COUNTDOWN

Posted By Treasure / April, 16, 2012 / 0 comments


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.

THE PROMISE

Posted By Treasure / April, 11, 2012 / 0 comments


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

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST

Posted By Treasure / April, 5, 2012 / 0 comments


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.

WILLIAM’S HILL

Posted By Treasure / April, 2, 2012 / 0 comments


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.”

BRITAIN’S GOT (140lb) TALENT

Posted By Treasure / March, 27, 2012 / 0 comments


On Monday Frank Maloney announced that I would be defending my British title against Liverpool’s Steve Williams at Aintree racecourse, in his hometown.

Also on the show are David Price and Sam Sexton who battle for the vacant British heavyweight title, which Tyson Fury gave up instead of facing David Price. Former British light welterweight champion, Lenny Daws will fight ‘Prizefighter’ winner, Adil Anwar, in a British title eliminator for the honour to challenge the King.

This means my last two fights will have meant travelling to my opponent’s back yard. That is all in a day’s work for a true champion, and champion I am. I fully believe and trust in my talent. A ‘ring is a ring’, as far as I am concerned. I have fought all over the world, and sparred in some of the toughest gyms in America.

I’m always ready, willing and able to meet the toughest of challenges. This will not be easy, no fight is, but it will not be at all tough.

Amir Khan will also be fighting on the same night against Lamont Peterson in Las Vegas, for the title he lost controversially on December 10th, the same night I knocked out Ben Murphy, with no room for controversy.

Amir Khan and I will now have fought on the same night in our last three fights, as we both fought on July 23rd when I beat Jason Cook and he beat Zab Judah.

Every week, the American fight fans I meet tell me to ditch the Lonsdale belt, and come back to America to campaign against the world’s best again. They tend to feel my talent is somewhat wasted against the likes of Lenny Daws, Jason Cook, Ben Murphy and Steve Williams.

They just don’t get the sense of achievement and history that winning the Lonsdale belt means to a British fighter.

Before I won the British title by beating the champion Lenny Daws, I was number four welterweight in the IBF rankings, and I had fought WBC world champion, Danny Garcia, IBF world number three Delvin Rodriguez, former world champion and current world number fourteen, DeMarcus ‘Chop Chop’ Corley. I was a bona fide world level fighter, and still am. All my best performances have come in America, and I still have yet to hit my peak.

A big credit to promoter Frank Maloney, who has put together a first class bill; it has to be the best by far in Europe in 2012. Two British title fights and four English title fights. That is real entertainment and huge value for money.

This week I took a day off for the first time in a month. I went ‘full on’ for thirty one days straight. That included one hundred and fifteen hours of incremental improvement training, raising the bar on a daily basis. What you put in is what you get out. I never leave anything to chance in the lead up to a fight.

Lenny Daws knows better than anyone exactly what Steve Williams is up against. He beat Steve a couple years back, and I completely dominated Lenny from the third round in our encounter, nearly knocking him out in the ninth round. Even with home advantage, and an arena full of strong support, Steve Williams will unfortunately still get knocked out.

Steve has the perfect setting to become British champion in front of his fans, but he has the most experienced junior welterweight in Britain other than Amir Khan, in the opposite corner to him. Sometimes having home advantage can be a disadvantage, just ask Willie Casey. It only serves to fire me up, as I strive to make every perceived disadvantage an advantage.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m an experienced world level fighter, who travels to fight, and wins no matter how tough the assignment, and no matter how far the destination. Steve is a good, honest pro who will never fight on the world scene, and I will be the biggest and hardest fight in his entire career.

Training camp in America can be tough and unforgiving, but which ever gym in I walk into, I am always surprised to be recognised and respected for what I have achieved. It is perhaps even more astounding when you realise I did it without a promoter and being self-managed.

Steve possesses no tools or technical nous to trouble me. It will be a relatively straightforward nights work come May 19th, after which I will be targeting fights with some of the world’s best fighters; Kaizer Mabuza, Kendal Holt, Humberto Soto, Prawet Singwancha, Marcus Maidana and Victor Cayo to name just a few.

Those of you familiar with my blog know that I’m not one for boasting or ‘puffing out my chest’, but I’m very clear on what I can do, and I’m ready to ‘fire on all cylinders’ and I’m not interested in overtime for this fight. Get ready it’s going to be worth watching.

