In boxing there are many fighters who polarise opinion.
They are some adored by many who support, cheer and will them on to succeed.
They are some despised by many who wish them to be battered in brutal fashion.
If you asked anyone over Hadrian’s Wall what they thought of Spanish-born Wadi Camacho they would certainly fall in to the latter category.
Wadi wouldn’t want it any other way, he feeds off the hatred. It makes him laugh and smile as people are giving him the attention he craves.
Thus creating a buzz around him and his fights.
They will tune in to see him lose, they will continue bait and goad him on Twitter as he builds up to a huge rescheduled grudge match against Stephen Simmons for the WBC International Silver Cruiserweight title.
The Canning Town Catalan, a huge Southpaw Cruiserweight with monster power was in a relaxed mood when we spoke at Simsy’s Gym.
Wadi, I appreciate your time as you are right in the thick of your training camp, so tell me what got you in to boxing?
What got me in to boxing? I was always intrigued by boxing, I used to watch Holyfield, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis.
I was always in to different types of sport. When I was 19-20 I was in to football and basketball. I achieved a lot in those sports and I still found I had lots of energy inside me when I finished matches.
I started going to a gym, do weights and that then I met my good friend Gary Delaney, after that 1 day I jumped in the ring with him, he gave me a black eye.
I felt so relaxed after a good sparring season, after that I went all the way in.
You ended up getting in to the sport quite late I see. I looked at Box Rec the other day and was surprised that you’ve only been professional for 2.5 years, you seem to have been around for ages.
You fought 6-7 odd times in 2013, I watched the Conquest fight back the other day and I felt you’d nicked it.
I take a lesson out of each fight, the China Clarke situation (Wadi lost to him last year) I wasn’t in great shape, my mind-set wasn’t there.
I was running around doing too much outside the ring, trying to sell tickets & going out, staying up too late.
So my mind wasn’t where it should have been.
I went out in Round 1, all guns blazing and ended up losing. But I took a big lesson out of that and took it in to the next fight.
With the Conquest fight, I was gutted as I trained really hard for it. I’m not looking to blame anyone, but I am the fighter I admit I should of had my killer instinct on to take the guy out but at the same time I listened to the instructions I was given and lost.
But a another lesson learnt, but where I am now is amazing.
You’ve been with Peter (Sims) now since January and I’m sure you’ve talked it to death you leaving Don Charles, but from your perspective what has been the most refreshing thing about coming to Simsy’s gym and working with Peter?
During my previous fights I sparred here against Ben (Benga Ileyemi), I boxed here as an amateur and knew everyone, John Ryder, Kevin Mitchell I’ve known them from way dot.
It just felt nice being here, me and Pete had a connection. Then I called him and asked if he’d take anyone else on, and basically after that he gave me a trial.
I was really excited, as I felt he could get a lot out of me and where I can go with my career.
After that it’s been amazing, I talk to him every day, he rings me, I do my runs he checks up on me. That’s what I need.
Not just as a trainer as I see him as more than a trainer. It’s a big family in the gym. Whenever I hear Pete’s voice, it pushes me.
Last week he wasn’t in as he was ill, when I was training and feeling a bit tired I just got Pete running through my head.
I get that impression that Peter like Tony has an aura about him and you respect him a lot. You said that you previously “took your eye off the ball”, having someone like that is going to be on your case is going to get the best out of you.
You could tell the importance of the first fight you had together (Wadi beat Toni Visic in April) putting the extra training in to practice what with the Simmons fight being delayed.
With the Simmons fight, it was good he pulled out due to injury as now the bond me and Pete have now is to the next level.
We were going back in the corner of the Visic fight and having normal conversations which relaxed me and put me at ease.
Certain guys sit there and just listen to instructions nodding.
You need to have conversations to acknowledge what the trainer is saying to you.
You and Tyler have a great relationship together as well, you were there supporting him in Manchester, he walked you out last month, no doubt the same will happen in Glasgow.
Totally, most people know that boxers are selfish. I would be the first to admit I’m very selfish just about me. But I do help out where I can, sometimes I do want to just finish training and go home. But he is my little bro and we are close.
Boxing is lonely, you have to push yourself with your runs. But when I’m in the gym with the boys, it gives me a boost.
I thrive on attention, if I don’t get attention I get down.
I’m loving this with Simmons, do you know why? Because people are giving me attention, regardless of if it’s negative or positive it drives me.
Without attention, I’m a light bulb with no electricity.
You are an energy fighter, feeding off that type of volatile environment.
There you go. I was supposed to have a press conference 2 weeks ago that I couldn’t go to and I was disappointed as there would be loads of people there.
Pete told me to stay away from Twitter for a few weeks, so I stayed away from Twitter.
I’ve got another one in June, then the weigh-in, I can’t wait.
