In the last week of the build up to my fight with Lenny Daws I had a bad cold so I pulled a ‘no show’ at the press conference, the day before the weigh in. Mick Hennessy wasn’t impressed and reported me to the BBBofC but I went to the doctor’s so it was genuine.
I didn’t want Lenny to see I was sick and give him a mental boost.
He didn’t know to not take it as a ‘couldn’t be bothered’ sign or me just being disrespectful. They thought maybe I had struggled to lose weight but if anyone knows me I am very professional and on the ball when it comes to dropping weight.
I am a qualified nutritionist and dietician so everything I do is 100% healthy. This helps me to do crazy 25 to 30 hour week workouts as I refuel my body with clean energising food.
Yet still sometimes people suggest that I think I’m better than I really am.
But I’ll tell you this – the only current British fighters to have gone abroad and beaten world ranked fighters are David Haye, Amir Khan and Carl Froch.
The only thing missing from my waist is a world title and I am definitely good enough to hang with the best of my division.
Fights with Peterson, Bradley, Morales, Maidana, Berto and Ortiz are the ones I am aiming for.
Former European and IBO Champion Jason Cook will be an easier fight than Lenny Daws and that was easy after three rounds as I predicted.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s a good time for British boxing. John Murray and Kevin Mitchell had a great domestic war last weekend just like George Groves and James DeGale put on another good fight earlier this year.
But for me there is no one in Britain other than Amir Khan where I could get a mega fight like that.
Saying that, Commonwealth champion Lee McAllister turned down a fight with me as he didn’t want to come down to London so I’m willing to come to Aberdeen in September or October to put on a unification clash if his promoter is up for it.
I beat former world title challenger and world number three Delvin Rodriguez exactly a year ago and he just came back to get a draw with in-form world ranked fighter Pawel Wolak at Junior Middleweight in a ‘fight of the year’ nominee.
For the critics that say I’m not world class they only have to look at opponents such as Rodriguez. I also beat former world champion DeMarcus Corley just after former world WBC champion Devon Alexander and before current IBF World number one Randall Bailey.
Aside from beating Delvin Rodriguez I dropped a split to Golden Boy’s young star fighter, and WBC World number 10, Danny Garcia and all of those were in America.
I achieved that as an opponent – as the underdog and as the man who was brought in to lose.
Imagine if I had a promoter backing me what I could do. Hennessy Sport brought me in twice to lose to Alan Bosworth and Lenny Daws and I disposed of both with ease.
On Wednesday Tyson Fury and myself took part in the Media workout. It went well. I did video interviews with Jane Couch, iFILM LONDON and Secondsout TV. I also did some with the Independent newspaper, Undisputed online magazine and a Boxrec reporter. All in all it was a productive day and I enjoyed it!
Mick Hennessy has announced that my fight would also be shown in Africa and Russia to go with America, Canada and the United Kingdom. It’s good to see the fight getting ‘out there’ and Mick Hennessy is putting on a Worldwide show – I’m glad to be a major part of it legendary boxing commentator Al Bernstein is being flown over from the States to commentate on the televised bouts. He has commentated for Showtime and ESPN and his voice is legendary in the States – a little like Harry Carpenter was in the UK. It’s a privilege to have him in attendance.
So now the fight… and I’m focused on winning the Lonsdale belt outright.
I weighed in my career lightest at 138lbs and I am in great shape.
It’s time to get in the ring and I’m counting the hours until show time. Don’t miss it on Channel 5.
READY, STEADY, COOK
John Murray and Kevin Mitchell fought their hearts out on Saturday and it was a great encounter.
John is a ‘no nonsense’ type of fighter and I do like his style; wearing his opponents down with constant pressure and, up until this with fight Kevin, he had always got his own way.
Kevin is also a very good boxer, with skills in abundance, and the fight was close up until the seventh round when Mitchell took control. I would love to see a rematch happen in the future.
Elsewhere in the boxing world, Randall Bailey is fighting on September 3rd on is the co-feature of Andre Berto’s world title challenge to IBF Welterweight World champion. Lou DiBella has enquired about my availability.
I was due to fight Randall Bailey last October in an IBF World Welterweight eliminator in Belgium and my name has been linked with Kendall Holt, Lamont Peterson and Joel Julio for US fights this year.
Those are the fights that interest me.
But until then my full focus is now on my weekend title fight with Jason Cook and last week was my last hard week in the gym – I completed 30 quality hours of working out.
