BRITAIN’S GOT (140lb) TALENT
On Monday Frank Maloney announced that I would be defending my British title against Liverpool’s Steve Williams at Aintree racecourse, in his hometown.
Also on the show are David Price and Sam Sexton who battle for the vacant British heavyweight title, which Tyson Fury gave up instead of facing David Price. Former British light welterweight champion, Lenny Daws will fight ‘Prizefighter’ winner, Adil Anwar, in a British title eliminator for the honour to challenge the King.
This means my last two fights will have meant travelling to my opponent’s back yard. That is all in a day’s work for a true champion, and champion I am. I fully believe and trust in my talent. A ‘ring is a ring’, as far as I am concerned. I have fought all over the world, and sparred in some of the toughest gyms in America.
I’m always ready, willing and able to meet the toughest of challenges. This will not be easy, no fight is, but it will not be at all tough.
Amir Khan will also be fighting on the same night against Lamont Peterson in Las Vegas, for the title he lost controversially on December 10th, the same night I knocked out Ben Murphy, with no room for controversy.
Amir Khan and I will now have fought on the same night in our last three fights, as we both fought on July 23rd when I beat Jason Cook and he beat Zab Judah.
Every week, the American fight fans I meet tell me to ditch the Lonsdale belt, and come back to America to campaign against the world’s best again. They tend to feel my talent is somewhat wasted against the likes of Lenny Daws, Jason Cook, Ben Murphy and Steve Williams.
They just don’t get the sense of achievement and history that winning the Lonsdale belt means to a British fighter.
Before I won the British title by beating the champion Lenny Daws, I was number four welterweight in the IBF rankings, and I had fought WBC world champion, Danny Garcia, IBF world number three Delvin Rodriguez, former world champion and current world number fourteen, DeMarcus ‘Chop Chop’ Corley. I was a bona fide world level fighter, and still am. All my best performances have come in America, and I still have yet to hit my peak.
A big credit to promoter Frank Maloney, who has put together a first class bill; it has to be the best by far in Europe in 2012. Two British title fights and four English title fights. That is real entertainment and huge value for money.
This week I took a day off for the first time in a month. I went ‘full on’ for thirty one days straight. That included one hundred and fifteen hours of incremental improvement training, raising the bar on a daily basis. What you put in is what you get out. I never leave anything to chance in the lead up to a fight.
Lenny Daws knows better than anyone exactly what Steve Williams is up against. He beat Steve a couple years back, and I completely dominated Lenny from the third round in our encounter, nearly knocking him out in the ninth round. Even with home advantage, and an arena full of strong support, Steve Williams will unfortunately still get knocked out.
Steve has the perfect setting to become British champion in front of his fans, but he has the most experienced junior welterweight in Britain other than Amir Khan, in the opposite corner to him. Sometimes having home advantage can be a disadvantage, just ask Willie Casey. It only serves to fire me up, as I strive to make every perceived disadvantage an advantage.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m an experienced world level fighter, who travels to fight, and wins no matter how tough the assignment, and no matter how far the destination. Steve is a good, honest pro who will never fight on the world scene, and I will be the biggest and hardest fight in his entire career.
Training camp in America can be tough and unforgiving, but which ever gym in I walk into, I am always surprised to be recognised and respected for what I have achieved. It is perhaps even more astounding when you realise I did it without a promoter and being self-managed.
Steve possesses no tools or technical nous to trouble me. It will be a relatively straightforward nights work come May 19th, after which I will be targeting fights with some of the world’s best fighters; Kaizer Mabuza, Kendal Holt, Humberto Soto, Prawet Singwancha, Marcus Maidana and Victor Cayo to name just a few.
Those of you familiar with my blog know that I’m not one for boasting or ‘puffing out my chest’, but I’m very clear on what I can do, and I’m ready to ‘fire on all cylinders’ and I’m not interested in overtime for this fight. Get ready it’s going to be worth watching.
Danny Garcia won the WBC world super lightweight championship on Saturday night with a rather uninspiring performance against Erik Morales. Ajose Olusegun must have been licking his lips whilst watching that poor performance. I have never been overly impressed by Danny. To this day, despite it being two years since our battle, fight fans still contact me to say they believe I won. Even Danny himself thought I beat him, but what we, or fans believe does not matter.
It is what the judges ringside decide that counts, and sometimes that can be a real shame, as many fighters worldwide have been robbed of victories on foreign territory, or their opponent’s promoter’s show.
It is all part of the sport, and you just have to bear up, continue to believe in yourself, and soldier on.
Since losing to the current WBC world champion, I have won the British and IBO International championships, plus I beat the world number three, Delvin Rodriguez. I am 100% sure Ajose Olusegun will be the WBC world champion this year. Devon Alexander and Timothy Bradley avoided him whilst they were world champions, but Danny has won it at the wrong time, as Ajose is the mandatory challenger and next in line.
It is a shame that I probably won’t get the chance to avenge that loss, as Danny knows I would beat him. Since our fight, he has beaten former world champions Erik Morales, Nate Campbell and Kendall Holt, but ‘yours truly’ gave him his hardest fight to date.
I have one more fight until I win the Lonsdale belt outright, then I’m looking forward to getting back on the world scene. I’m excited at the prospect of fighting the top talented fighters like myself again. I’m desperate for the challenge and adrenalin that I so need, desire and miss.
Two time world welterweight title challenger, Raul Frank, commented this week, that I am “the hardest working fighter” he has seen. That is a huge statement and compliment, as he has seen many world champions and great fighters train at Gleason’s gym. He said that I am capable of “achieving anything right now”, as I have “all the tools to become a world champion”.
WBC world junior welterweight number one, Ajose Olusegun, also always says that I am “the hardest working fighter” he knows. Hard work has got me to where I am today, so I’m obviously doing something right.
Stan Hoffman, manager to over thirty world champions got me my first fight in America. He saw my talent and believed I had “all the attributes to hold a world title”.
Bruce Silverglade, owner of Gleason’s gym in New York has seen world champions come and go at the gym. He says my “work ethic is of a world champion”, and he believes I could go all the way.
Former world champion, Joseph Agbeko, who I sparred with many years ago, believes that “big fights are just around the corner” for me. He is another admirer of my hard work ethic.
I love the fact that I am respected in America. This is where any fighter has to come to really prove his worth, no matter who they are, and believe me, I am doing that.
It is truly a great feeling to be respected by my peers stateside, as they know it is harder for a British fighter to prove his worth here, as so many have tried and failed.
Confucius says “man who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the man doing it”.