This is MY Moment
My career defining fight is now less than four weeks away.
I’m a big underdog. But, what’s new? When have I not been?
Having been born in one of the poorest parts of London – surrounded by unemployment, crime and poverty and a distinct lack of hope or ambition.
To have got this far is already an achievement in itself.
If I only focused on what people thought of me, I’d stay in bed instead of pushing myself every day. I respect any person who has to work for their dreams and goals. It surely isn’t easy.
Boxing Legend Eddie Mustafa Muhammad had offered me some words of wisdom as three of his world champion fighters, Iran Barkley, Michael Bent and Herbie Hide all caused huge upsets, when they were not given a chance. “You can beat this guy, Ashley.”
I’m privileged to be surrounded by champions Floyd Mayweather, Badou Jack, Ishe Smith, and Roger Mayweather. Positive energy is everything. These guys have achieved what I crave, so their knowledge is something I respect and soak up.
From the moment when four time world champion, Adrien Broner, called me out, back in October, after he reached legendary status with his fourth championship at the age of 26 years old – it’s been ‘go’ time.
I joined my promoter, Floyd Mayweather for his recent London appearance, as part of his European tour, at the London Hilton Hotel on Park Lane.
I did a number interviews with Sky Sports, and many other channels and news outlets.
I’ve put in my work at the All Stars Boxing Club in Paddington, London and I’m finishing it off at the Mayweather Boxing Club here in Las Vegas.
I’m in great shape right now, and I’m looking forward to fight night. It’s going to be extremely hard. I’m not preparing for a boxing match, I’m preparing for an all-out war. From round 1 to 12 inclusive – I expect us to be giving our all.
The champion has gone on the record that he is going to “knock me out within 4 rounds”. Make no mistake, I will be going straight at him. As former world champion, Mickey Bey said “This could be one of the fights of the year.”
Just a week ago, I was in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. for the press conference for my fight.
It was the first time Adrien and I were actually face to face for our fight.
He seems confident. And I’m very confident.
I believe on April 1st – I will be world champion.
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” – Willie Nelson
It’s Always Worth It
What an absolutely amazing week this has been; from the fighters arrivals on Tuesday at the MGM casino hotel to Wednesday, and the fan workout and autograph signing. Without stopping to catch our breath, straight to Thursday, and the undercard press conference. And then Friday, the weigh in and straight down to business on Saturday – Show Time. On Sunday we finished up at Floyd’s mum’s house to celebrate with him and the rest of the team.
This might be the last time I ever get to witness a boxing week this unique and of this magnitude. To be a part of it is something very special.
I sparred hard with Floyd in the lead up to his fight with Andre Berto, former IBF world champion, Ishe Smith, commented that I did better than Berto did against Floyd. I feel hugely privileged to have fought on this historic card. A small but important footnote, I brought about the only British victory on the bill, as George Groves failed in his bid to beat my friend, Badou Jack. Badou proved he belongs with the big boys – Chavez and Bute look like being the two fights that most interest my friend now.
I won for the 39th time during a 12 year career. My 6th straight with Mayweather Promotions. I’m feeling pleased and proud, after all the hard work, the continuous sacrifice not to mention the hard yards. It’s a beautiful feeling to see all the hard work pay off. I’m so hungry and ready for the big fights now. Floyd shared with me a week ago he’d like me to fight Adrien Broner. I’d really relish and love that fight.
Let’s make it happen.
Floyd won his 49th victory on the trot, with the now accustomed masterful display. The very best are always criticised, and Floyd is no different. He beats all comers – making it look easy, but if it was really was so easy a lot of fighters would have achieved such a milestone.
He’s made a breath taking $700 million during his career. $300 million made in his last fight alone against Manny. He’s been the highest paid athlete over each one of the last three years. He stands unique and alone. He has the highest grossing boxing event ever to his name. He brings millions of dollars to Las Vegas. Many still are blind to his giving to homeless people and helping the kids. His foundation is making a positive difference.
He’s about to shortly embark on his European tour soon – don’t be surprised if you see me by his side.
Mission Accomplished! The boss got his 49th win and I got my 39th win.
Destiny Awaits! Stay tuned…
The Eye of the Tiger and the Heart of a Lion
As four weight world champion, Adrien Broner, won his latest world championship, when asked by Jim Gray who he wanted to fight next, he called my name – Ashley Theophane.
