Why would any British fighter sacrifice a world number 4 ranking to compete solely on the British domestic scene for a year?
It perhaps doesn’t sound commercially astute, but then you’ve probably never met Ashley ‘Treasure’ Theophane, the current British Light Welterweight Champion.
There is nothing normal about Ashley.
Being successful means everything to him. He has come from the most humble of origins; he has had a short spell in jail, but was found ‘not guilty’, and that served as the catalyst for a truly amazing story.
After racking up a string of wins in the UK he was still failing to attract a promotional deal, despite his obvious talents and success. Ashley headed off to the tough and unforgiving rings of the USA for a few intense and defining years.
Recognition and respect from his peers, the boxing cognoscente, and most importantly the fans in the US, has given him a platform that the UK boxing industry has again been slow to recognise and truly appreciate.
Outperforming in foreign rings against home town favourites in the USA, Germany and St Lucia to name but a few, has toughened him, honed his skills and encouraged him to return home in order to leave a positive legacy for many who also strive to deliver despite the odds stacked against them.
This is no ordinary man, or ordinary boxing champion. In these extraordinary tough times, we are always looking for ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results, and provide necessary hope borne out of self-belief and determination.
Ashley sacrificed material gain to come home and try to make a ‘positive difference’ for those whose ‘shoes he has walked in’.
We all need local role models.
He has been world ranked for the last twenty one months; he beat DeMarcus Corley, who de-railed Paul McCloskey’s push for world title contender status. He beat world light middleweight number 4, Delvin Rodriguez, and dropped a controversial and ‘wafer thin’ decision to Danny Garcia, the current WBC world champion.
On May 19th at Aintree Racecourse, as chief support to the David Price Sam Sexton British heavyweight title fight, Ashley will defend his British title against Steve Williams.
Our largely unknown UK ‘Treasure’ will win the Lonsdale Belt outright by defeating Williams.
This will enable him to return to the world scene and fight the top ranked fighters where his skills and talent clearly belong.
He is an author, a social activist, an elite athlete, but most of all a role model for all who have faced adversity.
He is currently an ambassador for Ted Baker clothing, where the best of British boxing meets the best of British clothing.
Ashley will also feature in the Vitabiotics Wellman nationwide advertising campaign that starts this month in tube stations, taxis and magazines.
For more information on Ashley please go to www.ashleytheophane.com
Facebook Ashley ‘Treasure’ Theophane
See a brilliant article on Ashley, ‘Life with a Legend’ in May’s issue of Boxing Monthly.
For interviews please contact Penny Goldwater on 01892 513601 or firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m very excited by the prospect of winning the Lonsdale belt outright.
Very few 140lb fighters have achieved that feat in the current era, only Junior Witter. That says it all about where I stand in British boxing as Junior Witter along with Ricky Hatton are the most successful 140lb fighters to have gone on from being British champion over the last twelve years.
I believe I can continue where they left off.
I’ve been world ranked for over twenty one month’s now by the various world boxing authorities.
Steve Williams will be walking into a minefield on May 19th, and his less than brilliant team will tell him to just keep walking forward, as I unleash my full weaponry on him.
Just take a look at my recent victims, Lenny Daws, Jason Cook and Ben Murphy, as they all lay badly beaten by me, bloodied and bruised!
I like Steve, and it saddens me that this will be how his challenge ends. He wanted this fight, so he chose this ending for himself.
It is not personal, just business.
I’ve beaten better men than Steve Williams. He is yet to fight a man of my talent. He is in trouble come May 19th.
Lenny Daws and Jason Cook were both confident going into their bout with me, but no preparation can get you ready for the real thing.
Steve will steam in at me. His tactics are already known. There is only one way he can fight, and there is only one way they think he can win. I may stand and trade with him, and knock him out early, or I may box him and knock him out later. I am stronger, faster and smarter than Steve Williams. “Walk forward Steve. Back him up Steve.”
His own team will be his downfall.
I am in phenomenal condition right now. I am only sparring middleweights and junior middleweights. They campaign at fourteen to twenty pounds above my weight category.
I expect a knock out win on May 19th in Liverpool. Steve thinks he can set me an uncomfortable pace, but he needs to realise that Lenny Daws had a similar strategy and was left gasping for air in the championship rounds, and hanging on for dear life in our encounter.
Steve will be struggling when I get into my stride. He will give his all, but his all will not be anywhere near good enough come fight night.
Losing to Lenny Daws, struggling with Michael Grant, and knocking out Karl Place, is world’s away from fighting the IBO number 7, WBC number 12 and IBF number 11, Ashley Theophane.
You don’t get ranked so high for the fun of it. Many people believed I lost to world number three, Delvin Rodriguez, but as many people believed I beat current world WBC champion, Danny Garcia. I’ve demonstrated that I can mix it with the best world class operators, and on my day, I know I could beat IBF champion Lamont Peterson, WBA champion Marcos Maidana and WBC champion Danny Garcia.
When competing against the world’s best, all you can do is give your all.
As British champion I have fought some good fighters in Lenny Daws, Jason Cook and Ben Murphy. I believe Jason Cook and Lenny Daws are better fighters than Steve.
Steve is a ‘flat footed’ robot, who telegraphs all his punches. You see them coming a mile away. It will be an easy night’s work. This fight is all about levels and he is far from mine.
The biggest night of Steve’s life is drawing closer. Will he sink or swim? Either way he will end up getting drowned, because I am too determined and I’ve worked too hard to get to where I am now.
Even the bookies around the United Kingdom agree with me. I am a 5-1 on favourite, and Steve Williams is a 4-1 against underdog.
I said I would stop Jason Cook and Ben Murphy, so when I say I will knock out Steve Williams. Believe me!
I’m not over confident and I’m not arrogant, I just believe in my ability.
Congratulations to my former victim, Ben Murphy, who defended his Southern Area title last weekend, stopping Phil Gill in one round in their encounter.
I’ve taken on all the hard and tough challenges as British champion. I’ve just made it look easy.
I’ve never chosen any of my opponents. Mick Hennessey chose Jason Cook, and when Nigel Wright failed a brain scan, I could have pulled out of the fight, but I told Frank Maloney to get me any one, and Ben Murphy was the only fighter willing to accept the challenge at such short notice.
Next up is my mandatory defence. Nothing has been given to me in my boxing career, but it makes my wins and my success all the more sweet.
World WBC number 15, DeMarcus Corley, was in Belfast this past Saturday to face World WBA number 10, Paul McCloskey.
There is a big difference between world level and British level, as Paul found out over the weekend. DeMarcus has seen better days, but still had too much for Paul.
I beat DeMarcus four long years ago in New York. Just after he fought WBC world number one, Devon Alexander, and just before he fought former WBO world champion, Randall Bailey.
