MMA Interviews

Peter Welch, The Man Behind Florian And Lesnar’s Hands

(Peter Welch, boxing trainer to Kenny Florian and Brock Lesnar in action)

Boston’s Finest Boxing Trainer: Peter Welch

Even though Mixed Martial Arts only recently became legalized in the state of Massachusetts in late 2009, the state has been producing talented MMA fighters for years. One Boston native who has witnessed and contributed to the growth of the sport in his state is boxing trainer Peter Welch. A former golden gloves champion with a 5-0 professional record, Welch runs the F-15 gym in Boston, is Kenny Florian’s longtime boxing trainer and has been helping Brock Lesnar become a more technical striker to prepare him for Shane Carwin at UFC 116.

“I met Kenny before the filming of The Ultimate Fighter,” says Welch, “We connected right before the show started filming. I trained him on the show, and when the show was over, I continued to work with him and help him with his boxing and mechanics.”

Boxing was a quintessential part of Welch’s upbringing, something he started at around the age of nine when his father took him to a local gym in South Boston. Coming from a predominantly Irish-American and Italian-American blue-collar hub, St. Patrick’s Day involved a parade, as well as a huge boxing event involving local boys.

“Whether you became a boxer or not, at some point in your life, your father brought you to that show and you participated in a boxing match. Anyone who has boxed from here usually got their start at the St. Patrick’s Day boxing show.”

Welch points to the tradition of older participants returning to volunteer as organizers and matchmakers, giving back to the community and contributing to the history and culture within the area. He also attributes his own success as a trainer as a direct product of this network.

Everyone knows that there are plenty of great fighters who never reach their full potential. It’s not always because of a lack of talent—the fight promotions, television networks, managers, agents, media and an entire series of intangibles can play deciding factors in how a prospect’s career can unfold.

“Fighting is the easy part,” explains Welch of the extreme difficulty in getting through the politics of boxing to make headway with his career.

With this in mind, even though he was undefeated as a professional, Peter abandoned that road and became a trainer.

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