Boxing coach and manager;
Born: April 21, 1966; Died: September 10, 2013.
Dean Powell, who has died aged 46, was a legendary boxing coach and manager who worked with some of the greats of the sport including Lennox Lewis, Joe Calzaghe and Amir Khan. His charges also included many Scottish boxers including world champions like Alex Arthur.
He could be acerbic, caustic and acidulous in defence of his boxers, but it was a small price to pay for Dean Powell's sage and helpful analytical judgments. In his distinguished career as a boxing matchmaker, manager and ring cornerman, he had a similar role to the one Edinburgh's Bobby Neill fulfilled in the 1980s when he was drafted in to the corner of English world title winners such as middleweight Alan Minter and Lloyd Honeyghan.
In the same way that Bobby Neil could, Dean Powell could read a fight and sum up a situation during a contest smartly and effectively and boxers like world super middleweight legend Calzaghe cherished him for it.
"I was shocked and saddened to hear the news of Dean Powell," said Calzaghe. "He was in my corner for many of my big fights."
Born in Wombourne in Staffordshire, Dean Powell had early connections with the local town of Tipton, home to the 19th century of noted bareknuckle boxer William Perry. The young Dean worked there for a local crystal and electrical firm while developing his interest in boxing at various levels.
He combined collecting boxing programmes with learning his boxing backroom skills in the 1980s at amateur level at the Tipton and Thomas amateur boxing club and also at a similar club in Dudley.
Among Mr Powell's early success stories after becoming a trainer and manager was middleweight champion, Darren McDermott, whom he trained from the age of eight up to championship success. McDermott fought professionally 22 times under Mr Powell's expert guidance.
However, it was after moving to London that Dean Powell's career and great reputation among professional boxing people reached its apogee - not least because he won the trust and respect of leading British boxing promoter Frank Warren who worked closely with Mr Powell as he plotted the careers of Joe Calzaghe, Amir Khan, and Scotland's Alex Arthur, to name a few. So successful was Dean Powell that he became internationally renowned not only in Europe, but also in the USA and Ghana.
Recently, he had been working closely with Frank Warren's Queensberry Promotions and a company spokesperson expressed both shock and deep regret at his passing. British Boxing Board secretary, Robert Smith, said: "Dean Powell was a well known, much respected, figure in British and international boxing circles - we are all very sad at his death."
London 2012 bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo also paid tribute to Powell, saying: "Shocked and saddened to hear about the death of Dean Powell. Boxing has lost a great guy."
Also among the tributes was one from Julia Skeete, the wife of welterweight Bradley Skeete, whom Powell managed. Boxer's wives can sometimes have an uneasy relationship, bordering on open hostility, with their spouse's managers, but this was not the case with Dean Powell. Mrs Skeete said: "Heaven's gates opened for a very kind loyal and lovely man-Dean Powell."
Similarly, former British world heavyweight champion, Lennox Lewis was known to have had issues with several members of his backroom team but it is a tribute to Dean Powell, who worked with Lewis, that he had such esteem for Powell's help and advice and his contribution to the former Olympic gold medallist's glorious catalogue of achievement.
However, it would be wrong to portray Dean Powell as an elitist in boxing circles despite his many connections to champions at the top of the game. He was just as concerned about promoting the career and welfare of much lesser known boxers.
Just a few days before his death, for example, he was in the corner of the relatively unknown heavyweight Ian Lewison when he won the vacant English heavyweight Southern Area crown at London's York Hall, stopping opponent Jamie Dallas inside two rounds.
On the same bill was another lesser known boxer JJ Ojuederie, who received the same skilled, professional input as some of Dean Powell's more illustrious charges such as former world champions Nigel Benn and Ryan Rhodes.
All his boxers were the same to Dean Powell and worthy of the same respect and attention - irrespective of their status within boxing's often quite rigid hierarchy.
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