What’s your training camp regimen?
For this fight I’ve been training 6 days a week, twice sometimes 3 times a day. I’m usually in the boxing gym early morning for my regular training which usually on non-sparring days entails 30 minutes of shadow boxing, 12 rounds of heavy bag work, circuits and ab work. Then a 15 minute jump rope to conclude. I have at times hit the heavy bag for an hour non-stop to push my limits. I’ve been sparring 3 days a week. In the evening I do my road work 3.5-6 miles or sprints. In the evening I also go to a local gym for my strength & conditioning work.
Where do you envision your boxing career 5 years from now?
In the next five years I envision myself as a world champion, I see myself in my physical prime and taking full advantage of that. I aim to be having big TV fights and big money fights in the next 5 years.
How did you get started in boxing?
I was always a fighter, I have always had a passion for fighting from a young age. From as young as I can remember, it always meant a lot to me to be the best fighter among my peers, whether that was in school, for my football (soccer) team or just among my friends. My father was always a big boxing fan and he had an extensive background in karate which he taught me and my brothers from a young age. At the age of 11 my mother brought us a small boxing gym which was working out of an old school called Eaglesfield in south London and that’s where it all began.
When did you turn pro? How long did you spend in the amateurs?
I turned pro in December 2010, I was an amateur for 10 years. I feel this was good for me, I learned the sport, how to train properly, the commitment needed and the mental state required. I won a national tournament as an amateur, was several times London champion and at the end of my amateur career, I won a small international tournament. My focus in boxing was always the pro game, I’ve always worked and strived to make myself the best professional that I can be.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in the pros? In the amateurs?
I think the most important thing that I have learned in boxing pro and amateurs is hard work, commitment, self belief and patience. I feel that without those it’s hard to succeed in this sport professionally or in the amateurs. Success in this sport doesn’t come overnight but if you work hard, commit your life physically and mentally to it, believe in yourself and be patient to let things fall into place as they are supposed to, it’s a formula for success.
What’s the most challenging moment you’ve faced in boxing?
I would say the most challenging moments in my career came in the amateurs. I got a few bad decisions and didn’t win some tournaments I felt I could have won. At that age I wasn’t as strong mentally so it made me change my fighting style at times to suit what I thought would help me win, and also I questioned myself more and thought hard about why I was getting such ‘bad luck’. But having overcome that, I grew mentally and physically and now any other blocks in the road are much easier to overcome. I’m full of self belief and that for me is the key element.
You moved from UK to Brooklyn five years ago? Has that helped your career?
I would say it has helped my career ten fold. I had good options to turn pro in England but what I was ultimately looking for is to be in the most competitive pool of fighters possible with the best possible training available in order to push myself to the limit, bring the best out of myself and truly test my ability. I feel living in America has done that so far. Of course there’s always room for improvement in and out of the ring, but I think I’m on a path and in a country that can bring the best out of me career wise.
What active fighters do you respect most and why?
I respect all fighters with the courage to jump in the ring, professionally or amateur. It takes a lot of guts to do what we do and I respect anybody who can do that. Fighters I particularly look up to and feel I learn a lot from are Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Floyd Mayweather, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Bernard Hopkins, Manny Pacquiao, Mike Tyson – the list goes on and on. I pride myself on watching and learning from all the great fighters who have come before me. Some don’t necessarily have the same or similar style to me, but there is something to be learned from all the greats, physically and mentally. For that reason I watch a lot of great fighters and learn from them all in different ways.