NORTH-EAST boxing coach Gary McCrory is hoping to see one of his charges win the British Super-Middleweight Championship, on Saturday.

Derwentside's answer to Don King, Gary, brother to former IBF World Cruiserweight Champion Glenn McCrory, never quite became a true big hitter himself, but this weekend he could see his 25-year-old charge, Alex Mason, clinch the Lonsdale belt live on satellite TV.

The main event on Saturday night's Sky Sports boxing schedule, Alex's bout with David Starie will be the culmination of years of blood, sweat and tears by the unassuming Annfield Plain coach.

Alex, a 12-stone powerhouse originally from the West Midlands, approached father-of-two Gary, and asked him to coach him, after hearing of his burgeoning reputation with amateur and professional fighters alike.

Gary, who spends an hour a day turning raw teenage talent into genuine big hitters at North Road Gym, in Catchgate, had 14 fights as a professional in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

He said: "It's really exciting. I find it unbelievable to think that we are going into such an important fight with a real chance.

"Since I started coaching Alex about seven months ago, the kid's done everything I've asked. I couldn't be happier with his progress.

"He comes up to Derwentside for his training, so I think the people of the North-East should get behind him at the weekend."

Alex's 15 rounds with David Starie, the British Super-Middleweight Champion, will probably be the most high-profile event in the lives of coach and prodigy.

Alex said: "Since I've been coming to the North-East, Gary has shown me a few new moves, and spent more time with me than anyone before.

"I've never been on TV before so I would like as much support as possible, especially from the people of the North-East."