I will be fighting Mohonri Montes on Thursday 30th April at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. This is the joint main event which will be shown live on ESPN across America.
Montes is an accomplished fighter with 30 wins, 21 by knock out. He has only lost 4 and 2 of those have been to three weight world champion, Humberto Soto and respected boxer, Eric Bone.
He’s a great fight for me. One I feel will bring out the best in me.
My last two opponents have been Mexican. This will be the third one in a row and fourth over the last six. They are never easy. Always very challenging opponents.
Floyd was impressed with my last victory on December 12th in San Antonio, Texas. He shared with me that I’d be back in the big fights and here I am.
This week has seen more quality sparring and pad work.
CNN reporter, Ben Wyatt came down to the Mayweather Gym on Wednesday to interview me and watch me work out. He spent enough time to get ‘under the skin’ of what it really takes. His interview will be out next week.
I hit Red Rock Mountain for a hiking trip and I spent a day at a spa in Lake Las Vegas – when my team told me to take a day off.
It’s been a great camp. One of my best in Las Vegas.
The months have turned in to weeks, now we are looking at days.
“Learn from the past, prepare for the future, and perform in the moment.”
Life can be made so much harder by people going out of their way to belittle your dreams. I’ve heard “you can’t” and “you won’t” over the last 12 years far too many times. I used this to energise my efforts and “I can” and “I will” is what I told myself and I did.
They say that many successful people often have to go it alone as their journey is not one that is normally trodden.
I understand this. For years I’ve believed in myself. For years I believed I would get to the top of the mountain. I’ve always believed I was good enough.
My talent wasn’t really recognised in the United Kingdom. I went to New York City in 2005, and they instantly loved me. Many telling me that I was good enough to be world champion. I instantly felt at home, it was such a positive environment. Not like in London, where I felt I was hitting dead end after dead end.
My dream was laughed at there, but in America they believed in me. They believe in dreams.
Sometimes that’s all it takes is for someone to believe in you. I always pushed hard. Relentlessly! I wasn’t afraid of coming up short. I just had to give my best. That’s all I ask from myself, all the time.
Even when it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I kept on digging.
After becoming world number four, British champion, International champion three times, fighting in five different countries and winning. I met and joined forces with René Carayol.
This man believed in me and saw something in me I never quite did. He helped me to dream bigger. Four years strong. Despite some ups and downs, we are still on course. His vision has come true. A vision I never saw, but I believed in him, and stayed true to the script.
I’ve been in hundreds of magazines across Great Britain. I’m currently on billboards in the United Kingdom. Whenever I’m in London, I’m privileged to be a guest on Boxnation, and recently was invited by Sky Sports to provide expert opinion and insight on boxing matters, on their ‘Toe to Toe’ podcast. This is the most watched boxing program in the world.
This coming week will see me being interviewed by CNN’s Ben Wyatt in Las Vegas, for a special piece on my upcoming fight and being in “The Money Team”.
Training this week has been hard. I’ve assembled my team of sparring partners to push me every minute of every round. All talented fighters based in Las Vegas.
For the next three weeks I’ll be using the Sub-zero recovery system in Las Vegas. Best cryotherapy in town. I have got to have my body performing at its best.
Training camp is not cheap, but to get the best out of your body you have to give it the best.
“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do” – Floyd Mayweather.
You push your body so hard. Right to the verge of breaking point. You feel like you’re going to collapse with exhaustion. You can never afford to get comfortable with your work ethic. No world class athlete or successful business man ever does.
I’m three weeks from my 45th professional fight. Just as I pushed my 22 year old body in 2002, when I had dreams of one day walking amongst my idols. Now in 2015, as a 34 year old man, I’m pushing even harder now. I’m a veteran in the boxing world. I walk among greats. I walk among my idols. Some are now my rivals. It’s been a great journey.
A mind blowing story that one day I’ll be able to share with audiences around the world.
I made my professional debut in 2003. Frank Warren, Mick Hennessy, Matchroom Sport and Frank Maloney were the top promoters at that time in the UK. None of them at the time believed I’d achieve much in the sport. That only added fuel to my fire. The furnace was blazing with determination.