A week before my fights I normally go to a spa and spend three or more hours pampering myself. It’s a way to relax and treat myself after all the hard work training.
Jason Cook is unknown outside of Britain and he will stay that way come Saturday. There is no way that a 40 year old Jason Cook can match me for ring generalship, speed, skills, heart and chin.
Every time Jason Cook has stepped up to world class level, he has been dropped and soundly outpointed or knocked out – with Gavin Rees and Aldo Rios doing just that.
I have been around world class level for the last few years sparring and fighting world class operators.
Jason Cook’s trainer Darren Wilson, has stated I would be his biggest win as a trainer if Cook were to be victorious on Saturday. Not being disrespectful to Darren, but it’s like the blind leading the blind. Darren hasn’t got the boxing knowledge to deal with the arsenal I have. When Cook is hurt and confused, Darren won’t know what to tell him.
I have been training for three months for this British title defence and I am looking forward to defending my title at the venue where I won it.
I have spent two months training at All Stars Boxing gym in London with Dave Brown, and did a month at Gleason’s gym in New York with Harry Keit and Jihad Abdul Aziz.
Everything from sparring, pads, technical work, fitness and strength conditioning have gone to plan and I feel in as good shape as I was against Lenny Daws, if not better.
I thought Lenny beat Jason convincingly in their encounter and although Jason had three or four good rounds, it was all Lenny otherwise.
When you look at our common opponent, which is Lenny Daws, there can only be one winner.
When Jason has stepped up in class he has drowned. When I step up in class I swim like a dolphin.
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
Brandon Rios defended his WBA lightweight title against Urbano Antillon over the weekend, coming out on top after three action packed rounds. It sets up an intriguing clash with Rios possibly fighting the winner of John Murray v Kevin Mitchell.
Rios has now had good wins over Acosta, Peterson and a man I have sparred with a few times – Jorge Luis Teron. Rios is signed to Top Rank, so the sky is the limit for him if he can stay focused. Bob Arum said straight after the fight that he thinks that Brandon Rios will be a superstar and I think he may be right – he should have good career ahead of him.
Only time will tell.
As for the John Murray and Kevin Mitchell fight, it looks like being a good domestic match this weekend.
Kevin hasn’t fought since being crushed by the world class Michael Katsidis, which has put him at a huge disadvantage. It’s a shame he hasn’t had a warm up fight ahead of this bout, as if he was to lose you have to wonder where Frank Warren’s former golden boy will go.
In 32 fights, Kevin Mitchell’s standout victories seem to be against Carl Johansson and Breidis Prescott. The Prescott win was Kevin’s best but Breidis is a wild brawler and since his win over Amir Khan, he has since shown that he is not world class with losses against quite standard opponents.
John Murray seems destined for a shot at a world title as he has been around for a while. He has fought, and beaten, better fighters than Kevin has – fighters like Lee McAllister, who turned down a fight with me recently. Jon Thaxton, Lee Meager, Scott Lawton, Andriy Kudryavtsev and Gary Buckland are all decent wins on John’s record.
I was sat next to John at the James DeGale v George Groves fight at the Excel. We talked about his switch from Mick Hennessy to Frank Warren and his desire to be involved in the big fights. I see a hungry fighter in him and I feel that it could just be the differentiator in the fight with Kevin Mitchell.
Kevin seems to have too many distractions outside of boxing and you have to wonder if he still has that ‘fire in his belly’.
I am not writing Kevin off as he has skills and talent. He is trained by a man I have respect for in Jimmy Tibbs. Jimmy has done my corner a few times and the man has trained some of Britain’s best fighters in my lifetime. So I know Jimmy will get Kevin as ready as possible.
I lean towards John Murray to win this fight but if Kevin can bring that Breidis Prescott form into the ring, he may be able to outbox Murray. Whoever wins, it will be a very entertaining fight and I’m looking forward to it.
British lightweight champion Anthony Crolla, another Joe Gallagher trained fighter, has just got a fight with Mexican legend Erik Morales on the Floyd Mayweather Jr v Victor Ortiz bill. I put my name in the hat to fight Morales, but Anthony was picked over me.
Elsewhere, David Haye lost his WBA strap to Wladimir Klitschko just over a week ago in a fight that was disappointing for many British fans. I thought David would have been more aggressive but he got through the twelve rounds unharmed and can come back again.
David was the ‘numero uno’ in the cruiserweight division, holding three of the four titles available and his win over Jean Mormeck made me a real fan of his. He went down against the champion, got up, showed heart and broke the champion down.
