slated to fight on January 11 but an injury has delayed his return. He is scheduled to be back in the new year.
Following two 2019 victories under McIntyre, Spikes and Dieguez’s tutelage, Nelson will return to the ring in a vacant NABO title bout with Cem Kilic on January 11 in Atlantic City in a co-main event on ESPN.
It’s not solely the coaching staff’s incredible boxing knowledge that is drawing boxers from across the country to Omaha, but the family atmosphere that the coaches and their star pupil provide for everyone who joins the team. In an often-cruel sport, Team Crawford embraces every new member and rejuvenates their drive, motivation and passion for the sport.
While McIntyre’s squad does regular training camps in Colorado Springs, their home base remains the B&B Sports Academy in north Omaha. The academy, which McIntyre and Crawford (Bo and Bud) started together, continues to provide a safe haven for youth in the community. Their amateur team travels to tournaments throughout the nation, giving the athletes valuable experience. The academy welcomes not only competitive boxers but also young people in the Omaha community looking for a healthy environment in which to spend time.
The team is currently completing Nelson’s training camp for his January 11 fight in Atlantic City at the B&B Sports Academy in Omaha and looks forward to topping 2019 with their ever growing stable in 2020.