On Saturday 5th September, Floyd Mayweather told me at his appreciation dinner party that he wanted to make a fight with me and Adrien, because he believes I can beat him.
Strangely enough, after I had beaten Steve Upsher, I was tempted to ask Floyd for that self-same fight.
In the convoluted world that is elite professional boxing, Steve had fought Andre Berto a year ago. Berto then went on to fight Floyd Mayweather. Steve was then due to fight Broner just before AB got his latest world title shot. So therefore why not AB and me fight next?
Whilst I was on Boxnation TV on Monday 7th September I shared that when I beat Upsher that Floyd said “Broner is next for you”. Boxnation got the exclusive!
Just last week Adrien Broner confirmed he wanted to fight me next as Floyd Mayweather believes I can beat him.
He appears a little nervous about our fight, demanding that it be held in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. But I’m cool with that, as a ring is a ring to me. I’ve been fighting away from home for some time now.
However, I still firmly believe that the MGM Grand in Las Vegas would have been the best place to hold this match, as all the big fights happen there.
I spoke to Floyd Mayweather last week about his interview with Ben Thompson from FightHype.com, when he criticised Adrien after AB said “F*** TMT” during an interview. I know I have Floyd’s support and backing which is great and confirms my own confidence.
Ishe Smith, Mickey Bey and Badou Jack were all big underdogs when they got their respective title shots. None of them were given a chance to win their world title fights. I’m in the same position as them, and also backing myself, which is the hallmark of the TMT fighters.
I’ve been ranked world number 4 and British champion. I’ve fought some really good fighters during my career; world champions Danny Garcia and DeMarcus Corley, world title challengers Delvin Rodriguez and Pablo Cesar Cano, British champion Lenny Daws and European champion Jason Cook. I’ve always done it the hard way.
Now I’m on the verge of my career defining fight, against a young and super talented fighter in Adrien Broner.
I believe 100% I will beat Adrien Broner when the time comes. I have no doubt in my mind.
It doesn’t pay to listen to the ‘doubters and cynics’, but they can serve to spur you on to never give up. But do listen to those that back you and are there for you – the fuel that eternal optimism and a positive mind-set brings makes you stronger and hungrier
My career is a real life British version of the Rocky story – it is now down to me to provide the happy ending.
In Touching Distance …
Fight week is at last here. My opponent on Floyd Mayweather’s undercard is Steven Upsher. He fought Floyd’s opponent, Andre Berto, a year ago. Andre is now obviously fighting Floyd Mayweather so a win will bring me nearer to the big fights I’ve been waiting for and am fully pumped up for.
Adrien Broner was scheduled to fight Steven Upsher recently until he was presented with the opportunity to fight for the WBA world title.
After I get through Chambers I’d love to fight Adrien for the WBA 140lbs world championship if he is successful on October 3rd.
It’s been a really great week of sparring. This camp has been 11 weeks long and it’s been yet another positive camp. Perhaps my best one yet.
I’ve sparred Floyd Mayweather, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Mickey Bey, Steve Forbes and some of the best young fighters America has to offer. It’s been hard and challenging, but as I’m now a veteran in the sport, there isn’t nothing I haven’t already seen or experienced.
I’m used to pushing my body hard and I’m used to being alone. Focused on a dream many boxing people in the UK said wasn’t possible. Because I was prepared to be different and believe in myself – they called me “deluded”.
I met Floyd Mayweather over three years ago and he believed in me from the off. He told me “I’ll get you the fights you want but it’s up to you to win”. Six fights later, over the last two years – five wins. I’m certainly getting better with age.
I never put a limit on what I might achieve. I’m the same age as Serena Williams and she’s the number one female athlete in the world. Floyd Mayweather is 38 years old, he’s the number one male athlete in the world. They have many similarities; both are hugely determined and self-driven individuals that are unjustly criticised by the ill-informed. I guess that’s the price of being the best in your generation.
We all learn that you can’t please everyone. If I had taken notice of the negative comments from some of the boxing press, coaches, managers and promoters in the UK all those years ago – I wouldn’t be where I am today.