So obviously, he was rightly the favourite. Since I beat him, he has lost ten fights, and going into his fight with McCloskey, he had only won one of his last seven fights. But he had just beaten Gabriel Bracero, who was ranked 16th in the WBC, so that fight got DeMarcus ranked again.
I expected Paul to win, as DeMarcus has seen better days, but being a world class operator for so many years was more than enough for DeMarcus on the night.
I am happy for ‘Chop Chop’ Corley, as he was my breakthrough fight on the world scene, and got me taken seriously Stateside, as he is well respected over there.
So Danny Garcia is currently world champion. Delvin Rodriguez is WBA junior middleweight number four, and fighting for a world title on June 2nd, and DeMarcus Corley will now probably be jumped into the world top ten again.
I’ve clearly demonstrated that I can mix it with the world’s best. The better the fighter, the better I perform.
I’ve been going through the ‘motions’ as British champion. I’m just focused on getting back to the world scene after I knock out Steve Williams.
This week saw Golden Boy Promotions offer me just under one hundred thousand dollars to fight in the Ukraine in a WBA sanctioned title fight on June 2nd.
Last week Mayweather Promotions requested me to fight in Las Vegas on the Floyd Mayweather v Miguel Cotto undercard.
It takes a strong minded and determined man to turn down both those opportunities, but securing my legacy in British boxing is my top priority right now.
I was asked last year to feature on the Mayweather v Ortiz show, and I’m confident I will be asked again. I believe in my talent that much.
Big fights are back on the horizon, after I knock out Steve Williams.
I’m very excited!
Floyd Mayweather put on a great performance against Miguel Cotto on Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Floyd showed a bit of everything; boxing skills, ring general-ship, toe to toe, not to mention heart and a good chin.
Miguel Cotto fought his heart out, but Floyd was just better at everything.
Just like my fight with Steve Williams; he will fight his heart out, but I am better at everything than him.
Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto are two of my favourite fighters over the last ten years.
Floyd Mayweather can end his career with wins over Sergio Martinez and Saul Alvarez. He is a living legend, and he deserves to be better appreciated for the huge talent he really is.
Watching Floyd train and spar at his Mayweather Gym was both inspiring and motivating. I am glad I had the chance to witness his greatness in the flesh. I will definitely go back there. Team Mayweather have left the door open to me, so I would be a fool not to accept.
The world is my oyster, and the future holds some blockbuster fights for me in America.
With less than two weeks to go to my title defence tickets are selling fast and I’d love you to be there to support me.
Have a look at the May issue of Boxing Monthly, there is a great article ‘Life with a Legend’, taken from my diary of the two weeks I recently spent in training camp at the Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas.
In Britain, I am in competition all by myself. I’m pushing myself harder and harder each week. I want to be the best I can be. The WBC ranks me 12th, and the IBF has me at 11th.
I’m officially one of the best fighters in the world.
I am so proud to be the British champion. I had to take a tough decision to put my world ambitions on hold, but I’m glad that I did, as to own a Lonsdale belt outright is a fantastic achievement.
I am closing in on my destiny. I feel there is greatness within me. I have always believed in myself, even when it felt like I was the only one who did.
Carl Froch and Amir Khan are the only other Brits to have won over in the States, against world ranked fighters recently. I’m in very exclusive company.
Going to Liverpool will be a piece of cake.
Steve Williams’s team are making out as though I wanted to avoid Steve, which could not be further from the truth, as they will find out.
I do like Steve as a person, but I 100% know when we fight, he will lose. He has a 0% chance of winning. Fighters really should beware of mentioning my name, as when they actually get what they wished for; it is the most daunting of tasks at hand.
Steve and his team are confident of beating me on May 19th. Lenny Daws, who ‘schooled’ Steve Williams in their bout, thought he could outwork me, and then break me down. Instead, I did the breaking down. Jason Cook, who got a draw with Lenny, thought he could knock me out. I ended up knocking him out. Ben Murphy tried to push me back and outwork me, and in the end the referee stopped the fight when I put the heat on him.
Steve Williams and his team have a basic plan as you would expect. Push me back and hope to get a knock out win, or outpoint me. How naive are they?
They tell him that they know how I think, and “that you can knock Ashley out”. Nice try guys. I don’t know how they can come to that particular conclusion, especially as I’ve never been down.
He has never fought a world class fighter. Sparring with fighters in Manchester and Liverpool is a far cry from fighting me.
Only Steve’s friends, family and his coaching staff are actually foolish enough to believe he can win. In the end, they must avoid getting him hurt.
It will probably be a horror show on May 19th. I’ll enter the ring looking beautiful, and I’ll leave the ring with my same ‘pretty face’ intact.
Lenny Daws, Jason Cook and Ben Murphy were cut to shreds with my ‘pin point’ razor sharp shots. Steve will be blocking my punches with his face, as he has a basic defence, a basic plan to defeat me, and a basic coaching team training him.
You cannot buy experience and I have that in abundance.
Steve feels fighting in front of his fans in Liverpool will push him on to victory. Yes the crowd will push him, push him right into my punches.
I’ve fought in Germany, where British fighters never usually win. Only the great Welsh fighter and world champion, Joe Calzaghe, has won there in recent years. I’ve won two International titles there. I’ve won in America, against better fighters than Steve, where Amir Khan and Carl Froch have repeated my success, and to be honest, bettered it by being involved in world title fights.
The obvious point is I am in a league far, far away from Steve. I am going to incrementally break Steve’s heart. Increasing the pressure, accuracy and intensity, round by round, he will soon realise he is in a futile and losing battle.
There will be NO ‘upsets’ on my watch. I cause the upsets.
I have supporters coming from all over the country; Cardiff, Southampton, Manchester, London and even Steve’s hometown of Liverpool.
Against all the odds, I have had a successful career. Without a promoter and whilst being self-managed, I climbed to fourth in the world during 2010. I’ve beaten former World, European, Commonwealth, English and African champions, along with a British champion and a world ranked number three fighter.
I have a great team around me. I may be the figure head, the man who gets the glory, but there are many things going on behind the scenes that I do not need do get involved in. I thank every one of my Team, who are actively helping me scale the mountain to the very top.
My training staff does a great job in getting me in top shape for all my fights; Jihad Abdul Aziz, Harry Keit, Dave Brown and Don Charles, have all had a role in getting me into frightening shape. Everyone has a role in my team, and it will all add up to win number 32, and knockout number 10.
I have been working with Don Charles, alongside Dave Brown, since arriving from my eight week training camp in America and he is excited, and looking forward to May 19th.
He has seen my talent at close quarters and he believes I am a ‘special’ talent. He always comments that, “you were not supposed to get to where you have, as most people would have given up or failed. It is like you’ve won the lottery, as people do not achieve what you have achieved under such daunting circumstances. Going to America and beating their best fighters. It just doesn’t happen.”