I headed to New York City in 2005. Working at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn. In 2010 I became world number 4 defeating world number 3 Delvin Rodriguez, and derailing his scheduled fight with Saul Alvarez.
I headed back to London to defeat British champion, Lenny Daws. Two years later I arrived in Las Vegas as I believed I was good enough to be part of the team of the number one boxer in the world, Floyd Mayweather.
Two years later I’m still here. Four wins straight and looking to make it five on Thursday 30th April at the Palms Casino Hotel.
Being able to watch Floyd workout gives me that extra motivation. That extra inspiration. He had a dream, and he worked very hard to make it a reality.
My story is becoming more special by the day, but I have so much more I can achieve. So much more I believe I will achieve. Every day I move closer to making that a reality.
First I have an opponent with 30 wins, 21 by knockout with only 4 losses. I’m back on the big stage where I always want to test myself. Always challenging myself. This is the perfect opponent to set my case for a world title challenge. I’m ready!
Back in London, Vitabiotics have a great new marketing campaign with some inspiring advertisements; featuring world class athletes Mark Foster and Jimmy Anderson alongside yours truly. I’ve been told that they look great. Even though I’m away from the UK, Vitabiotics have ensured I’ll still be there in magazines, newspapers, buses and train stations.
Dreams are just dreams unless you wake up to make them a reality. I’m here living my dreams.
I’ve been back in Las Vegas for two months now and my 45th fight is now only a month away.
This week I had a pleasure of working out with some hugely accomplished boxers that I would simply classify as “Legends”.
From Zab Judah, a former undisputed world champion, DeMarcus Corley, a former world champion who has fought a who’s who of the boxing world, and my close TMT colleague, Ishe Smith, the one and only world champion born in Las Vegas.
All very successful fighters indeed, having through the years fought the very best available.
I battled with them throughout our competitive sparring sessions. They brought out the best in me, punishing me for every mistake I made.
“To be the best you must surround yourself with the best”. This has been more than just a motto for me, it’s become a way of life and I believe this attitude was paramount to me being signed by Mayweather Promotions.
This week was very productive on all levels. It is always helpful and necessary to be surrounded by people whom I respect and admire, they push me day in day out to be the best I can be.
Over the weekend I was invited to take part in a Photoshoot for a new clothing line, it was good fun and a great initiative to get involved in.
I will be on Sky Sports News this week, being interviewed about the richest fight in boxing history – do look out for it.
I’m getting very excited about my fight at the Palms Casino and hotel on Thursday 30th April, two days before Floyd battles Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand.
Las Vegas is always a lively place, but even Vegas will be transformed that week, and there will be thousands of fellow Brits in town and I’m sure that the atmosphere will be amazing.
I had the perfect ringside seat to watch Floyd Mayweather push himself this week; sparring, pad and bag work, jumping rope and then running side by side with him around the streets of Las Vegas.
“The Rumble in the Jungle” was a legendary training camp for Muhammad Ali. It provided a career defining win for him. This training camp is the same for Floyd Mayweather – a fight estimated to be worth between 400 and 500 million dollars.
The richest fight ever to take place AND I get to witness it all from behind the scenes, and soak in what it really takes to be a legendary fighter.
As a British born and bred fighter, to have the unique and very special opportunity to be here as Floyd’s UK guy is a huge privilege.
There is no value in being here and preaching, I’m valuing being here and learning – everyday!
This is my twelfth year as a professional boxer. I’ve shared the ring with some accomplished boxers in that time; world champions Danny Garcia and DeMarcus Corley, world title challengers Delvin Rodriguez and Pablo Cesar Cano, European champion Jason Cook and British champion Lenny Daws. Anyone would say, some of the best of my era.
Fighting and winning in five different countries. St Lucia, USA, Germany, Luxembourg and England. It’s easily said, but believe me, seriously hard to accomplish. Many might say that these achievements are worthy of recognition, and some might even applaud.
It is a sad fact that very few British fighters come to America and hold their own, they tend to drown! The Americans don’t yet respect British fighters, but I’m one of a select few that has won their very hard earned respect.
Most fighters prefer the comforts of staying at home. I’ve found out that by going out to alien territory, with none of my fans in the arena, has brought the best out of me. Behind enemy lines!
When I started boxing in 1988 my dream was always to fight in America.