So I’m ready to go. Steve Upsher believes he’s coming to upset me. As I said we should believe in ourselves, BUT I’ve sparred better fighters than him this camp. I’ve fought some of the best fighters of my generation from the European scene to the world scene; Danny Garcia, Delvin Rodriguez, DeMarcus Corley, Pablo Cesar Cano, Lenny Daws and Jason Cook. All good fighters and all better fighters than Steve Upsher.
We finished the last week of camp with the Floyd Mayweather appreciation dinner at NOVE restaurant in the Palms hotel and casino.
The Mayweather family BBQ was on the Sunday. We work really hard but we make time to have fun in between.
We are ready to rock and roll.
You can catch me on Boxnation TV giving an interview ringside just before WBC champion Badou Jack fights George Groves and Floyd Mayweather fights Andre Berto.
We are at the business end of proceedings now – let’s get this show on the road.
Anyone can do Easy
Yet another week down and it’s all systems go. It’s been an extremely hard and unforgiving ten week training camp. There is only one more week of hard work and then its ‘fight week’. This is where Las Vegas really comes into its own and the media and fans roll into town.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I watched this type of extravaganza from London as a fan, now I’m not just here but I’m an active part of it. This is more than incredible – some might even say ‘unbelievable’.
I had my own vision, and fuelled that vision by believing in myself. I never knew if it would happen, but I knew I had what it took to get there so I never stopped working.
I was alone for years. I achieved a great amount on my own, but René Carayol witnessed me lifting the British championship at ringside. He really believed that I could achieve so much more. He had a vision of me inspiring kids from humble beginnings like myself that had never had anyone believe in them. In fact it was worse than that – people just didn’t care what became of them.
Ted Baker and Wellman vitamins backed his vision. Wellman vitamins putting me in thousands of magazines and billboards across the United Kingdom. Our partnership with Wellman has gone from strength to strength. They provide me with all the nutritional support that an elite athlete desperately requires and in return I continue to act as an active ambassador for their great products and programmes. We are building something special and will appear together wherever those who aspire to get fit and healthy and remain so gather; trains, buses and who knows, television commercials. We have just signed a two year extension which will take me into 2017 working with this great company, Vitabiotics.
I’ve been part of Floyd Mayweather’s sparring team for this camp, which is something extra special in itself. I’m helping him to get victory 49, which looks like being his last fight ever.
This week we had the busy but essential media week, so I did quite a few interviews with some TV stations and some of the best boxing reporters in the business.
I hit 35 years young on Sunday. I celebrated by having an afternoon of fun in the Las Vegas desert on an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) and fly boarding in Lake Las Vegas. And then the perfect day was finished off with an evening of fine dining with a superb meal at Alize in the Palms Hotel and Casino.
I’m in the final stretch of my career. Every fight is important. I’m so close to victory 39 but I want to reach 50 before I walk off into the sunset. I’m feeling great. Looking great. I’m ready for September 12th.
We are now under three weeks away from Floyd Mayweather’s final fight of his spectacular career. He currently stands at 48 wins and 0 losses.
He’s beaten the best of his generation, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manual Marquez, Manny Pacquiao, Saul Alvarez, Shane Mosley and the list just goes on and on.
It is my privilege and honour to be part of this historic boxing event on Saturday 12th September 2015. This will be my seventh fight with Mayweather Promotions, and the third time I’ve had the pleasure of fighting on Floyd’s show.
The world will be watching again. Old and new media will be arriving from all over the world to grab an interview with Floyd and his team of fighters. The energy and vibe generated by a Floyd fight is unmissable. These events are a sponsors dream – Las Vegas is always packed out. Fans fly in from Europe, America, Asia and Africa make it here. Millions of dollars are generated during the fight week.
There’s nothing like it. This is the third year I’ve had the opportunity to witness these events up close and in person. Representing the United Kingdom and fighting as part of The Money Team is something very special indeed.
I’m going after my 39th victory and I’ll be 35 years old by the time the bell rings.
I’ve been sparring with a bunch of up and coming youngsters this week. They are full of life and hopeful dreams. This ‘old’ boy has taken them into the deep sea on a sink or swim mission, unfortunately, a couple of them drowned in the choppy waters.
As the wise man once said “with supreme confidence, determination and disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms, go after your dreams.”