I’ve completed 32 hours of training this week, and I am feeling great. The BBBoC inspector came to All Stars gym on Saturday to check that my weight was on target. He knows I am very professional and focused; he commented that my weight was perfect for three weeks to go.
I enjoyed a sixty minute massage at Nickel Spa in Holborn this week. Massage reduces recovery time, helps prepare for strenuous workouts, and eliminates subsequent pains for all athletes at any level.
Promising young fighter, Alex Dilmaghani, who was a sparring partner for Juan Manuel Marquez, for the last Manny Pacquiao fight in 2011, told me that “fighting domestic opposition is becoming a chore for you; Jason Cook was ‘cooking’, Lenny Daws was ‘hoovering’, Ben Murphy was ‘washing up’ and you’re about to finish ‘wiping up’ with Steve Williams”.
He obviously knows what he is talking about.
This week saw Mayweather Promotions offer me a fight on the ‘Ring Kings’ show in Las Vegas on May 5th, featuring Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto, and Saul Alvarez vs. Shane Mosley. If it wasn’t for my upcoming title defence, I would have jumped at the offer, and it would have been part of the HBO televised part of the show.
Yet another necessary sacrifice.
I’ve recently spent part of my eight week training camp in America at Mayweather’s Gym, so the ‘Money’ team got to see me at very close quarters. It is a great opportunity, but the timing is just not right.
I spoke to Leonard Ellerbe and Cornelius Boza Edwards, whilst I was at the Mayweather Gym, about the possibility of featuring on a Mayweather Promotions card. I’m 100% sure it will happen in the future.
I was also offered a fight on the Mayweather vs. Ortiz undercard, back in September, so it is a great feeling to be respected and valued highly enough stateside, for consideration for such mega shows.
Floyd Mayweather fights are the showcase of world boxing at the moment, and to be twice requested to feature on his show speaks volumes about how the Americans feel about me as a fighter.
All my hard work and dedication has been worthwhile.
My current focus is on winning the Lonsdale belt outright on May 19th. My guess is that Steve Williams and his team would have wished that I would have taken the amazing opportunity of being on the Mayweather bill.
They are not that lucky.
Mayweather Promotions feel that I am worthy of being a Ring King, and they are indeed right. British Ring King – Ashley ‘Treasure’ Theophane.
May is all about winning my Lonsdale belt outright, and July is about getting back on the International scene.
World number 4, Delvin Rodriguez, who I beat in June 2010, is fighting WBA 154lb Champion, Austin Trout on June 2nd. This will be his second attempt at winning a world title. I am glad that my former opponents, Danny Garcia (now WBC world champion), and Delvin Rodriguez are doing well.
It just shows how good I really am.
Mayweather Promotions have added that extra fuel to my fire.
Tickets are selling fast and I’d love you to be there to support me.
Frank Maloney has put together a top quality bill at the Aintree Racecourse; David Price faces Sam Sexton for the British and Commonwealth heavyweight title, and there will be four English title fights on the undercard.
Have a look at the May issue of Boxing Monthly, there is a great article taken from my diary of the two weeks I recently spent in training camp at the Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas.
Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson will be going at it again for the title of Mayor of London. I must say I’ve never really been a fan of either man.
Ken is anti-boxing and anti-cars. This affects me directly; both as a resident and more importantly, in my chosen profession.
Boris on the other hand, has supported All Stars boxing club’s Mayor Cup tournament, every season, making a regular appearance and speech. Ken Livingstone is not a supporter of boxing, so if he were to win the election, the Mayor Cup would not exist.
Ken brought the ‘bendy’ buses and congestion charge. Both schemes have not worked in my opinion.
I am currently supporting Youth Vote London; Alesha Dixon, Ashley Walters, Wretch 32, Estelle and Tinie Tempah are some of the other celebrities supporting this important movement.
Elections can still drive massive change in a relatively ‘low risk’ manner, like nothing else can, without fear and major loss of life.
Obama was voted in mainly by the younger generation. The Arab Spring is transforming their world, but tragically, many of the young have died to deliver a limited freedom.
It is important for the youth of today to participate in shaping how their society is going to be. They have to become more active, and at the very least, cast a vote. That is stage one, but more is needed, and we should all ensure that we rally as many as possible to get the people they want representing them in office.
George Galloway is not the most popular politician in London, but I have always respected him, as he stands up for what he believes in, and he truly does try to proactively represent his voters. I think it is a shame that he is not running for Mayor of London.
UK politics may not have the glamour and pizazz of our state-side cousins, but having glamour and gloss is not at the heart of what Londoners care about.
We have to come together and make our voices heard and felt. You cannot moan about the current situation if you are sitting back, and not prepared to be active, and help make the right things happen.
Being a politician is one of the toughest and most thankless jobs, as you cannot make everyone happy or respect you.
London is a powerful and wealthy city.
Whether they like it or not, we currently fund Scotland, who will soon have the vote to govern their selves. If they break away from England, It will have long term ramifications, and they will be in serious trouble.
Their North Sea oil will not last forever, and they will lose all of the subsidies that London gives them.
Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, is making a huge mistake. You can be a proud Scotsman, and still be part of the United Kingdom. The bond between England and Scotland is a 300 year, rock solid and strong bond.
Great Britain or the United Kingdom, whatever you wish to call our nation, is not a perfect country or union, but we are connected through history, language, culture, and for many by family.
Being the Mayor of London is a very important job, and we Londoners should also take voting very seriously.
I’ve been lucky enough to have travelled all over the world, and seen some beautiful and historic cities. None outshine London. It will always be my home. I am a proud, born and raised, Londoner. I love my people, and I am proud to have the opportunity to represent them all over the world both in my sport and as a person.
‘The London Debate’, on Sky News, and ‘The Battle for London’, on ITV, featured the top three candidates; Boris Johnson, Brian Paddick and Ken Livingstone. They were US style debates, without the razzmatazz, but incisive all the same.
I feel that Boris won the debates. Ken seems stuck in the 1980s, and struggles to escape the ‘pull of the past’. Brian just does not seem to ‘cut it’ as a leader.
I think Boris is doing a decent job, and he has also backed the All Star’s Mayor Cup tournament over the last few years, so I lean towards him.
Right now, it is tough times for many Londoners, and I feel Boris should be allowed to continue the good job he has started.
The youth are our future; so major investment is required to encourage them to play a tangible and constructive part in the commerce and industry that is the fabric of this great city.
Whether I vote for Ken, Brian or Boris, it will not change who my friends are. We can argue and debate, but the really Great thing about Britain, is we will not fall out, or want to kill each other just because we vote differently.
This is why we must not waste such a golden opportunity to give the right candidate the chance, and then hold them to account.