Looking at Simmons’ record, would you say you’ve had tougher fights than him to date?
I’ve been there and felt the decision going against me. I don’t want to feel that again. Which is why me and my team have put everything right for this fight coming up.
He hasn’t felt that yet, but he is going to feel it on the 27th June. 100% he is going to feel it.
I’ll be amazed if this fight goes the distance. In your last fight, you showed glimpses of your punching-power and the work you’ve done with Peter.
I’ve prepared to go any round, everyone knows what I carry; extreme power. It’s not something I have to build in to, when I do land, they do go.
The last fight the guy was awkward, we knew he was going to switch from Southpaw to Orthodox. We wanted to show the amazing people who tune in to Prizefighter a great show. I wanted to show everyone what me and Pete had been working on, I used my jab and showed everyone I’ve got a serious weapon without relying on my back-hand.
Once Pete told me to put my foot on the gas, I switched it up.
You and I spoke outside just now about Nathan Cleverly joining Matchroom and joining Tony Bellew in your division. Naturally you wouldn’t be naïve enough to look beyond Simmons but no doubt you have plans to get in the mix of that.
Oh yeah of course, it’s not some point. Those fights will 100% happen. I’m not going to look too far ahead, Simmons has the WBC Silver International and he’s my path currently.
Once I finish him, all the doors are open.
But good luck to those two, they will end up fighting each other later this year in a rematch.
I believe Matchroom are planning to have them both fight on the next Liverpool show in July to drum up interest then late November face each other again.
It’s great for the fans to see that rematch, last was Light-Heavy, this time Cruiser.
But I’ve got my own big domestic fight and trust me it’s going to steal the show in Scotland.
Every single session I’m training hard.
The next level is when we go away to Spain next week.
All the hard ground work has been done with regards to fitness so we’ll be having top sparring out there.
Come back, keep ticking over, my fitness levels are really great.
You spoke earlier at being disappointed in missing the last pre-fight press conference, do you have anything planned try antagonise Simmons at the next one?
We’ve got a hearing with the Scottish Board on June 1st, I’m staying over then there’s another press conference on 2nd.
Like I said, I’m a cool person… sometimes. But if he gives it, I’ll have to put him in his place.
He’ll get wound up again. He says he won’t, in my presence he does get wound up.
I’ve seen the parody account that makes me laugh, it doesn’t effect me.
I have cussing matches with mates on a Whatsapp group where we rip each other daily, with my best friends so it’s nothing.
When I didn’t go to the last press conference, I wrote a letter to Eddie (Hearn) to read out saying if he wants to make a bet that I will put him on the floor and he’s going to say “Yeah Buddy”. Simmons said no, he’s not going to agree, when he puts me on the floor he’s going to say “Yeah Buddy”.
At the next press conference I will tell him again that he’s going to smell the canvas.
A lot of people used to laugh at me saying “Yeah Buddy”, now everyone is using it. People are wearing my t shirts, hats, shorts. It makes you feel nice. Rather than saying just “Yeah”, you say “Yeeeeaaah Buddy”
You never know, if you get past Simmons, in to the mix with Bellew & Cleverly you could end up developing it as a clothing brand. You only have to look at Lethal Bizzle and his successful Dench range.
Where did the phrase “Smell the Canvas” come from?
He just went crazy, he doesn’t have any punching power. He talks like he’s a banger, like he knocks people out for fun, which is what I do. The guy is just crazy. I know myself, I don’t hype things up but he will 100% smell the canvas.
You can make comparisons with Froch Groves 1 as Groves really got under Froch’s skin and pissed him off. You’ve managed to do that without really doing much yourself.
He was wound up before he got there. My fans on Twitter they were saying stuff about him, his missus and his friends. I had nothing to do with it, I didn’t put anyone up to it.
Then I started getting loads of abuse from his fans for no reason.
I can’t control what the fans say, if I want to RT something I will do so. No one controls me but Peter… haha!
We’ll wrap it up there Wadi as you’ve got training to do shortly. Do you have any messages to your fans & friends making the trip to Scotland?
I don’t want no-one to come to Scotland. Anyone that’s routing for me, stay at home and watch it. If you want to come up, it would be nice. It’s going to be exciting, make sure you tune-in.
Keep following Wadi Camacho as I’m going to do the business, I’m very nice and focused right now in a good place.
When I’m happy, everything is beautiful.
Wadi, thanks for your time, best of luck with rest of the training and no doubt we will speak in the near future.
Thanks man, I really appreciate it.
You can follow Wadi Camacho on Twitter: @wadicamacho and on Instagram: teammacho1.
For tickets to see Camacho v Simmons, they are available through Matchroom Boxing please contact Wadi for availability.
Interview by Paul Ready