I’ve always believed in myself whether I could see the end of the tunnel or not, I just kept working and I just kept believing. So many times I could have given up, but I told myself that I’m just going to keep on doing what I’m doing, giving my best and what will be will be.
This mentality lead me away from the relative comforts of London to the harsh reality and competition of New York City then to the home of boxing, here in Las Vegas.
I’ve been officially signed to Mayweather Promotions for two years now.
Who would ever have thought that Ashley from All Stars Boxing Club in Paddington, London would now be an active part of the success of The Money Team here in Vegas?
You Cannot Simulate Desire
The weeks keep getting better. Four weeks from now before I have my 46th professional fight.
I sparred two time Olympic and two time world champion, Yuriorkis Gamboa this week. The last two weeks have seen me work with some quality fighters; Floyd Mayweather and Mickey Bey where two of the fighters I sparred last week. One thing is for certain, my opponents won’t be as good as them.
Training hard is very important, but so is rest and recovery. The Subzero Recovery centre sees me every day. Cryotherapy has helped me tremendously, and I’ve now added ice baths into my routine. The number one entertainment channel in America, TMZ, highlighted just how hard I find these session by broadcasting a video shot by TMT coach Chris. They say all press is good press, no matter how painful the experience.
In my down time I took a thrilling ride to the Grand Canyon by helicopter and then took a calming boat ride across the river, and then had an enjoyable time with a horseback ride once there. I also found the time to go up in a hot air balloon and had some fun go-karting.
It was my ‘cheat’ week so my diet went out the window – Hakkasan, the Eiffel Tower restaurant and the “Top of the world” restaurant in the Stratosphere casino and hotel were three of the Vegas hot spots I treated myself to.
It is now 28 days until I fight on the historic Floyd Mayweather boxing event. This is uniquely billed as his last ever boxing fight. His record is currently 48-0 and he’s going for number 49, which will see him equal Rocky Marciano’s 49-0.
I asked Floyd two years ago when he was training for the Robert Guerrero fight when he was 44-0, if 50-0 was the target. He told me “I never look past the fight in front of me.” If he retires at 49-0 he’s had one hell of a great career, beaten 20 plus world champions in that time and been a five weight world champion. What more could you ask for?!
It’s full steam ahead now, this is a momentous occasion to be a part of.
When I started boxing at the age of 7 years old I had a dream of one day fighting in America. When I was 14 I had my first amateur boxing match and when I was 22, I made my professional debut in 2002. In 2005 I said it was now or never to go to America and see how good am I?
I promised myself to always give my best and I always have. There have been set backs, as there always are in any journey, but I continue to put 110% effort in.
A dream has turned into reality. Against all odds I’m now promoted by the number one boxer in the world.
Dreams can come true.
Keeping Very Good Company
What a way to start my week!
I sparred 8 rounds with Floyd Mayweather, the number one boxer in the world and the highest paid athlete in the world.
It was very hard, but hugely enjoyable at the same time. I’ve seen Floyd stop one sparring partner with him out on his feet and knock another one out cold ‘sleeping’, so Floyd is in great shape already.
This is the sixth training camp I’ve now watched. Floyd continues to work hard and push himself even though he’s accomplished so much. It’s so motivating and inspiring to me.
Mayweather Promotions held a press conference in Los Angeles to announce Floyd’s next showdown. Floyd has beaten the best of his era in Oscar De La Hoya, Saul Alvarez, Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao. This will be his last fight under his current Showtime deal and one that he is saying will be his farewell fight. A win will see him equal Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record.
Floyd has been referred to as Mr 300,000,000 this week. That is what he made for 36 minutes of work in his last fight on May 2nd.
I sparred with the number one lightweight in the world on Thursday, Mickey Bey. We always have great battles during our sessions. Sparring the best is never easy but it’s always worthwhile.
Cryotherapy is something that I have started doing every day now to help my body recover, but I’ve now also started doing ice baths at UNLV University. A very cool 42 degrees Fahrenheit was the temperature it was set to and I was told by Chris, the TMT strength conditioner that was the coldest any of the boxers have done it at. I’m always trying to push my body to its limits. If your mind will allow it your body can do it.