Get out there and vote. Let your voice be heard, you deserve that, as in many countries the citizens have no say whatsoever. People are still dying for the chance to have a say in how their country or city is run.
We perhaps take our freedom a little for granted in Great Britain, where many brave and courageous people gave their lives to ensure that we continued to have the right to vote.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi
Different levels and different planets come to mind. It doesn’t matter how great a shape he gets in, my style and my experience are things that Steve Williams will just never, ever have at his disposal.
It is an honour and a privilege for him to share a ring with me. Just like it was for Jason Cook, Ben Murphy and Lenny Daws. I’m the best fighter they will ever face in their boxing careers. Steve, just enjoy the occasion of facing the best British 140lb fighter; the British light welterweight King, Ashley ‘Treasure’ Theophane.
As Floyd Mayweather has clearly stated regarding the result of his upcoming fight with Miguel Cotto. The same prediction applies to Steve Williams. He will go the same way that Miguel Cotto will go.
Steve Williams can go out in three ways in this fight; on his face, on his back or he can wave the ‘white flag’. The choice is his. There will be none of “And the New” on my watch. “And Still” is the only thing the announcer needs to practice on.
Jim Watt commented in the past that Steve Williams has tremendous strength. But, that alone cannot beat Ashley ‘Treasure’ Theophane.
Steve Williams won the first two rounds in his fight with my old victim Lenny Daws. Then Lenny bamboozled Steve with his skill and speed.
What am I going to do to Steve, then? I am faster and stronger than Lenny. I had Lenny ‘seeing stars’ in the ninth round. It will take a very gifted man to beat me, and for the avoidance of doubt, that is not Steve Williams.
He is a straight forward, ‘ABC’ boring fighter. I have the full alphabet in my arsenal. I can stand and fight or box and move. There is nothing I cannot do as a boxer. I rather not watch any footage of Steve Williams. His biggest fights have been against Michael Grant, Karl Place and Lenny Daws. His performance in all these fights was totally uninspiring.
I am training as if I am fighting the likes of Marcos Maidana. I need that extra motivation which I always lack when fighting domestic fighters. Those who know me well fully understand that this is not arrogance, but just a confident and obvious statement of the unavoidable facts.
I am in my usual great shape, both physically and mentally, I am feeling very good and looking forward to May 20th when I become the outright owner of the Lonsdale belt. Not many 140lbs fighters have achieved that feat.
You have to go back seventeen years to 1995, to find a 140lb British fighter, Ross Hale, who won four British light welterweight title fights back to back. Then another twelve years to 1983, when Clinton McKenzie achieved that feat.
I am truly doing something exceptional. What I am about to achieve has only been done twice over the last thirty years. I’m all about changing perceptions, and doing the things that others said could not be done.
British Greatness? I am going to go down in history as a dominant British champion. I have not chosen any one of my opponents during my reign. The promoters and the Boxing Board of Control have chosen who they think are the divisions best, and I have obliged them by knocking out those selected to face me.
Steve Williams will face monumental physical and mental challenges when he steps in the ring with me.
Since being ‘schooled’ by Lenny Daws back in July 2010, Williams has beaten Paul King, Airak Sachbajzan and Karl Place. I, on the other hand, have beaten IBF world number three, Delvin Rodriguez, in July 2010. I followed this with wins over Willie Thompson, British champion, Lenny Daws, former European champion Jason Cook, and Southern Area champion Ben Murphy. When Steve Williams was beating Michael Grant for the English title, I was fighting the now WBC world champion, Danny Garcia.
I rest my case. That says it all and comprehensively about this fight.
Completely different levels!
Steve knows he will lose our fight on May 19th. He basically is training for survival, and nothing more, as he cannot be that delusional to believe that he can win.
If I have my way, I will knock out Steve Williams on Saturday May 19th, and fight again during July in an International title fight.
Owning my Lonsdale belt is my current endeavour right now, but ‘make no mistake’, I seriously miss the international scene, and I expectantly look forward to fighting the world’s best again.
This week has seen me unfortunately have to turn down two opportunistic television interviews before my fight with Steve Williams. I am totally focused on ‘Operation Liverpool’ right now. There is no time to skip training sessions in order to boast about my abilities on television. I’ll be more than happy to accommodate all TV Interviews after I knock out Steve Williams.
I have predicted the right result in my last three British title fights, so please don’t doubt me when I say I will win by a stoppage on Saturday 19th May in my battle with Steve.
Jason Cook and Nigel Wright both accused Steve Williams of ducking them as they were both due to face him in British title eliminators. In the end they ended up due to face each other, but I stepped up, and said I would fight Jason and then Nigel.
I will always try and fight the best available.
I have completed 30 hours training this week, and I am weighing a cool 146lbs. I’m in phenomenal condition. Even, the ever observant, Don Charles, commented whilst he was pushing me through some training drills that he is “trying to find a weakness” in me. He will not stop searching, but there are none, and never will be.
As the great Jesse Owens once said, “we all have dreams. But in order to make dreams into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, & discipline.”
I have lived by that eminently instructive observation all my professional life.
I was a lofty world number four, when I got the opportunity to fight the British champion, Lenny Daws. I took a calculated risk in coming back to the domestic scene, as I was already a world class fighter, on the verge of a world title shot. I believed in myself, in the British title and therefore the journey, and I am now at the last stage of my domestic mission.
No one will stop me from owning the Lonsdale belt outright. I have sacrificed way too much already. I am knocking Steve Williams out – period.
I’m way too focused on turning my big dreams turn into reality.
I’m well on the way to becoming one of the best fighters on the planet. I’m dedicated, focused and working hard to be the best. Everything takes time and it is a work in progress, but seriously real and tangible progress.
I’m very pleased and proud to be highly respected in America, especially amongst my peers, which is a great feeling. How many other British champions can say that?
The world boxing organisations currently have me ranked 11th in both the WBC and IBF, and 10th in the IBO. The European Boxing Union ranks me 4th in Europe. The BoxRec website, which is a respected and independent voice, has all boxers’ professional records from all around the world. They have me at 13th in the world, and 2nd in Europe, just behind Amir Khan.
I’m obviously doing a good few things right. I’ve been a world class fighter since 2008, but without a promoter backing me, I struggled to get the big fights I craved and deserved. Main Events and Square Ring offered me fights with Dereck Gainer and Zab Judah, all the way back in 2008, only for them to turn down the opportunity to face me.
Lamont Peterson and Randall Bailey are other names I have been linked with.
If you only ever give 90% in training, then you will only ever have 90% to give when it matters.
Don Charles took me to Hampstead Heath on Sunday to complete the ‘hills of death’. They are always a test of anyone’s fitness, but I always pass with an ‘A’ star.
My intense training schedule is so much more mentally challenging. Being able to accept the pain, and work through it makes everything else relatively easy.