David has had a good career and it’s a shame that the fight he will always be remembered for is his unification match against Wladimir.
I agree with Richard Schaefer, head of Golden Boy promotions, that David should go over to America, beat two of their heavyweights and get another shot at Wladimir.
But David is looking at retirement even though he is only thirty years old. He could have his best days ahead of him as he is still pretty young and in his prime.
David and Adam Booth have done a great job with his career so far. David has always shown love to my amateur club All Stars Gym in Paddington and everyone there has nothing but good things to say about him.
As for me, my first defence of my British title against Welsh champion Jason Cook is just under two weeks away.
I am currently a few pounds over the weight limit and that’s with me eating 3000 calories a day. As ever, the training camp at Gleason’s Gym in New York City was a month of genuine quality. My trainers Jihad Abdul Azziz and Harry Keit got the best out of me and my UK trainer Dave Brown is finishing off my preparations for the 23rd July.
I am due to fight Nigel Wright as my mandatory defence after beating Jason Cook, which means I would have fought the British Boxing Board of Control’s number one and number two challengers back to back.
Nigel Wright has lost six times already so I have no problem being the person that inflicts his seventh loss.
Jason has no chance of beating me at Wembley Arena but will no doubt try his best, as he feels it is his last chance. Personally I don’t think he is deserving of a shot against me. He came out of retirement in 2009 and beat nobody of note to fight the then British champion Lenny Daws. He didn’t really deserve that shot either but got a credible draw in that fight and now he has another shot at the British title, despite beating nobody since the Daws draw.
I have beaten former World champion DeMarcus Corley, World number three Delvin Rodriguez and I swept aside Lenny Daws, who Jason had a life and death struggle against.
Jason will be outclassed by myself but he will go down fighting.
I’m targetting fights with Andre Berto, Timothy Bradley, Lamont Peterson and Humberto Soto. Jason Cook stands in my way, so he will get dominated live on Channel Five over here in the UK and on iN Demand, DIRECTV and Avail-TVN in the US.
It will be a great way to get my thirtieth win.
This weekend sees the unification match betwee David Haye and the Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko, in a world title fight we haven’t seen the likes of since Mike Tyson v Lennox Lewis.
Mike Tyson was washed up then but many people still gave him a chance. This is a fight between two heavyweights in their prime and I am looking forward to it – just like millions are worldwide.
David Haye has had his greatest victories on away soil and is a fighter who travels well and doesn’t get overawed by the occasion.
He first proved how good he was with a terrific with in France over Mormeck when, despite getting floored, he fought back to win by stoppage. Then he went over to Germany to beat Valuev for the WBA World title.
David loves being the underdog and I expect him to win by knockout come Saturday.
Perhaps his media image leading up to the fight has not been ideal but let’s not forget one thing here – he is not running for President. He is a boxer focused on the task at hand. When a fighter steps in the ring, they put their life on the line and some fighters mentally prepare
I have known David since the mid-90s as his old amateur club Fitzwell Lodge used to have team matches against my amateur club, so I got to know him through there. He was confident even back when he was sixteen and I remember him boasting about his power and skills.
I never got to see him fight until he won the London ABA championship against Courtney Fry and he looked spectacular that night – and was an inspiration to me. I was very proud of him when he won the heavyweight title against Nicola Valuev.
David Haye has breathed life into the heavyweight division and Americans come up to me in the gym and ask what I think about the fight; they are hoping that David can win as he has, and is, making the heavyweight interesting again.
The last dominant heavyweight was British-born Lennox Lewis and if David Haye changes his mind about retirement he too can dominate the division for the next few years.
David Haye, along with Carl Froch, Amir Khan and myself, are the only Brits who are fighting, and beating, world-ranked fighters abroad – I just now have to join them as a world champion.
It’s a good time for British fighters, with the new breed of British promoters willing to let their fighters take chances abroad and prove just how good they are.
My British title defence against former European champion Jason Cook is now three weeks away. I know Jason will be up for it and fight till the very end but, just like Lenny Daws, heart and fitness can do so much for you.
I’ve fought and sparred ‘power-punching’ welterweights and junior middleweights, and have spent the last month in New York City training and sparring NYC’s best fighters, so I can’t see Jason troubling me. It will be an entertaining fight but he will be taken into deep waters and ultimately drowned.
I won my British title at Wembley Arena five months ago and I’m very happy to be making my first defence there.
I’m a proud British champion and I refuse to lose my title.