Danny Garcia won the WBC world super lightweight championship on Saturday night with a rather uninspiring performance against Erik Morales. Ajose Olusegun must have been licking his lips whilst watching that poor performance. I have never been overly impressed by Danny. To this day, despite it being two years since our battle, fight fans still contact me to say they believe I won. Even Danny himself thought I beat him, but what we, or fans believe does not matter.

It is what the judges ringside decide that counts, and sometimes that can be a real shame, as many fighters worldwide have been robbed of victories on foreign territory, or their opponent’s promoter’s show.

It is all part of the sport, and you just have to bear up, continue to believe in yourself, and soldier on.

Since losing to the current WBC world champion, I have won the British and IBO International championships, plus I beat the world number three, Delvin Rodriguez. I am 100% sure Ajose Olusegun will be the WBC world champion this year. Devon Alexander and Timothy Bradley avoided him whilst they were world champions, but Danny has won it at the wrong time, as Ajose is the mandatory challenger and next in line.

It is a shame that I probably won’t get the chance to avenge that loss, as Danny knows I would beat him. Since our fight, he has beaten former world champions Erik Morales, Nate Campbell and Kendall Holt, but ‘yours truly’ gave him his hardest fight to date.

I have one more fight until I win the Lonsdale belt outright, then I’m looking forward to getting back on the world scene. I’m excited at the prospect of fighting the top talented fighters like myself again. I’m desperate for the challenge and adrenalin that I so need, desire and miss.

Two time world welterweight title challenger, Raul Frank, commented this week, that I am “the hardest working fighter” he has seen. That is a huge statement and compliment, as he has seen many world champions and great fighters train at Gleason’s gym. He said that I am capable of “achieving anything right now”, as I have “all the tools to become a world champion”.

WBC world junior welterweight number one, Ajose Olusegun, also always says that I am “the hardest working fighter” he knows. Hard work has got me to where I am today, so I’m obviously doing something right.

Stan Hoffman, manager to over thirty world champions got me my first fight in America. He saw my talent and believed I had “all the attributes to hold a world title”.

Bruce Silverglade, owner of Gleason’s gym in New York has seen world champions come and go at the gym. He says my “work ethic is of a world champion”, and he believes I could go all the way.

Former world champion, Joseph Agbeko, who I sparred with many years ago, believes that “big fights are just around the corner” for me. He is another admirer of my hard work ethic.

I love the fact that I am respected in America. This is where any fighter has to come to really prove his worth, no matter who they are, and believe me, I am doing that.

It is truly a great feeling to be respected by my peers stateside, as they know it is harder for a British fighter to prove his worth here, as so many have tried and failed.

Confucius says “man who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the man doing it”.

IN THE PRESENCE OF GREATNESS

Posted By Treasure / March, 20, 2012 / 0 comments


I don’t know of any other British fighters doing what I’m doing. I travel the world’s best gyms, learning from the very best fighters. Many fighters like staying in their comfort zone. Not me! I want to be pushed. I want to learn as much as I can. Boxing is a global sport, and I love being an active part of the world of boxing.

My second and unfortunately, last week at The Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas was truly amazing. Over the last two weeks I have pushed my body through fifty hours of gym and road work. It has been both punishing and exciting! I go to bed each night fired up and looking forward to the next day.

I arrive at the Mayweather gym at around 1pm, complete my workout then watch Floyd do his thing. I just can’t tear myself away, and I end up leaving there after 7pm. They were long days, but worth every minute as I allowed the knowledge to really soak in.

Watching Floyd Mayweather train is inspirational and motivational. I learnt so much just by watching him workout, he is very special and I will implement everything I learned and observed into my game.

On Monday there was a ‘who’s who’ gathered at his boxing gym. World champion, Yuriorkis Gamboa, was working out as I started my own workout.

I sparred with five fighters over the course of three days in the gym. One of the coaches at the gym said that ‘normally British fighters get bashed up in sparring here’, but I represented. I travel well as my record shows with wins in Saint Lucia, America and Germany.

Former world champions, Hasim Rahman, Zab Judah and Eddie Mustafa Muhammad all came to watch Floyd Mayweather spar. 50 Cent was in the building all week, supporting his friend.

Floyd dismantled Omar Henry, who was way out of his league. Then Floyd finished up with another stocky middleweight, Bastie Samir. Floyd sparred for around thirty minutes just stopping for sips off fluid every five minutes. He was sharp, fluent and commanding – a master class.