Relaxing is the key; I’m always relaxed during sparring and fighting. I don’t do nervous – ever. I’m absolutely confident in my ability. Something I know Steve Williams lacks. I knocked down the man who beat him, Lenny Daws. He was up and down from the canvas like a yo-yo.
All the best fighters in the world are supremely well conditioned. Former British champion, Lenny Daws was seen as one of the fittest fighters in Britain, as many of his wins had come from breaking down fighters and outlasting them in the championship rounds.
His promoter, Mick Hennessey, told me that he thought “Lenny would break me down by the championship rounds”.
I demonstrated without any shadow of a doubt in our championship bout, that my conditioning was on another level to his much vaunted stamina and powers of endurance.
Steve Williams struggled with Lenny in their fight, losing on cuts at the end of the tenth round.
“How are you going to beat me when you cannot beat Lenny?”
I’m training very hard, as I’m expecting Steve to bring his best game on May 19th, but at my best I will be way too good for him, and everyone knows that. He can bring his absolute best, and I hope he really does. He will learn the hard way that his best is not nearly good enough, when he steps in the ring with the champ.
What normal athletes find hard and draining, the special athletes find standard. My stretching training regime has become standard for me. As I’ve been doing it for years now, it has become both routine and enjoyable. Many who hear how hard I train and its intensity, misconstrue that perhaps I’m over-training. It is now normal for me and I’m forever incrementally raising the bar.
If something isn’t broken, there is nothing to fix.
My training regime has been the platform for my fights with current world champion, Danny Garcia, world number three, Delvin Rodriguez, British champion, Lenny Daws, and former European and IBO champion Jason Cook. So I’m obviously doing something right.
I had the opportunity to watch Manny Pacquiao close up at the Wildcard gym in Los Angeles in 2008, and I have recently had the privilege to watch Floyd Mayweather at the Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas. The two top fighters in world boxing. I have learned masses from both of them, and this has been pivotal in helping to shape and mould me into the fighter I am today.
I’ve completed another gruelling week’s training regime, which has seen me attack 27 hours of training. I am weighing 147lbs, and I’m on very good form with a full five weeks until I knock out Steve Williams. I’m not at all bothered about fighting in the ‘lion’s den’. Steve will be relatively easy work for me. He will be in really good shape, as usual, but strength and great conditioning will not be anywhere enough to beat me. He lacks the tactical knowledge and technical skills to trouble me.
I’ve used a variety of different tactics for my wins over Delvin Rodriguez, DeMarcus Corley, Jason Cook, Lenny Daws and Ben Murphy. So he should not expect to see the Ashley Theophane that stopped Ben Murphy. That’s the only insight I will give him, I will not be using the ‘rope a dope’ in this fight.
I could box or fight, attack or defend, against Steve and still come out victorious. He will have to wait and see which game plan I bring to bear come fight night.
Don Charles said this week, “I love training you Ashley, even though you are British champion you still keep up your hard-core training ethic. You and Ajose (Olusegun) will be world champions, one day soon. You just have to keep on doing what you do”. Charles got Dereck Chisora in great shape for his recent battle with WBC world heavyweight champion, Vitali Klitschko; so you know he knows what he is talking about.
I won on the Grand National this Saturday. My father always used to let me pick a horse as a kid, and I’ve continued the routine to this day. It is a great bit of fun that I do once a year. I bagged the winner and third place this year. Last year, I got three of the top four. So I am used to winning at Aintree, and I will continue my winning form there in five weeks’ time when I knock out Steve Williams.
I sparred with my All Stars team mate, Kelvin Remi Fawaz, this week, ahead of his National ABA win at York Hall on Friday.
He has gone on a twenty five fight winning streak since last losing well over a year ago. Twenty out of his twenty five opponents have been knocked out.
He is looking like he will make a strong and healthy transition to the professional ranks; promoters Frank Warren, Mick Hennessey or Eddie Hearn could ensure that Remi gets the right surroundings and guide him to the British title and beyond.
If I was his managing him, he would be fast tracked, as I believe he is a big a talent, and I do know about boxing talent, as I’ve trained, fought and sparred all over the world. Frank Maloney has already shown an interest in signing Remi.
Mark my words; Kelvin Remi Fawaz has the necessary talent. It is all about him staying dedicated and disciplined, and then anything is possible.
Remi had a very interesting and worthwhile week, with Adam Booth inviting him down to the Hayemaker gym to spar with the ‘Prizefighter’ winner, whose name he wasn’t even bothered to find out. Confidence isn’t missing from Remi. Steve Bunce interviewed Remi on the Bunce Hour show on BoxNation.
The local press has also been ‘all over him’, as he is now famous for his ‘Superman’ punch, as they are calling it. He has named it his ‘Hercules’ punch, which is something out of the ‘Street Fighter’ arcade game. He launches himself in the air, and comes spectacularly crashing down with a huge right hand.
Remi has all the tools to go far, and I really hope he does.
I beat the IBF world number three, Delvin Rodriguez, back in July 2010. He has made an admirable come back since then, and is now ranked in the top seven in the WBO, IBF, WBC and WBA. He is touted for another world title shot, on June 2nd against Austin Trout for the WBA 154lb title.
I beat him just after he had dropped a split decision for the IBF 147lb world title. For the slowly diminishing number of people who still doubt my power and strength; I was backing Delvin up in the second half of the fight, and had him on ‘wobbly’ legs in the closing rounds.
Former European champion and world WBA number 10, Paul McCloskey, fights former WBO world champion, and current WBC world number 15, DeMarcus Corley on May 5th in Belfast. I beat DeMarcus four long years ago, just after he had lost to the then WBC world number one, Devon Alexander, and just before he lost to the current IBF world number one, and former world champion, Randall Bailey.
DeMarcus Corley has lost ten times, since I beat him four years ago, and now has nineteen losses on his record. He only had eight losses when I beat him, and that was against many elite fighters; Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather and Junior Witter as well as Devon Alexander. DeMarcus is coming off a win over Gabriel ‘Tito’ Bracero, who I know from Gleason’s gym, and have sparred with a couple years back. He won the NABF title, which got him back his world ranking.
I spent two weeks at Breen’s Gym in Belfast back in 2009, and sparred with Paul for well over fifty rounds. It was very good work. Paul is hoping to fight my good friend, Ajose Olusegun, who is next in line for the WBC world title. Everyone knows it is a formality that Ajose will beat Danny.
I hope to see Ajose get fights with Brandon Rios, Humberto Soto, Manuel Juan Marquez and Lamont Peterson in the future. He has worked hard to get to where he is, and I know he is a big talent.
Brandon Rios and Manuel Juan Marquez both fought over the weekend. Brandon failed to make the 135lb limit for the second time in a row, and will be joining the junior welterweight division in the near future.
