The former England Junior ABA champion is due to box at the Beau Sejour ‘Slugfest’ event in 26 days’ time and he is already shaping up well.
‘It’s great to see Gage back at training and he adds another experienced yet quality member to the squad,’ said Duff.
‘He hasn’t boxed for eight years, but he has made good progression in training, and the quality is still there to see.’
There are a couple of changes he’s going to need to adapt to since he last boxed, Duff said.
Firstly, the removal of headguards, secondly the change from 3 x 2 min. rounds to 3 x 3 minute rounds, and lastly the change in the scoring system from punches landed to the 10-point must system, similar to professional boxing.
‘We’ve been working on these adjustments in training and from what I’ve seen I don’t envisage any problems. He’s adapted well and his fitness/conditioning is considerably good, given his eight-year absence.’
Baker, who previously boxed under the surname Demore, returned to training in mid-July and eight weeks later, it would be hard to believe he’s been away so long.
‘He’s a smart boxer, likes to counter punch and has great ring awareness,’ said Duff.
‘At the moment the plan is to ease Gage back into the boxing environment slowly and take things one bout at a time. We will analyse each bout, make training adjustments, keep evolving and see what happens. At moment he’s looking to box at 72-73 kilos, but we will see whether that weight is suitable in the coming months and change if necessary.
‘He’s in a good environment to progress, with the number of coaches on hand, plus sparring with the likes of Billy [Le Poullain], Casey [de la Mare] and Chris [Sumner] will bring out the best in him.’