THE SHOW MUST GO ON
I’m ambitious and motivated beyond belief. Boxing is my profession, but it does not define me as a person. Every sportsperson has a relatively short career, therefore we have to achieve what we can in quite a short space of time whilst maximising our earning potential.
I’m one of the best boxers in my weight division in the world, which is a great feat in itself, but my talent still has so much more to give. I’m hungry for success in and out of the ring.
I find myself far more respected in America than in Britain, but that suits me just fine, as that has always been a near impossible feat for a British boxer.
Great British boxers like Lloyd Honeyghan, Ricky Hatton, Nigel Benn, Lennox Lewis and currently Carl Froch and Amir Khan have that stateside respect.
Very few British boxers in the last 30 years have campaigned over there and won against world rated opponents.
I am one of a small but elite British club!
I have great people around me who inspire me. Mr Isola Akay started All Stars boxing club in 1974. He has gone on to produce many amateur champions. The Queen awarded him an MBE in 2000. He will be walking with the Olympic torch on July 26th through Kensington. He started All Stars with an inspired dream, hard work and little else.
I still train at All Stars for the simple fact that I was inspired by Mr Akay and his son, former British champion and Olympian Tee Jay Akay, as an eight year old kid.
Now I serve to inspire the young boxers as they see me training amongst them. They motivate me even more to keeping achieving my goals.
Failure is not an option for me. It doesn’t matter where you come from it is all about where you are going in life.
The ‘Great Ones’ always have minor setbacks, but that is why they are great, because they always find a way to bounce back. I feel that I have greatness within me.
What I have achieved so far in my career has been great by anyone’s standards. Very few fighters have achieved what I have done without a promoter. It is unheard of.
David Haye is the only British fighter who has achieved more than me without a promoter backing him.
Most British fighters would love to have the career that I have had so far.
I’ve beaten WBC world number nine and former WBO world champion, DeMarcus Corley, and two time world title challenger, Delvin Rodriguez, in America. I dropped a split decision to current WBC world champion, Danny Garcia, in 2010, which many people thought I won.
Danny next fights Amir Khan.
I have won the IBO International title and the British title. I have been right up there as world number four.
Maybe I am greedy, or maybe I am just never satisfied, but I have so much more to accomplish, in and out of the ring.
I loved being British champion, as I am a proud Londoner, but it was so hard to motivate myself for fights with Nigel Wright, Steve Williams, Jason Cook, Ben Murphy and Darren Hamilton after fighting Danny Garcia, Delvin Rodriguez and DeMarcus Corley.
If Lenny Daws wins the European Union title against Ville Piispanen then he can perhaps earn himself a rematch against me?
I so want to fight the world’s best at 140lb and 147lb fighters; be it Marcos Maidana, Kendal Holt, Humberto Soto, Lamont Peterson, Andre Berto or Victor Ortiz.
All top athletes lose be it tennis players, sprinters, footballers or swimmers, but the best always come back big. Even the mighty Usain Bolt lost in the recent Jamaican Olympic trials (twice!), but you wouldn’t bet against him coming back large at London 2012.
When I lost to the current WBC world champion, Danny Garcia, in 2010, I came straight back by winning the IBO International title in Germany, and beating the IBF world number three, Delvin Rodriguez, in America.
I dropped a very controversial decision in my last fight. Sky Sports commentator and former world champion, Jim Watt, Boxing News and boxing fans up and down the country, thought I’d won, but bad decisions have been rife in boxing in 2012; along with corruption and boxers taking performance enhancing drugs.
Our beloved sport is in desperate need of a real ‘clean up’.
I’ve been very hard done by, but I’m not the first or last boxer it will happen to. Sadly it has become a regular feature of contemporary boxing, so nowadays you just have to accept the odd bad decision in your career and move on.
Britain’s number one promoter, Frank Warren recently provocatively commented that there are “corrupt officials in the British Boxing Board of Control” who govern the sport in Britain. Let’s just leave that well alone.
America is calling me! Just watch how I come back. I’m still rated as one of the best fighters in the world, and I feel I’m just behind Amir Khan in Europe in the 140lb division.
My stock is still high in America, as only this week Golden Boy Promotions asked if I would take the place of WBA 140lb regular champion, Marcos Maidana, in his proposed fight against Keith Thurman at welterweight which was to be televised by HBO, as part of Adrien Broner’s title defence on Saturday 21st July.
Marcos pulled out of the fight as he was not happy to be a ‘stepping stone’ for Thurman.
Unfortunately I’m weighing 159lbs now as I’m training for an August date in America.
Promoters in California, New York, Minnesota and North Carolina have all recently expressed their willingness to have me on their shows.
The love and respect I get in America means everything to me.
That is why I started boxing, because of the love I had for American boxing. Stars like Mike Tyson, Pernell Whitaker and Marvin Hagler lit a huge fire inside me. My desire and passion has always been to be in big fights in America.
Boxing fan and Britain’s number one tennis star, Andy Murray, missed out on becoming the Wimbledon champion over the weekend. It was not for lack of effort or guts. He is down, but he is nowhere near out. I believe he will win that elusive and much coveted Grand Slam one day soon, after being a finalist on four occasions now. He got to the finals of the US Open and the Australian Open twice, and now Wimbledon!
Roger Federer has now won Wimbledon seven times. He put on a master class of talent and resolve. He is one of the greatest players, if not the greatest that has ever played the game.
My old amateur friend, David Haye, is fighting my gym mate, Dereck Chisora, this Saturday at Upton Park.
David is proven on the world stage, and has been an inspiration to me throughout my professional career.
He has been the WBO, WBC & WBA cruiserweight champion, along with being the WBA heavyweight champion. He is one of Britain’s best fighters over the last thirty years.
Dereck Chisora lost his British title last year, and since then has put in two great performances. He was clearly robbed against Robert Helenius in Finland for the European title. That fight was one of the best heavyweight fights I have watched since the days of Lennox Lewis.
Dereck then pushed Vitali Klitschko all the way in a war of attrition, when he challenged for the WBC heavyweight world championship.
30,000 people will be packed in the stadium with potentially hundreds of thousands watching on BoxNation.
This is the biggest fight in Britain since Lennox Lewis came from behind to stop Britain’s most loved boxer, Frank Bruno.
I wish both fighters the very best for Saturday.
“Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Gandhi