Johnny Eames, who is one of the UK’s most successful professional boxing manager-coaches of recent years, started boxing at the age of 18 for Broad Street ABC.
During his time as an amateur boxer Johnny had 45 fights with 20 wins and boxed such luminaries as former WBC light heavyweight Champion Les Stewart and former British and European Champion James Cook.
Johnny then spent 18 years as an amateur coach, 12 years with West Ham, alongside Micky May, and had coached a high level of national amateur Champions during this time.
In 2002 Johnny successfully applied for his British Professional coaching license. In 2006 Johnny moved into management and event promotion, and then in 2006, with backing from long time team sponsor Tony Brinton, opened the TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town, London, as a base for his stable of Champions, which included no less than two World Champions – Kevin Lear and Graham Earl – five British Champions, one Commonwealth Champion, one English Champions and seven Southern Area Champions.
By 2010 the TKO had in excess of 45 professional boxers based there, including the WBO World Champion Billy Joe Saunders, IBF International Champion Kevin Mitchell, British Champion Leon Williams etc. based at the gym, as well as attracted top coaches, such as Jimmy and Mark Tibbs.
The TKO Gym soon became rated as the #1 Professional Boxing Gym in the UK and in 2011 received the accolade of being rated the #3 Boxing Gym in the World, only surpassed by Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in California, USA and Kronk’s Gym, in Detroit, USA.
Even though he had decided to concentrate on the management and coaching of his ever growing stable of boxers, Johnny and his team successfully promoted numerous boxing events under the TKO banner, as well as co-promoted events with Frank and Eugene Maloney, Bruce Baker and Graham Earl.
In late 2010, Johnny and TKO business partner Gianluca Di Caro became aware of a local issue regarding disadvantaged youngsters in the borough and created TKO Educational – a specialized unit that assisted youngsters who had attendance and other problems that had virtually excluded them from receiving standard education at local schools.
Johnny and Gianluca, with support from Newham Council’s Sharon Grainger, recruited a team and set aside an area within the TKO gym specifically to assist these youngsters. The project was a huge success and during the two years the project operated some thirty young peoples lives were enhanced and many went on to successfully re-integrate into the educational system.
Johnny and Gianluca also created TKO Amateur Boxing Club, due to an increase in amateur boxers requesting training at the TKO, as well as to provide a proven sporting project to assist the youngsters involved in the TKO Educational project.
During this period Johnny and Gianluca became Patrons of the Indee Rose Trust, which provides care packages for youngsters suffering from brain and spinal tumors.
Part of the TKO support for the Indee Rose Trust are regular fund raising events, such as the TKO Boxers & Celebrities Charity Football Tournament, which attracted all the top UK boxers, such as Ricky Hatton, David Haye, Kevin Mitchell, Nathan Cleverly, Ricky Burns etc, and celebrities to compete. The tournament raised in excess of £60,000 for the Indee Rose Trust over a three year period.
In addition the World Boxing Union Europe partnered with the TKO, for a special Charity Boxing event, that featured many former WBU, British, European and Commonwealth Champions, to raise further funds for the Indee Rose Trust.
For the London 2012 Olympics, the TKO gym hosted the Russian Olympic Boxing Team as well as became a regular interview location for the Olympic coverage of the boxing, especially the newly introduced Female Boxing at the London 2012 Olympics, not just because the TKO Gym actively encourage female participation in the sport, by offering female only classes and training, led by British #1 ranked Female Professional Boxer Marianne Marston, who coincidently had been commissioned by the BBC News Worldwide to review the Female Boxing throughout the Olympics, but also as the TKO Gym was a World Class training facility that was just a short distance from the Olympic Park.
In November 2012, the TKO Gym’s lease at Canning Town came to an end and was not renewed.
In December 2012 Johnny was awarded the accolade of ‘Sports Person of the Year’ by the British Boxing Board of Control.
In 2013, Initially the TKO team transferred to a temporary location in Hackney, however this was short lived and Johnny and Gianluca decided to take a step back whilst trying to secure new permanent facilities, this see the coaching of the TKO stable of fighters move to Newham Boys Club, and then in 2017 the dynamic duo moved the TKO Boxing Gym once more, following joining forces with Pastor Obinnaya Onyeabor of the Hope Family Centre in order to provide the local community with the highest quality boxing and fitness facilities in Barking on the Essex/East London borders.