Marquez, who is a living Mexican boxing legend, is also joining the 140lbs division. He won the interim WBO championship on Saturday.
Michael Katsidis fought on ESPN’s ‘Friday Night Fights’ this week. Katsidis has fought in Britain many times now; Graham Earl, Kevin Mitchell and Ricky Burns have all faced him. He is now campaigning at 140lbs.
If Hatton Promotions could make a fight with Katsidis for this July, I would be really up for that in fact I’d be ‘licking my lips’ in expectation.
The junior welterweight division is real hot, and one of the best in boxing at the moment. Looking forward at the next 18 months, it is going to be real exciting to compete here before I step up to the welterweight division on a permanent basis.
My team and my supporters are all very excited about me getting back on the world scene, but after I win my Lonsdale belt outright on May 19th. I will be going from a Lonsdale belt holder to a Lonsdale belt owner. I’m going to be very proud to join the select list of great British champions who also own a Lonsdale belt outright.
I was ranked world number four before I returned home to become British champion, and I’m very excited about getting back on to the top of the world scene.
First I have a little business to complete in Aintree and I’ll knock out Steve Williams in business-like fashion. The fight is my laser focus for the next five weeks.
Please forgive the reminder but I’d love you to be there to support me.
Frank Maloney has put together a top quality bill at the Aintree Racecourse; David Price faces Sam Sexton for the British and Commonwealth heavyweight title, and there will be four English title fights on the undercard.
Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment.
A brilliant first week of training now I’m back in London. I have already completed an eight week camp in America; splitting my time between the Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas and Gleason’s gym in New York.
I have six more weeks until I knock Steve Williams out. I’m really looking forward to winning the Lonsdale belt outright. If I’m correct no fighter in the 140lbs division has won it outright since Junior Witter, and we know what he went on to achieve.
Steve Williams is just a number to me; Mr 32. He will be my 32nd win. His name on my record is not that important. The win is all that matters.
Steve commented in a recent interview that I do “everything well”. I have to say that he is absolutely right. But it begs the obvious question; how is he supposed to beat me then? I have no obvious weaknesses. He cannot afford to try and outbox me. He has to come to fight, but better fighters than him have tried and failed.
As my brother commented the other day, “How can he expect to beat you if he can’t beat Lenny Daws? All he does is walk forward”.
I guess Steve Williams and his team have to stay in ‘dreamland’. He has a slow jab and a basic defence.
He reminds me a little of the Ancient Egyptian ‘mummy’ with his slow feet.
Steve Williams is certainly no better than Lenny Daws or Jason Cook. In fact! He was begging me for a pay day last June, so I asked Hennessey Sports if I could make a voluntary defence against him at Wembley Arena. Hennessey Sports and Channel 5 felt Jason Cook was a far more dangerous opponent, so they chose him instead.
We know what happened to him.
Steve goes on to knock out Karl ‘Bulb head’ Place, and is consequently a ‘threat’ to me now – Really??
I will be fighting Steve in his hometown of Liverpool. So that’s an extra motivation for him. I like this a lot. It is more pressure on him to perform in front of his fans.
Lenny Daws had the extra pressure of winning the Lonsdale belt outright. I like when fighters have that extra motivation to beat me. It means they will attack me more, and that means more openings. This will certainly result in a knock out win for me.
This fight is not going twelve rounds, that’s a promise.
I was chuffed to recently hear from a supporter of mine that “you’re an inspiration. You epitomise what a champion should be like”.
It is touching when people believe in me. The people whom I’m able to inspire, even just a little, motivate me to achieve the greatness I am truly capable of.
Talking of greatness; Muhammad Ali, who recently turned 70 years old, was in the habit of predicting the round he would knock his opponent out in.
I have made bold predictions about my last three opponents. I was very clear that all of them would be knocked out in the championship rounds.
Two out of three is not bad at all, especially when you consider that I knocked Lenny Daws down in the ninth, but just went about finishing him off a little wrong, and he managed to survive to the final bell.
So I am definitely not great yet, but I am well on the road to fulfilling the greatness that lies in me. So when I say that I will knock Steve out, believe me!
What the mind can conceive, it can achieve.
This Sunday saw me take my third day off during the course of the last two months. I’ve completed 27 hours training this week. I’m weighing 148lbs and I’m in great shape.
The last week of my eight week training camp in America saw me visit the IBF offices in New Jersey to meet with their President.
I’ve been ranked as high as fourth in their world rankings, but during the course of my British title reign, my ranking has slipped to 15th.
Victor Cayo, Vernon Paris and Tim Coleman have all been knocked out during the month of March; so my Treasure team and I thought that a meeting was due.
Let’s not forget my last loss was to current WBC world champion, Danny Garcia, over two years ago. Those who witnessed the fight, with two working eyes, thought I won.
When you fight a ‘well fancied’ boxer in his country, and on his promoter’s show, these ‘mistakes’ happen. They are an injustice, but unfortunately, still quite common place.
The IBF have now moved me up four places after our meeting, which is positive news. I’m also 11th in the WBC and 10th in the IBO world rankings, so I’m a bona fide elite fighter.
Building relationships in any business is the key to success.
Even though I have many years left in me as a professional fighter, I plan to guide a handful of talented fighters to the top when I retire. I’ve fought all over the world, and against some of the world’s best fighters. Given this rare and invaluable experience, I will plan and guide a similar route for my prospects.
Former WBO world champion, Scott Harrison, has recently been given back his boxing licence from the British Boxing Board of Control. Now, he would be a fighter that I would be interested in fighting soon, as he would look good on my record with a ‘W’ next to his name.
His fellow countryman, Alex Arthur, has also shown an interest in losing to me. So I could be facing one of Scotland’s recent international champions this year.
Juan Urango is fighting three weeks before I knock out Steve Williams in Liverpool. A fight between the two of us would be appealing to me (and many fight fans), as I’m always looking to fight the best in the world.
True world class fighters would have no problems with leaving the safety of Sheffield, Glasgow or Cardiff to fight the world’s best.
I’m more than happy to travel to fight world ranked fighters, former world champions, or should a current world champion want to give me the opportunity to fight for a world title. Just bring it on; I’m fit and ready with my passport and waiting.
I’ve had to become realistic about the situation. I’m too good for my own good at the moment. I believe I’m going to have to work my way up to mandatory status, as I’m a difficult assignment for anyone. I am already seen as high risk, and relatively low reward.
Most British fighters get voluntary cracks at the world title because, just like our top footballers, it is well known that we will always give our all, but at the elite level, we lack that necessary technical ability. Therefore, we tend to see most world champions take over and dominate after the midway point.
We are definitely great TV, if not always great box office, as we always ‘lay it all on the line’, and tend to leave the ring ‘on our shields’.
