After spending nearly five years training boxers across Europe, Maine’s native son Joey Gamache has equal success in New York City as a reputable trainer.
Gamache has been training undefeated, lightweight Teofimo “The Takeover” Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs), who recently scored a huge upset against Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) in a unanimous decision in a 12-round donnybrook in Las Vegas. IBF titleholder Lopez, a Brooklyn, N.Y. native, also won the WBA, WBO and WBC titles from Lomachenko.
Of course, Gamache wasn’t surprised with Lopez’s hard-fought victory over Lomachenko.
“It was huge,” Gamache said from his home in New York City. “It was a big achievement.
“I started working with him last December when he won the world title against Richard Commey. The manager asked me if I was available to work with him, train with him. I said, ‘Yeah.’ His father (Teofimo Lopez Sr.) is the head trainer. I am the assistant trainer.”
According to cbssports.com, Lomachenko was well on his way to winning the final round with his early, clean combinations until Lopez slowed down Lomachenko with a devastating left hook and followed up with numerous power shots of his own until the final bell.
Lopez told cbssports.com reporter Brian Campbell: “”Honestly, it was just to keep pressuring him. That’s all you have to do. Use the jab and never give him the opportunity to set up. Every time he wanted to throw, I had something for him to break his momentum. He was coming off a 14-month layoff and I knew it was going to take him a long time to catch up.”
“He is definitely on a fast track. He was an Olympic trials champion,” Gamache said. “He was a national Golden Gloves champion. He fought in the Olympics. He is one of those guys you can move fast — a special fighter. You can see that in him — (like) Roberto Duran.”
Gamache is also impressed with Lopez’s intelligence in the ring and his ability to knock houses off foundations with his fists.
“I like his boxing IQ,” Gamache added. “He is very smart, intuitive. He is a guy that can punch, a great puncher. You know, like Duran — the hands of stone. This kid is a huge puncher.”
HE’S A TRAVELING MAN
Gamache is back in Manhattan working for the Bout Fight Club, and he considers himself fortunate.
“There have been gyms closed due to this pandemic,” Gamache pointed out. “Some of them have been struggling before, and then with this pandemic, it just closed them.
“I don’t stay at one gym. I had a house gym I was working out of, but that closed down. And now, like I said, I was in New Jersey … with Lopez, and then I went to Vegas the week of the fights.”
Gamache leaves at the drop of a hat when a boxer needs a reliable trainer. He is also working with heavyweight Otto Wallin, who fought Tyson Fury back in Sept. 2019.
The boxing champion from Maine was living the dream training professional fighters all over Europe before he returned to the States.
“Yeah, I’ve been busy,” Gamache said. “It has really paid off a lot. I love Maine. It is home. They have been so great to me there. It was tough for me to leave and missing my family and all that.
“I had to get through that and ultimately that’s what I needed to do. So it is all coming to fruition now. Everything is happening.”
Gamache will return to Europe, but not on a full-time basis.
“I am sure I will go back for fights, but not to live there,” he said. “It was kind of an experience that I could not pass up. It was an opportunity to work with top fighters and travel the world — Bulgaria, Portugal, Spain, England, Germany, Sweden, Norway. I lived in Denmark. I did a lot of traveling.”