To fight the very best and to be at my best. As an 8 year old kid my dream was unthinkable. How was I going to do this? I’m from a poor and neglected part of London, crime filled, with low ambitions and opportunities very few and far between.
I’m living my childhood dream now. The number one fighter in the world is my boss.
Very few people set a goal and actually achieve it. Through the years the dream has gotten bigger and bolder. At first the naysayers laughed at me but now many cheer me, and to my surprise and pleasure, some even take the time to inform me “just how great I am doing and how far I’ve come”.
I have to say that I’ve done nothing in my life that has surprised me, as I’ve always pushed myself despite the lack of financial backing, I’ve found a way.
A kid from Paddington, England witnessing greatness on a day to day basis. The brilliant private workouts I get to witness AND I get to see Floyd Mayweather at work. I get to pound the streets of Las Vegas with him. He gives me advice and tells me he’s got my back.
The years of sacrifice, determination and hard work have got me here. Don’t ever tell me I can’t do something. I’ve already made the impossible possible, and here we go again.
It still amazes me just how many people appear to ‘dislike’ Floyd Mayweather, it’s usually because they do not know him, and they will never know him because they dislike him.
When looking back no longer interests you any more, you must be doing something right.
Born and raised in London, I’ll always be proud to be Paddington born, but I have to say I’m so much prouder of just how far I’ve come and how far I can still go.
If you stay within your comfort zone, you’ll never know how good you can truly be. I’ve racked up 37 wins during my career and my target is 50 wins to retire on. I’m getting closer and closer, but I want to fight my eras very best before I walk off into the sunset.
Success is a very, very lonely road. Very few people are willing to endure the pain and the sacrifices to be successful. It’s a permanent uphill battle, and along that road, you’re not going to see many friends. Learn to have your shadow as company as no-one else will share your burden. But what doesn’t kill you on this particular road, will definitely grow you. This is the life I’ve lived since becoming a boxer.
I may not be the best boxer in the world but I’m pushing myself to be the best boxer I can possibly be.
As “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali said; he hated every moment of training, but he did what he needed to do to become a champion.
Training camp is a hard, severe and a lonely time. It is just you and your thoughts to push and support you to your physical and mental breaking points. This life certainly isn’t for everyone.
Week Two of training camp is over. Floyd and Manny Pacquiao held a press conference in LA this week. The scale of this event is unprecedented. I get to see at close quarters the work that Floyd puts in, in order to gain victory over Manny.
Floyd sparred former undisputed welterweight champion, Zab Judah, this week. It was a pleasure to watch.
My own training camp is going perfect. The work never gets easier, but you just have to continue pushing your body, when you’re tired, just keep pushing.
My time out this week was to go on the ‘High Roller’, Las Vegas’s version of the London Eye. Sin City is truly beautiful.
This Friday, The Daily Mail newspaper in the UK will be publishing a weekly column of my thoughts on Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao.
Make sure to grab a copy.
It’s been a big week in Las Vegas.
Floyd Mayweather officially started his training camp for his blockbuster fight with Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand on Saturday 2nd May.
My own training camp started for my 45th fight on Thursday 30th April. My coach Nate Jones was back in Sin City to oversee preparations; sparring, pad work and road runs have seen me very content with how we are starting camp.
I’ve had four straight wins since my split decision loss to former interim WBA champion, Pablo Cesar Cano, on the highest grossing fight in the history of boxing, Floyd Mayweather v Saul Alvarez. Now my team want me back against the elite names.
Saturday morning saw the guys and girls hit Mount Charleston for a lung sapping run. It was painful on the legs and suffocating on the lungs.
Friday and Saturday evening saw me at ringside for the fights at the MGM Grand. I was rubbing shoulders with the likes of Denzel Washington, Laila Ali, Deontay Wilder and Zab Judah through some entertaining fights on ESPN and NBC. Boxing is in a good place in America right now.
All work and no play makes Ashley a dull boy. So I attended Zumanti at the New York Hotel and Casino this week. Sitting front row to take in the breath taking performances, I was asked on stage to join in with the cast in a dance sequence. It was a fun night in Vegas. These are sometimes necessary to take my mind off the high expectations that sit on my shoulders.