Carl Froch, Amir Khan and David Haye are the current crop of British fighters who have shown they are capable of winning fights against world class opposition on foreign soil. So it is a real pleasure and honour to have that in common with them.
Now that I’m ranked 11th both by the WBC and IBF, 10th in the IBO rankings, I’m knocking on a world title challenge.
It has been a long hard road, but hard work makes the dream work.
Now back to that promise; Steve will give his all and it will make for an exciting fight, while it lasts. He won’t be the only knock out on May 19th in Liverpool.
Frank Maloney has put together a top quality bill at the Aintree Racecourse; David Price faces Sam Sexton for the British and Commonwealth heavyweight title, and there will be four English title fights on the undercard.
Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment – click here to buy
The Real Time TV show with Bill Maher on HBO is an entertaining and informative watch on politics in the US; the UK could really do with something like this. It is not that dissimilar to the Politics show, but far more ruthless on the politicians and authorities. It is ‘un-missable’ television.
It helps make the world of politics both interesting and important. It’s far too easy to become disenchanted with politics, especially in an economic downturn when the only response from our government would appear to be ‘austerity’ and even more hardship for the ordinary people in the UK.
I remember the great feeling that Barack Obama brought into mainstream politics as a candidate for the Democratic nomination. It was so much bigger than just the USA; it hit and energised many in distant lands. He got many kids interested in their communities, and adults interested in voting. His campaign was won from the ‘ground up’ and many different communities around the USA got together and supported the ‘Change’ campaign.
Fast forward three and a bit years, and President Obama has drawn the fiercest and most aggressive criticism towards him, for sometimes the strangest of reasons. He has for example, tried to introduce free or subsidised health care for the poorest people, but many Americans are seriously unhappy with this kind of approach to health care.
Being British, I have always had the ‘all embracing’ NHS as part of my life. American’s tend to look at this as some sort of alien concept. The NHS is perhaps seen as ‘free’ health care, but it is paid for by all tax paying citizens. I also have private health care nowadays, as my demands are higher as a professional athlete, but I still feel the NHS is the natural right of every British person.
I remember walking the streets of Brooklyn during Obama’s election, and was moved as everyone was asking each other “if they had voted?” There was a real sense of hope and pride in a politician. I have yet to see or feel that in Britain, where our politicians tend to be ridiculed for being ‘out of touch’ with society at large.
It would appear to be far easier to vote for change than actually accept it.
Recently, whilst staying at the Monte Carlo hotel in Las Vegas during my training camp at the Mayweather Gym, I watched CNN constantly. The big news was all about the up and coming presidential elections in November, when Obama will face his Republican opponent.
The Republicans are split, divisive and without a clear and uniting message, but many American’s appear to want Obama out of office, as they appear to be unhappy with the job he has done so far. The Republican’s would appear to have a golden opportunity; a difficult economy and a less than universally popular president, but they are a shambles at the moment.
Mitt Romney is the least charismatic and least trustworthy of the candidates. It appears he will say whatever a particular audience wants to hear. Rick Santorum is the most hawkish and conservative of the candidates, with frightening views on abortion, inclusivity and war. He would take America back to the dark ages. Newt Gingrich just doesn’t have the courage to stand down and pass his voters on to someone who can win. Arrogance is not an appealing trait for a potential president. Ron Paul is so far behind and so out of touch that he’s irrelevant.
Obama came at a time when America was at its lowest point for as long as most could remember, and actively and expensively involved in two wars far overseas. George Bush Junior left the most powerful country in the world in a terrible state. It had tarnished its global reputation, and was now seen more as a ‘war monger’ than a global peacemaker.
Obama has attempted to re-establish America as a more ‘even handed’ broker of peace, in contrast to the perhaps more ‘trigger happy’ cowboy image that Bush had left behind him.
This was of course necessary, but maybe a naïve Obama got his priorities wrong. For Americans it has always been, and always will be “the economy, Stupid”.
Many people fought and died to be able to vote back in the fifties and sixties. People of colour could not vote at the time. It was vital and necessary to have a say in selecting the person who will run the country. It was worth fighting for and dying for, and many brave men and women gave their lives for this freedom.
Those days now feel a very long time ago. We are living in an age of cynicism with politics and politicians. With 24/7 media scrutiny, much more information and news is constantly available on the ‘political village’ both in Washington and London. With so many scandals, impropriety and ‘bear faced’ lies, the standing of politicians in the west is at ‘rock bottom’.
Many say “politicians are all the same, so it doesn’t matter who you vote for. They are all corrupt”.
Things have got so bad, that there seems to be such a lack of faith and trust in politicians nowadays, that many people do not even want to vote.
Celebrities are seen as role models, and are looked up to, but politicians should also be role models. They are supposed to represent their people and nations across the world.
Margaret Thatcher was the first woman to be Prime Minister of the UK. That was a massive achievement, but she will be remembered as a polarising and divisive figure. She was certainly a strong leader, but never an inclusive one.
David Cameron seems to be ‘sleepwalking’ into her footsteps.
If we ever needed a strong opposition, we need it now in the UK, but the Labour party lacks strong leadership, and everything else. Despite the miserable state of our political leadership, Britain is in a stable place right now. Things could be far worse. We could have the leadership of Greece, Italy or Spain; along with their financial problems as well.
Things could be a lot worse, but things could also be a whole lot better.
Obama took over a sinking ship in America, but he has made big inroads towards recovery, and he has steadied the economy in America. We are seeing the beginnings of economic growth, but it will be slow.
Brazil, India and China are three of the world’s rising economies. It is interesting and instructive to see how some of the world’s less wealthy countries grab the opportunity to fire up their home economies with strong inward investment and visionary leadership. Whilst we in the ‘developed west’ live through ‘austerity measures’, they are experiencing a new and burgeoning middle class, and the confidence of a rise in income at home. These are from very low previous platforms, but its growth and welcome all the same.
There is no strong natural leader in the Republican nomination race, and that can only aid Obama come November. The Republicans seem to be relishing being at war with each other, with no one smart or strong enough, to deliver a ‘knock out’ blow to their rivals. Mitt Romney will win the candidacy, but he will probably be ‘damaged goods’ come November.
President Obama, as a non-white American, gave millions of young people worldwide hope; that no matter what colour or background you are, you can achieve anything you want with work hard and belief. His victory gave hope to a generation.
I felt energised and legitimised, as hard work and belief are the two things I live my life by.
As the saying goes, “behind every successful man is a successful woman”. I’m not sure that is as true today, but Michelle Obama has been a tower of strength to the President, and has represented America positively abroad and connected across the spectrum at home.
Many people believe Obama will win the election this year despite the negative vibes he faces right now. If he does not win a second term, he has already achieved so much more than many people believed was possible for a person of colour to do.