The team finished the week at Caesars palace for the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame; Lennox Lewis, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler and Mike Tyson were all in attendance. Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Roger Mayweather and Muhammad Ali were all inducted. Floyd was awarded the Fighter of the Year and asked for his team to be with him on stage as he gave his speech. It’s the third one and I’ve had the pleasure to attend all three. British boxing legend, Lennox Lewis, wished me well with my career.
It’s been a great week. Five weeks to go until September 12th. I’m looking for to my 46th fight were I’ll look to get my 39th professional win.
It’s been an incredible journey. Who would have thought a boy from Paddington would be living his dream, boxing in the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas, with Floyd Mayweather guiding him – it’s nearly unbelievable.
But one thing my career clearly demonstrates that you must never stop believing in yourself and then, anything is impossible.
What an outstanding week in Las Vegas. Not just the privilege of the second week of being on Floyd Mayweather’s sparring team, but Floyd treated me to a brand new $50,000 Chrystal 300 car. I’m extremely grateful and honoured to be part of his TMT.
The top entertainment station, TMZ, top boxing reporter, Elie Seckbach, and number one boxing website, FightHype.com, interviewed me this week.
Floyd hired out the Circus Circus Adventure dome for the team’s family and friends. He should be headline news for all he does, but somehow his more generous side and his always ‘giving back’ activities never makes the headlines. Good news rarely travels far.
Earlier that night a bunch of us went out for dinner to celebrate Ishe’s 37th Birthday.
I’ve been hugely focused – training hard and getting into tip top shape. I’m waiting on confirmation of my opponent. Mayweather Promotions are still negotiating with a former world champion and top contender. I’m patiently looking forward to the announcement.
Every day I’m at Sub Zero Recovery for some cryotherapy to help my body to recover.
Nate Jones and I have been really putting on some performances during our pad sessions – you should have been there – nothing but blistering hand speed and excruciating power.
On Saturday evening, I attended two boxing shows; one at the Palms Casino Resort and the other at the Mandalay Bay. I bumped into my childhood friend from the amateur’s, former cruiserweight and heavyweight world champion, David Haye. He’s talking about fighting at the end of this year. I like many, will look forward to that.
I ended my week at Wet ‘n’ Wild water park with Ishe and his family. This is part of the necessary relaxation for my body, as we get ready for another hard week ahead of us.
This week has been filled with great media exposure in America. I’ve had a productive and positive week with some great people. Not everything is plan sailing but by now, I know that I just have to roll with it.
Here’s to another great week in Vegas.
Don’t live in the past. You might miss the great things happening in your present.
It’s a Marathon not a Sprint
Training camp is now officially well under way. I had the pleasure of commencing sparring with the pound for pound king himself, Floyd Mayweather, on Sunday. It’s been two years since we last worked together, so it was fun to be the first person he shared a ring with since he dismantled Manny Pacquiao.
Floyd took no prisoners in his first week of sparring, stopping two of his sparring partners. Both are undefeated fighters.
My own week has been very productive. I’ve started my sessions of cryotherapy at SubZero Recovery, Las Vegas to complement the lung sapping track and mountain sessions.
Onlookers in the gym have been praising my training sessions with Nate Jones. Many have been kind enough to state that they have been very impressed with my improvement. At 34 years old – I’m showing that age is just a number.
On Tuesday I had a sparring session with a fighter signed to Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. I bounced him around the ring. Nate jumped in the ring and held me back from inflicting any more punishment on him.
Five weeks until August 22nd when I have my 46th professional boxing match at the Cosmopolitan Casino and Hotel.
The main event is Badou Jack vs George Groves is the main event. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. announced on Saturday that he wants the WBC super-middleweight title. Therefore the winner can look forward to a seven figure purse after this fight.
I spent my Friday night at the Orleans Arena. There was a concert in aid of Scholarships for Students. Some of the best R’n’B acts of the 1990s performed; Keith Sweat, Dru Hill, Frankie J, Next, 112, Silk and H-Town were all amazing. I had a fantastic time. J. Holiday was a special guest and he didn’t disappoint.
I’m in the final stretch of training camp now. This week marks the half way point – No pain, No gain. Time to push myself to the limit.
Every day I’m grateful for everything I have achieved to date. I’m not where I want to be just yet, but I’m getting closer every day.
Enjoy life today, because yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is never promised.