It all started with a dream. A dream made reality through sacrifice and hard work, taking chances and stepping into the unknown. You don’t know what will happen, but you have to believe, even when you cannot see the finishing line. You need that positive and optimistic mind-set.
I’ve made sure that I surrounded myself with a positive team of associates and friends. Take a critical look around at your inner circle, ensure they are like-minded people like you.
I’m thankful for all those in my life who push me and help me to be the best I can be.
I’m watching history happen right now. I’m part of a legendary training camp. I’m surrounded by goal orientated people, pushing and focused on success.
I’ve come a very long way. I’m from Paddington, London, now I’m in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’ve got far to go but knowing where I was in 2002 when I applied for my boxing licence in London to be fighting in Las Vegas and being promoted by Floyd Mayweather.
I know dreams can come true. I believe in my dreams and I’m always striving to make them the reality of my life.
The biggest and most lucrative boxing match in history is about to take place.
Saturday 2nd May at the MGM Grand Arena, here in Las Vegas, Floyd Mayweather will be fighting Manny Pacquiao.
Muhammad Ali “The Greatest” will forever be remembered for the legendary “Rumble in the Jungle” in Zaire. Floyd is set to break all previous records across the world with this event. Floyd is continuing where legends like Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali and Jack Johnson left off.
Being part of Floyd’s team I’m very privileged to be witnessing something very special at close and intimate quarters. I get to see the things that many fans and the media will never know or see.
It’s both inspiring and motivating. I’m pushing to be the greatest I can be. So fighting the best fighters in my division is my endeavour; the Lamont Peterson’s and Adrien Broner’s are my target.
I’ve fought on three out of four of Floyds events at the MGM Grand. The venue has become normal to fight in for me now. A kid from a deprived area in London that made his professional debut at York Hall in London has now come a long way.
This will be the sixth training camp of Floyd Mayweather’s I’ve witnessed.
Expectations are always high from Floyd for all his fighters to be victorious come fight time. I’ve won my last four fights. I seem to be getting better with age.
This will be my 45th fight over 12 years as a professional boxer. I’ve been IBF world number 3, British champion, won 3 International titles, fought in 5 countries and now I’m promoted by Mayweather Promotions.
It’s been a hard and unforgiving road, but I continue to work hard and believe that those career defining fights will come for me.
Every day you must be prepared and able to perform when the biggest role of your life is presented on the biggest stage.
Floyd announced his fight on Friday afternoon. The internet went into overdrive. TV and Radio stations went crazy announcing that the fight that has been talked about for six years is finally happening.
“To me, it’s just another day. It’s just another fight. I mean, when you just look at the tale of the tape, I have a longer reach, I’m taller, I’m stronger, and I’m more accurate. I think I’ve seen a major change in Pacquiao … I took my time, I made the right move, and I’m just ready to go out there and be exciting. Be smart and be exciting. I mean, he’s a fighter just like I’m a fighter, and he’s a guy that’s out there to win. The only thing I know is to win, so is losing in the back of his mind? Absolutely! Why? Because he probably lost 3 or 5 times before, so losing is in his mind. Losing is not in my mind because the only thing I know how to do is win” stated undefeated pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather to Ben Thompson at FightHype.com.
It’s not every question that deserves an answer, but this is the fight that every fan demands an answer to.
2014 was very hard work, especially with being away from home for so long, but delivered a successful year for my boxing career.
Three victories last year; two of them in Las Vegas – one at the MGM Grand and another at the Palms Casino Hotel. The last of the year was in Texas at the Alamodome, where I put on a master class in front of my promoter, Floyd Mayweather. He was very happy with my performance and shared with me just what I needed to hear, that I’ll be “back on the TV in Championship fights”.
The hard work and the sacrifice will be worthwhile when I’m back in front of the world’s best. There’s no thrill like being matched against men you view as your equal; Danny Garcia, Delvin Rodriguez, DeMarcus Corley and Pablo Cesar Cano are top talent that have brought the best out of me. This is why I’m happy to be based out of Las Vegas, no matter what the hardship.
I went back home to London for the holidays after nine months in training camp in Las Vegas and New York City.
The UK betting giants, Coral, kindly invited me to White Hart Lane to watch my beloved football team, Premier League ‘giants’, Tottenham Hotspur.