Watching Floyd train you could see the desire and hunger in his eyes. He pushed himself hard, with his team shouting ‘hard work and dedication’ as he dug deep.

Floyd’s training sessions were like a ‘friends and family’ get together. Around fifty people watched him train while music was pumping. The gym has a special aura about it on days that Floyd trains.

Bastie Samir, a strong middleweight earned his sparring partner wages on Tuesday. He stood ‘toe to toe’ with the pound for pound king. Watching up close, I knew that Floyd would make Bastie do more rounds as he wanted to break him down. There were times I thought Mayweather might knock him out, but Samir showed he has a great chin. Floyd has six sparring partners and chooses who he is going to spar when he arrives at the gym.

It is extremely tough and demanding work, but they are well looked after and it’s the best boxing learning available.

In the locker rooms on Wednesday, Floyd was saying that he fights at whatever weight he walks around at. He refuses to drain his body to make a particular weight. Floyd Mayweather is always in fantastic shape and never really goes much above 150lbs. He is a good example of how professional fighters should be. There are obvious reasons for all to see why he is one of the greatest fighters to ever walk the planet.

His uncle and trainer, Roger Mayweather thinks he is second only to the great Sugar Ray Robinson. Watching Floyd work it is clear to me that he is an all-time great, and can only be compared with the very best in history.

Floyd has a great commercial team around him, who deal with the business side of things. That along with his massive talent is why he is so marketable.

Floyd took a day off from sparring, after going three days straight. He started off with some shadow boxing; he then moved on to the pads with Roger Mayweather and followed this with the body bag with Nate Jones. He then went onto the heavy bag, then back into the ring to hit pads and the body bag. He finished up with some strength exercises. To think that his fight is still seven weeks’ away; he is fit enough now to do a twelve round fight, but Floyd is the very best for a reason.

Floyd shouted out whilst he was in the ring with everyone watching him that he liked my Treasure T Shirt. The man has great taste as well.

I took a photo with Floyd after he had finished his training session, and I had a chat with Leonard Elberbe.

All the guys at the Mayweather gym have shown me love. I will definitely be back.

J’Leon Love gave Floyd his best sparring session whilst I was there, and even impressed Roger Mayweather who thought he was the best out of the six sparring partners at the gym for Floyd. J’Leon can box and fight, so he and Floyd had some action packed rounds. Floyd’s accuracy is amazing. He rarely misses a punch, and his defence is a work of art. As he says defence wins fights and I couldn’t agree more.

I spoke to Cornelius Boza Edwards who became a world champion back in the day, when there were some really great fighters about. He fought some legendary fighters including, Alex Arguello, Hector Camacho, Jose Luis Ramirez and Bobby Chacon. He said that he has watched me fight and that “my time will come to win a world title”. That meant a lot coming from a man who did what I am doing, but at a higher level.

Right now I am learning from the best in the business. I get to watch Floyd Mayweather train at close quarters. There is no one better in the game, so being able to watch him at touching distance is just brilliant.

He is the King of the boxing world, and I am the King of the British 140lb Division. Having the opportunity to work with Roger Mayweather and Nate Jones has been a defining experience. He is a great coach and was a world champion in the nineteen eighties.

I have had the honour to watch some great fighters workout in the flesh; Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Joan Guzman and Yuriorkis Gamboa. These great fighters stand out even from the elite fighters. Watching these fighters has helped me add to my own game.

Floyd Mayweather is in a league of his own though.

Michael Jackson’s father Joe Jackson passed by the gym on Wednesday. It was an honour to see him and he still has a swagger about him.

I had a fabulous time training at Floyd’s gym. The ‘Money’ team made me feel very welcome and Britain’s Treasure will be back, as they have left the door open for me.

It is brilliant an inspiring place.

Every once in a while, you just feel you have been privileged to be in the presence of greatness. The last two weeks at The Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas has given me that privilege.

ASHLEY SPARRING AT MAYWEATHER’S GYM

Posted By Treasure / March, 19, 2012 / 0 comments

ASHLEY AT MAYWEATHER’S GYM

Posted By Treasure / March, 16, 2012 / 0 comments

 

LORD OF THE RINGS

Posted By Treasure / March, 12, 2012 / 0 comments


I believe you can do anything you put your mind to. You just have to put in the hard work to achieve it.

