"You just let us know what you need" was the first thing Dominic Ingle said as I walked through the doors of the Ingle Gym in Sheffield to cover an assignment for Ring Magazine on one of the legends of the sport.
Dominic's father, Brendan was my subject and I sat with him for about 5 minutes to try and get some ideas for images whilst in the middle of a training session. I mentioned that it was going to be quite hard with so many people in the gym and maybe I could hang around until the s session was over? "we can move whoever you like" he said "I don't want to miss my dinner!"
As I sat watching the 30 or so boxers, who included youngsters of around 6 or 7 years old, huge prospects like Kid Galahad and current World Champion Kell Brook, I noticed that those who weren't in the ring sparring were muttering to themselves as they shadow boxed in straight lines up and down and in between the heavy bags. Dominic explained that they were reciting rhymes and following the patterns on the floor which had been patented by the Ingles.
This was obviously a shot I needed to get. It would only work from an elevated view and standing on the canvas wasn't going to be high enough. I described the shot I was after and Dominic looked around and announced "You'll need a ladder. I'll just pop home and get one for you"
Before I could say don't go to all that trouble he was back with a cold, wet step ladder under his arm asking me where I wanted it. The whole family live in throwing distance of the gym, which is handy being as they run two session a day, seven days a week.
Once I had the shot Brendan returned to his steps beside the ring to take charge of shouting "TIME" and let the boxers know he was ready for them to rotate.
He looked on intently and watched every move of every fighter from their boots to their head-guards and gave short, sharp instructions as he did so.
Having trained such fighters as Prince Naseem and Johnny Nelson, Brendan obviously has a good reputation in the business but above everything else I would call it respect. Not one fighter left without saying "thank you" and there wasn't a piece of glove tape or a spot of spilt water left once the session had finished.
As well as having respect for their trainers, the boxers were all well mannered and polite to me and Kell Brook was happy to sit for a portrait which I had commissioned by Back Page Images.