I also had the pleasure of being a guest on the always informative and fun TV boxing show, The Bunce Hour on BoxNation.
I just about had time to hit the first class theatres and restaurants around my beautiful city of London. I even had the pleasure of taking a weekend spa trip to Jersey, to refresh my mind and body for the gruelling and punishing year I have ahead of me.
2015 is here now and I get to start it with a trip to Los Angeles to meet my boss Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather before accompanying him to Australia on his promotional tour with the rest of “The Money Team”.
Come May 2nd at the MGM Grand, I’ll be focused on bringing home my 38th professional victory.
During my training camp for my 37th professional victory, I had the pleasure of training alongside WBC Heavyweight Champion of the world, Bermane Stiverne.
I even had my Thanksgiving dinner with him, as Bob Ware, the man that wraps Floyd’s hands and is now his cut man, invited us round for dinner with his family.
Bermane lost his crown to Deontay Wilder, the first American Heavyweight Champion since Shannon Briggs in 1996. Wilder can now look forward to clashes with Tyson Fury, Wladimir Klitschko and my friend, David Haye.
I have to remind myself that it has now become just about normal to rub shoulders with some of the stars of my fine sport.
Some people say I’m lucky. That’s nearly an insult to the hard times I experienced on my journey whilst trying to make something of my career in Britain. I found myself left out in the wilderness by Britain’s top promoters; Frank Warren, Mick Hennessy and Matchroom Sports until 8 years later when I won the British Championship and then they all surprisingly found my contact details
This is all part and parcel of having chosen the toughest profession in the most unforgiving industry, yet I’m now really looking forward to a very positive 2015.
“Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.” -John Wooden
Life is about taking risks. You have to regularly ask yourself ‘what risks have you taken?’ Sometimes you fail, but that’s the only way to find your limits. You regroup and try again. Never let a setback define you.
“In America you can be anything you want to be”. Who am I to argue with that? America has truly been great to me. I came here with a dream, and year by year I have fought hard to make great strides to achieving what many thought I wasn’t capable of doing when I made my professional debut back in 2003. Why put a ceiling on your ambitions?
I have always believed in myself. You have to. If you don’t, no one else will. I’ve been fortunate enough to come across people along my journey who gave my belief a boost with their support and guidance. If you’ve got nothing productive or positive to say, there’s no need to ‘rain on someone’s parade’. Some get off on belittling people, telling them what they can’t do. Why not try to help them and offer advice or positive reinforcement? It costs nothing. They might even surprise you and go on to achieve their dream or endeavour.
My boss, Floyd Mayweather, was ringside cheering me on and offering advice. He shouted out in between rounds.
“I see you’re stealing my moves.”
“Nice shoulder role.”
“You’ll be back to championship fights next year.”
Floyd Snr told me he didn’t know I could box that good, and that my consistency of staying in the gym was paying off.
Floyd’s mother hugged me afterwards and told me she was praying for me during the fight.
After my fight I went into Ishe’s locker room to give him my support. Everything went well during camp. Mentally he was ready. The first half of the fight was pretty close, but Erislandy Lara made some tactical changes which Ishe couldn’t find an answer to. Ishe fought his heart out but on the night it wasn’t enough.
When the best go against each other there has to be a loser. That’s sport. He’ll be back!
After the show, Floyd took everyone out for a meal.
It was a great way to end a punishing training camp.
The day after my fight, back in Las Vegas. I went to the MGM Grand.
Amir Khan put on a display of boxing skills, blistering hand speed, ring generalship and great foot work to beat another former two time world champion in Devon Alexander.
Irishman Andy Lee beat Kotobov to become WBO middleweight world champion across the road at the Cosmopolitan hotel.
It was a victorious weekend for British and Irish fighters in the States.
I’ve been in America just under nine months this year. It’s been hard but sacrifice is needed to achieve anything in life. Three wins out of three.
2014 has been a good year. 2015 I want to be even better, fighting the big names. The elite!
Four wins over the last twelve months with Mayweather Promotions.
I’ve fought in Las Vegas twice, Washington and now San Antonio. It’s been a positive 12 months.
2015 will be interesting with me moving back to the big stage.
With 37 victories under my belt – 40 is the goal for next year.