I’m now living my childhood dream. Fighting and training in America was always what I hoped for as a five year old kid. Watching Kirkland Laing beat Roberto Duran, Lloyd Honeyghan fighting Marlon Starling, Nigel Benn beating Doug Dewitt and Iran Barkley in America. These British fighters were in some of the most glamorous fights in America, fighting the world’s best.

That is what I wanted to do. That is what inspired me.

My whole focus as a kid was about one day fighting and training in America. How was I ever going to achieve that? I would try my hardest, but perhaps I was just fooling myself. Would I ever be good enough? I had no real love for the amateur code, but it was a necessary part of the process to get to where I wanted to go.

If you have no goals, you will have nothing to aim for.

I watched Pernell Whitaker and Marvin Hagler as a young amateur. One was super skilful, and the other was as hard as nails, and would break down fighters. I learned from both of these fighting legends, and they also came from humble origins.

Many people have dreams, but far too many fail to follow them through, or they end up expecting opportunities to land in their lap. I’ve learned that you have to make your own opportunities.

I won a British title eliminator, but the British champions of 2007, would not fight me. I therefore decided to focus on getting fights in the States. I had been training there since 2005, but in 2008 I went there for six months. I knew nothing would come to me, so I had to go where it could happen, and give my all, and more.

I went to training camps with Dmitriy Salita, initially in Florida, and then up into the Catskills, which is in New York State. There I met Stan Hoffman, who has guided and worked with over thirty world champions. He saw something in me that made him believe I could well be a world champion. He got me an opportunity to fight on ESPN in 2008.

Since then I have fought IBF world number three Delvin Rodriguez, WBC world number two, Danny Garcia and former world champion and current WBC world number sixteen, DeMarcus Corley.

My name has been linked over the years with fights with Victor Ortiz, Jessie Vargas, Randall Bailey, Lamont Peterson, Zab Judah, Steve Forbes and Kendall Holt.

I have sparred former world champions Joan Guzman, Elio Rojas, Yuri Foreman, Paul Malignaggi and world ranked fighters Ajose Olusegun, Agenis Mendez, Dmitriy Salita, Francisco Figueroa, Leon Moore to name a few.

I have come a very long way, and it has been a long hard road. My perseverance, dedication, and a fear of failure has driven me forward even on my low days which I now appreciate, everyone gets. Even when I thought I would never fulfil the promise that I believed my talent was worthy of, I kept going. I never missed a shift, and remained determined throughout. I could not give up. I promised myself to see this thing through, no matter what.

At the end of my boxing career I wanted no regrets whatsoever.

I’m proud that sitting in a lonely and potentially soul destroying prison cell back in July 2000, I knew I had to change. I needed a big break, and it came when I was found not guilty. I had been given my chance, and I was going to grab it with both hands. Boxing was my chosen route, I was going to give my all and I’ve stuck to my word. That inner belief and constant faith in myself has started to be rewarded.

Maybe it is the Virgo in me, or maybe it’s my upbringing, but I’m now at a level where I need to continue to always strive for perfection.

My training camp base is New York City. I am more than happy with the work I do at Gleason’s gym. It has helped me get the biggest wins in my career.

Floyd Mayweather is the biggest name in the world of boxing at the moment, and he is in camp to train for his upcoming mega fight with Miguel Cotto.

Something inside of me said I needed to go to the Mayweather boxing gym in Las Vegas, to watch the master at work and see if I could get some tips to add to my personal arsenal.

Not everyone gets the opportunity to train at this most select of boxing schools. On my first day at the Mayweather gym, I had the opportunity to work with Roger Mayweather, plus I got to watch Floyd spar.

He did five minute rounds with minimal rest. He finished up his sparring session to go and pound the heavy bag; he then immediately jumped back in the ring to hit pads with his trainer and uncle, Roger Mayweather. He then finished up with some abdominal work. Outstanding!

50 Cent was in the building watching his friend workout. I was one of the very few who were allowed to stay and watch the pound for pound king work out. It was an honour to watch him at work. I had a ringside seat; he was entertaining, and every move was educational to watch.

Watching him at close quarters, he oozed confidence and self-belief. These are two things that a champion must have.

After finishing his workout, Floyd was talking with his family and he noticed me. He asked me what weight I was and what was my record? When he heard my London accent, he asked where I was I from.

Floyd said he would spar with me and test my skills.

