MEN BEHAVING BADLY
Over the last few weeks, Steve Williams, Adil Anwar and Curtis Woodhouse have all spoken out of their desire to challenge me for the British title; some slightly more respectfully than others. Be careful what you wish for guys.
It’s all part and parcel of climbing to the top. It all points to the fact that I’m on track to achieve my goals.
A competitive division is good news for all concerned, but the old boxing adage still rings true “to be the man, you have to beat the man” and they haven’t done that, nor will they. I’m preparing for bigger and better bouts and I’m not allowing any hiccups on my route to the top.
Way back, when I was in primary school, some 24 years ago, my dream was to become a professional boxer, and I am now so proud that I gave myself a clear goal and had something to both believe in and aim for. That 7 year old kid is now a 31 year old man and active in his chosen career. It has been a very hard road, but through constant self-belief, hard work, perseverance and determination I’m the British champion now.
I’m now one of a select few current British fighters who have fought and won in America against world ranked fighters. Only Amir Khan and Carl Froch come to mind as having done that.
This is my second week of an eight week camp and I will be pushing myself even more. Every camp I try and improve on what I did the previous camp. Last camp I sparred with former world champ Luis Collazo, world number one Ajose Olusegun, world number four Leon Moore, world title challengers Dmitriy Salita and Argenis Mendez plus former world number four Francisco Figueroa.
I had a great camp, filled with quality training and top of the range sparring which constantly pushed me to the limit. After mixing it with some top level operators and then to return home, fully fired up, only to fight Ben Murphy (with no disrespect to Ben, a true warrior who went out on his shield). You can see just how tough it is to come down from that ultra-competitive high and perhaps better understand where the passion in my performance gets lost.
As you’ve probably gathered I’m an ultra-competitive kind of guy, there is nothing like the fear of losing to stimulate me to work harder than may seem possible. It fires up everything I do, day and night. It’s the most fabulous and sustaining adrenalin rush you could imagine and fuels me to overachieve.
Therefore coming to the US and having the opportunity to work with great fighters just makes me hungry for more of the same and a deep yearning to return to fighting the best the States has to offer and more.
Without a hint of arrogance or overconfidence, it seems a waste to spar world class fighters only to end up fighting the likes of Curtis Woodhouse and Adil Anwar. Humberto Soto, Lamont Peterson, Kendall Holt are the kind of fighters I want to be fighting. That’s what excites me. Being in domestic fights is just not exciting enough, but winning the Lonsdale belt outright in my next fight will justify the necessary detour I have taken.
I came to camp weighing 160lbs and I have a target to drop around 12lbs whilst I am here. Safely dropping 2lbs a week.
I have dropped 4lbs so far since arriving and completed 25 hours training in the week. I’m finding my stride now and all I need is for the purse bids for my upcoming mandatory defence against Steve Williams to be finalised and Hatton Promotions matchmaker, Richard Poxon to confirm the date and venue. I will be ready and waiting.
Vitali Klitschko continued his reign as world champion on Saturday after a good performance. He is 40 years old but you would never have thought it after this win. Vitali can box and fight. He has a good range of punches and I could definitely see him reigning for a few more years. Dereck Chisora put in the top performance I expected of him. He showed what he was made of when he beat Robert Helenius; but the judges gave a terrible hometown decision, which robbed Dereck of the win result on his record.
Fortuitously for Dereck that performance got him his shot at the world title. It shouldn’t have to be that way, but the authorities need to step up and confront this ‘highway robbery’ otherwise no-one of worth will bother travelling.
Dereck was outclassed in the early rounds of the fight against Vitali, but he continued to ‘walk down’ the champion and bang him to the body, which took its toll as the rounds went by.
Dereck can hold his head high with the performance he gave inside the ring, but perhaps hang his head with his troubling antics outside the ring.
After the performance of his career, he will be remembered for continued unacceptable and disgraceful behaviour; he slapped Vitali, spat water in Wladamir’s face before the fight and at the press conference he got into a fight with David Haye.
There have been far too many shrill and less than well informed voices condemning the whole sport and all those who behave impeccably. Even the great Muhammad Ali had a scuffle on a TV set back in the 70’s with Joe Frazier. Tyson and Lewis also had a scuffle at a press conference. These things do happen every day in pubs, clubs and on every neighbourhood around the world. This is not excusing the well out of order behaviour, but keeping some level of perspective.
Unfortunately this was in front of the world’s media. Dereck is licensed by the BBBoC, whilst David Haye has retired and doesn’t have a BBBoC licence at the moment, Dereck must explain his actions to the BBBoC who oversee British boxing. If not checked and action taken, this could affect the livelihoods of those involved in boxing in the UK.
Dereck can say he did not hit David first, therefore he is not to blame, and David can reply that Dereck threatened to slap him when interviewed by the media during fight week. So he feared for his safety.
For all the bad blood and unacceptable behaviour, which must not be condoned or ‘brushed under the carpet’, after the dust settles, we do have a guaranteed box office grudge fight between David Haye and Dereck Chisora.
The heavyweight division has been missing some real excitement and matching these two fighters against each other is guaranteed to bring fireworks and huge commercial revenues.
We’ve had unsavoury behaviour before in boxing, and we will no doubt have it again, but let’s not overreact, this thankfully happens less than 1% of the time.