Nothing is impossible if you believe it can be done.
America’s politics has a glamour that British politics lacks, but our Royal Family can compete in any glamour stakes, and are loved stateside.
Prince Harry’s Caribbean and South American tour for the Queen’s Jubilee went down a treat with our American cousins.
The youth are our future, and they need to be invested in. There are so many talented individuals out there both in the US and the UK, but they never get any sort of backing from the government, or society at large.
There are many potential Ashley Theophane’s out there. I am but one of many. I am not that old, but I am also not a youngster any more. I still have hopes and dreams for my future, but there are many teenagers who want to make a better life for themselves, but have no support or guidance.
It is always touching when young American boxers tell me that I inspire them. I am a British guy who has faced many ‘dead ends’ in my life as a young adult, with my hopes and dreams in Britain.
I had to go America to realise my dreams, as there were very few opportunities for me in Britain. Only when I climbed to the boxing mountain top in America, rated fourth in the world, did I get some interest from Britain.
I did it the hard way, but doing it the hard way made me appreciate the value of what I was working towards so much more.
We have one life, and in that life we should try and achieve everything we possibly can. Life is for living. Making the impossible, possible, is the beauty of life.
The American dream still exists and can become real. I’m working very hard on having a British dream, but it’s so difficult in a country as cynical as ours has become; somehow I feel it will probably have an American ending.
I stand alone in the domestic super lightweight division. Who else can boast of having beaten the former world number three, Delvin Rodriguez, who is currently world number five in the IBF, WBA and WBC and former WBO world champion, DeMarcus Corley, who is currently WBC world number fourteen? I also gave current WBC world champion, Danny Garcia, his hardest fight. My record screams out with rock solid performances that came whilst fighting away on American soil.
I’m probably one of Britain’s best exports at this moment in time.
Yet, I have achieved this without any promotional backing. Imagine what I could achieve if a promoter really backed my talent.
I’ve just had another great camp in America; six tough weeks in New York City at Gleason’s gym and Starrett City, and two inspiring weeks in Las Vegas at the Mayweather Gym.
I’ve sparred with a great mix of fighters, all with completely different styles. I’ve worked with Floyd Mayweather’s excellent training staff; Roger Mayweather and Nate Jones, and with my trainers, Jihad Abdul-Aziz and Harry Keit have got me in very good shape again.
I’ve dropped 12lbs over the last eight weeks. I currently weigh 149lbs, and with seven weeks left before I knock Liverpool’s Steve Williams out at Aintree. I will be in frightening form by show time.
Steve Williams has fought Lenny Daws, our common opponent, who he lost to, and I easily dismantled. Karl Place and Michael Grant are his biggest wins. We are worlds apart on the boxing scene, and he absolutely knows this. He will never reach the heights I have, and he knows that, he is basically a ‘lamb’ that I am going to slaughter. It’s a no-win situation for Steve, as no matter how hard he trains, my experience and ability will be too much for him.
I fight and spar in a different galaxy to Steve. This is the biggest night of his life. It’s his ‘world title shot’. He will give it his all, and come to fight I am completely aware and comfortable with this. Just as Steve’s father told me, after our sparring session, “If Steve could spar you on a regular basis he would be able to beat anyone in Britain”. His whole team know Steve will lose. They will not tell him that, as they are there to help him believe in himself. I really like Steve as a person, so I wish him the best, but after I knock him out on May 19th.
I’ve finished up my eighth week in America just the same way I finished my last training camp; sparring with my good friend and WBC world super lightweight number one, Ajose Olusegun. I always get great sessions with Ajose, and he brings the very best out of me. I remember our gym sessions at My Gym in Finchley. They were special and legendary. Those lucky enough to witness them would tell us that they would be happy to pay an entrance fee to see our explosive, but skilful sparring sessions.
Ajose Olusegun will be the WBC world champion this year. I believe in his talent as much as I believe in mine, and he could match any of the top fighters in the 140lb division.
My trainers Jihad Abdul Aziz and Harry Keit took me on the pads for twelve rounds on Wednesday, which is always a test of my fitness. Our sessions can be seen on YouTube. Even if I say so myself, they are a work of art.
Thursday I finished up with a twelve round sparring session with Scott and Dean Burrell. I have sparred with these twins since 2008 in the lead up to my fight with current WBC world champion Danny Garcia. They have also helped me in the build-up to my fights with IBF world number three, Delvin Rodriguez, British champion Lenny Daws and former European champion Jason Cook.
They always give me quality work.
I had a serious meeting with a very important person in the boxing world this week. I am very optimistic about what was discussed, and am very hopeful about the outcome of this meeting. Until it comes to fruition, I am keeping my lips sealed, but watch this space.
For the next seven weeks, my UK trainer Dave Brown will take over my boxing workouts. I have brought Don Charles back into the fold, to get me into first class shape, and add to Team Treasure’s already world class operation.
Charles has worked with three British champions so far; Dereck Chisora, Ajose Olusegun and yours truly, along with ‘Prize-fighter’ winner, Yassine El Macchi.
No stone is left unturned when I am preparing for a fight. I take every challenger seriously, as I am usually, the biggest fight of their lives, and I know they will lay everything on the line.
I arrived back from New York City at 6:15am on Friday and I was in the gym by 8:15am. I am taking my next defence very seriously, as I’m highly motivated to win by knock out.
This fight can go one of two ways; it will either be an early knock out win for me, or knock out win in the late rounds. A point’s win is just not on the cards.
If I am aggressive from the start, Steve will get knocked out by the championship rounds. If I box and break him down like I did with Lenny Daws, Jason Cook and Ben Murphy, he will get knocked out late.
Believing in yourself when no one else believes in you is the most important asset available when trying to achieve anything you want in life.
If I had listened to the British boxing world when I turned professional, I would not be where I am today.
Boxing Monthly in 2010 named me as the British fighter to make waves that year and they were not wrong.
I dropped a razor thin decision to current WBC world champion Danny Garcia. I beat IBF world number three Delvin Rodriguez, and I made the fight with Hennessey Sports to challenge British champion Lenny Daws.
Boxing News on the other hand, has never believed in my talent, and consistently went against me in big fights, always to be proved wrong when I won.
No promoter would sign me when I first turned professional in 2003, but by 2011, every UK promoter wanted my signature. Even US promoters were showing interest.
Out of all the UK fighters who made their debut alongside me in 2003, only one or two have achieved anything like I have done, or are doing what I am doing.
My boxing record speaks for itself. Believe and you will achieve. If you don’t try, you will never know what you are capable of. My hard work and dedication has got me to where I am in my life. Nothing lands on your lap, but if you work hard enough and you believe in yourself. You can achieve it. I’m doing it and living it. So can you.
That great old sage, Confucius, is on the money again, “Man who stands on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in.”