That was my first day in the Mayweather gym, and I couldn’t have asked for a better first day.

I again worked with Roger Mayweather on my second day in the gym. It was an honour to work with him and for him to give up his time was very much appreciated.

To be the best you have to learn from the best, and I’ve sparred, fought and watched some of the best boxers of my generation.

I completed twenty seven hours training this week. Being in Las Vegas is the last place I would have ever thought to come for training camp, but just like when I’m in New York. It is a gym and home.

Home in Vegas is the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino Hotel.

I have just one more week’s training at the Mayweather Gym, and every day that I’m in the gym, I push as hard as possible. Training in the pound for pound king’s gym is a real inspiration and motivating in itself.

Many people say that I am very lucky to be living my childhood dream. I have to disagree! I had to make this happen. Luck had nothing to do with it. I have a goal and I work my hardest to make my dream a reality, at all costs.

As the man says, “the harder you work, the luckier you get”.

Anything is possible to achieve if you believe and work hard towards making it happen.

I am the perfect example of that!

An exciting and instructive week, topped off by seeing the best fighter in the world at very close quarters. It doesn’t get much better than that.

MISSING THE X-FACTOR

Posted By Treasure / March, 9, 2012 / 0 comments


This is my fourth week of an eight week camp in America. Next week I will be in Las Vegas for a two week training camp at Mayweather’s boxing gym. I’m really excited at the prospect of watching the pound for pound king workout, and perhaps..

I’ve watched Manny Pacquiao work out at the Wildcard gym in Los Angeles, back in 2008 when Amir Khan had not long started working with Freddy Roach.

I’m a real student of the modern art of boxing, and love learning from the very
best. ‘Seeing is believing’ and nothing beats close proximity learning.

Manny Pacquiao has the most unbelievable work ethic in the gym, and since that experience, I have moved my training regime up a few notches.

I sparred with WBA 140lb world title challenger and current WBA 147lb world number fifteen, Dmitriy Salita, twice this week. Two other fighters joined in on our second session, and I got in some good rounds with two young hungry fighters.

On the road to success, there are always many distractions. ‘Stay focused and you will get to your destination’ is a motto I like to live by.

Last time I was in Las Vegas was for my 30th birthday celebrations. I had just
beaten IBF world number three, Delvin Rodriguez. So I went there to both recuperate and celebrate. Despite that being a great and memorable experience, this time I will be there for strictly business. I already have my tunnel vision tuned in, and will be my fully focused self.

My next, and just perhaps final defence of my British title, will be against Steve
Williams from Liverpool. Purse bids have been set for March 14th, and as long as Hatton Promotions win the bid; Richard Poxon’s plan is to do battle on April 21st, on the same card as Anthony Crolla’s British title defence against Derry Matthews in Oldham.  I can’t wait.

I sparred with Steve Williams before my fight with Lenny Daws. It was competitive, and I enjoyed it. Steve’s dad filmed it, but it has yet to make its way on to YouTube. I wonder why?

I will knock out Steve Williams for sure; I 100% believe that. I’m not Karl Place,
who crumbled in two rounds. I’m a proud British champion, but with no disrespect, my talent is being wasted on the domestic scene. I’m finding it boring, and I therefore find myself fighting well within myself. I need fighters who will really push me, much more mentally and emotionally, rather than just physically.

I like Steve as a person, he is a good guy and I do respect him as a fighter. After
I win the Lonsdale belt outright, after knocking him out, I hope he comes back to win the title after I’ve stepped up.

In all my British title fights I have been behind after four rounds against Alan
Bosworth, Lenny Daws, Jason Cook and Ben Murphy. Domestic fighters seem to come ‘flying out the blocks’ and after bravely giving it there all, they wear themselves out.

Title fights are a marathon not a sprint. It always appears that I give my opponents a head start, whilst working them out, but I always come back to knock them out or dismantle them. Steve Williams and I are destined to deliver an all action fight. There will only be one winner though, and for the avoidance of doubt – that’s me!

This week I have killed myself in the gym. Every subsequent week I have stepped up my workout ethic. I am confident that there are only a few special people in world boxing who push as consistently hard as I do.

Try pushing yourself through twenty five to thirty hours training every week. Only the very top athletes live for and relish this punishing schedule. The top swimmers, triathletes and marathon runners are the athletes that I really respect and admire, as we have similar work ethics.

I’m a qualified sports nutritionist and strength trainer, so I’m always searching
for ways to improve my already world class arsenal. Nutrition is very important, as that provides the energy to push harder in training. Many people do not really understand the importance of nutrition in sport.

I use Vitabotics Wellman supplements, such as Wellman sport and Imunnance. High5 sport bars, carbohydrate drinks and energy gels help me through my gruelling workouts.

Tim Coleman is fighting Kendall Holt, and Kaiser Mabuza just beat Steve Willis. I would love to fight the winner of either bout, as that would propel me towards a world title bout. Mabuza recently lost to Zab Judah in a world title fight, and Kendall Holt just lost to Danny Garcia in a world title eliminator, he is also a former world champion. These two fighters would be top of my wish list for a July fight.

WBC world number one, Ajose Olusegun, asked me who is next up for me and I told him that I am fighting my mandatory challenger, Steve Williams from Liverpool. Ajose said “that would be an easy fight for me”. He said “it will only be as hard as I make it”. He always compliments me as the hardest working fighter he knows.

Ajose Olusegun is a fighter I have always believed would become world champion, and this year will surely be his year. It gives me a real buzz when world class fighters like him rate me so highly.

Being in Brooklyn, just keeps me motivated, as there is so much poverty and
homelessness around. On occasion, I just can’t help being generous to those people in need, it only takes a wrong decision, or bad choices that can easily lead to a miserable path of suffering. I certainly wasn’t dealt an easy hand in life, but I am doing my utmost to make sure it ends up being a winning hand.

I completed 30 hours of intensive training this week, and I am currently weighing 154lbs. I’ve dropped 6lbs whilst being here.

I relaxed with a massage on Sunday to refresh my body for the week ahead in Las Vegas.

Adrian Broner said after his win “Call him the ‘can’ man; Ameri-cans, Afri-cans,
Mexi-cans, Domini-cans, anybody ‘can’ get it.” You’ve got to love his self-belief
and humour.  He is clearly enjoying his profession.

All great fighters have that natural self-belief, and at times that is the
difference between winning and losing. That inner belief kicks in at the toughest
moments, and fires you to prove again and again that you are the best.

Britain’s number one fighter, Carl Froch, will fight Lucien Bute in Nottingham on May 26th. Carl has fought the very best in the 168lb division. I can’t remember a British fighter who fought so many elite fighters back to back. From Mikkel Kessler, Andre Ward, Jermaine Taylor, Andre Dirrel, Jean Pascal, Glen Johnson to Arthur Abraham, not a light touch to be found.

Carl Froch is one of the true warriors of this generation, and I have so much
respect for him.

One of my favourite current fighters, Joan Guzman returned to the screens of ESPN on Friday night. He easily disposed of Jesus Pabon. He finished him with a left hook out of the southpaw stance.

I see this man train in the flesh all the time at Gleason’s gym, and it is inspiring
to train in his presence. His talent should have seen him on the level of Manny
Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. Joan on his day is big trouble for any of the 140lb fighters. 2012 may be the year he adds another world title belt around his waist.

Wladimir Klitschko disposed of Jean Mormeck in far too easy fashion on Saturday. Mormeck was a disgrace, and should never have been in the ring with the champ, but such is the sorry state of the heavyweight division.

Wladmir named Tyson Fury and David Price as future opponents. His next fight will be against Tony Thompson, whom he has already beaten. The Klitschko brothers are good fighters, but.

Larry Holmes reigned over a weak heavyweight division, as did Mike Tyson in the eighties, but not quite this weak.

In the nineties Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Riddick Bowe, Tommy Morrison, Ray Mercer all had fantastic fights in the heavyweight division.

Now the heavyweight division is boring and predictable.

The Klitschko brothers are great ambassadors of the sport, always respectful of
their opponents, and they know how to present themselves to the media.

In America, it is far more likely for a 6ft plus athletic youngster to be attracted
by NFL, basketball, or baseball.

The state of boxing is very good, but we need a competitive and exciting heavyweight division.

We always could rely on the Olympics to provide future top American heavyweight contenders, but for the last American heavyweight or superheavyweight gold medallist we have to go back to Ray Mercer in 1988. The same year that Lennox Lewis beat Riddick Bowe for the gold medal in the superheavyweight final.

As we all know, the Olympics are in my home city this year, and I’m hoping that some new and hungry young talent emerges to help reignite a poor, and less than exciting heavyweight division.