The newest recruit to the conveyer belt of talent at Simsy’s Gym is Light-Middle starlet Ben Hall.
The Sensation, a 2-0 Professional will be trained by Peter Sims and make a mental note of the name as you will be discussing him in the future.
To the untrained eye Hall wouldn’t look out-of-place in a Mens Health magazine; but beneath the good looks lies a mature young man with a shrewd boxing brain.
As I arrived I was introduced to him and began to watch him shadow box then get ready to spar Danny “Cassius” Connor.
The first bell sounded and I was immediately impressed with the composed style of the 21 yr old; he dictated the pace, displayed superb hand-speed and cut the ring-off against an awkward customer in Connor.
When the round ended, Hall walked over to Peter Sims who I looked & nodded at to fully acknowledge his obvious ability.
There is something great there for Peter to work with and mould; Hall is attentive & hungry to learn so it is a journey I am looking forward to observing as a fan.
Already selling 150-200 tickets to fights, watch that fan-base grow when he’s eventually opening cards on SkySports later this year.
Ben thanks for your time firstly, looking impressive in sparring just now. From your perspective what was the first fight you watched as a youngster that really made you fall in love with the sport?
As youngster? That’s a good question. Can’t really think of any off the top of my head. I started myself at a young age. I’d probably say my dad was the first person I watched, he was a boxer. My uncle was a boxer too. My dad brought me up by straight away putting gloves on my hand & teaching me, he was the first person I saw.
What weight did your dad box at?
Light Middleweight, so was my uncle. Same weight as me but I’m maturing in to the weight so I’ll be nice and strong at the weight in time.
So can you see similarities between yourself and your dad?
Nah, I’m a bit more clever than him haha. But jokes aside Dad was more come forward with shots; my Uncle was a boxer but they both say I’m more of a thinker. But I do have a tendency to load-up as I can punch a bit.
When I first came here (to Simsys) I was trying to load-up but even after my first few sessions here, I’m showing more defensive skills.
They always say “The best chin is the one that doesn’t get hit” I appreciate you want to look attractive in the ring with big shots, but if you can slip shots you will go far.
I’ve spoken to Peter a few times about you and whilst you are both keen to not get carried away, you put it perfectly when you said the foundations were there for you to grow & mature here.
Definitely agree with that.
Talk to me through your amateur background Ben, where did you start and take us to the present day?
I first started off at Dagenham Amateur Boxing club; where I had near 15 fights for them. I went in the schoolboys where I only had a couple of bouts and was very inexperienced I beat National Champions along the way then fell at the last hurdle in the Semi-Finals and lost.
I moved down to Repton Boxing Club so I could get more sparring, Repton is renowned for that.
From there I won a few Junior Titles, boxed for England and my career really kicked on from there. I had 41 fights, won 35 and lost only 6.
I would be the first to admit now that I didn’t take it anywhere near as serious as I should have done. I was 18, going out etc which when I look back I think was a blessing in disguise as I got all of that out of my system.
I hardly go out now, once in a blue-moon I’ll pop out and see my mates. I’ve got a girlfriend now who I spend most of my time with.
So from Repton, when did you turn pro?
My first fight was in March and it was meant to in October – December.
But I had a year out before that.
What was the biggest transition for you from amateur to pro when you made your debut?
In the fights I didn’t really notice a great difference as I’ve just got in there and done the business. The biggest change for me was the training I was doing, sparring as a pro was much more difficult.
Working on the inside, less break-ups than the amateurs but that was the biggest thing I learnt & the main difference.
What would you say is your key attribute or a part of your game that you are particularly proud of?
My speed and power. I’m quick handed and when I let them go, they hurt. I’m a puncher. I’m a listener too, if I get told to do something; I’ll do it.
What impressed me most with you today was how quickly you assumed control of the centre of the ring and let Connor feel the power you possessed, he was naturally wary of that.
I bet you can’t wait to have your 1st fight with Peter in your corner.
I’m. really looking forward to that. I’m confident with Peter by my side I’m going to impress on July 12th on the Steve Goodwin show at York Hall. There is a Commonwealth Title also on the bill.:
Do you know who your opponent will be on that bill?
I do, it’s a Latvian guy. I can’t remember his name but he’s tall & rangey. He’s going to come and have a go, he’s not a spoiler and it’s in a 4-rounder.
Since joining Simsy’s what was the biggest culture shock for you?
The training. Before I joined all I could think about was how good the sparring would be but the sessions have been really good and hard. I’m going through 4 rounds easy now and previously I was blowing so I know it’s been the right move.
The technical side of things is brilliant, the coaches are fantastic and they treat you like family here.
Talk me through the type of fitness & track work you’ve been doing?
That’s another thing that’s new to me. Never done track work before. First Tuesday I was here they took me out on the track early in the morning, 6x400m with 1 min rest in-between, star jumps with you being timed. Everything is timed on those sessions, you go back and try beat it. Long jump & bunny-hops in the sand.
The sledge, which I’m yet to do. You’ve got to sprint up the hill with it, I’ve heard stories that it’s the hardest one.
Hill-sprints outside the forest, running through the forest.
One of them I didn’t get through it, I done it with John Ryder and Ricky Burns went through it. 10 round bag circuit, 5 mins a round, 30 sec rest. 1 min 6 punch-combo, then sprints. I got through a few then was nearly sick. Those boys done 10 like it was nothing. I’m learning the fitness side of things, once I get that I know I can progress well.
In light of the additional fitness work you have been doing, what changes if any have been made to your diet?
I’ve always eaten healthy. Dad has made me meals in containers before he went to work. I’ve only got 5% body fat now. I don’t drink any fizzy drinks, just water. I take a few supplement shakes, creatine & BCAA’s. Most of the food is healthy, my parents are supporting me which helps.
I eat red meat once a week, white meat mainly, fish twice a week. I used to be a Personal Trainer so I have a basic knowledge of nutrition and general training.
What boxers do you like watching?
I loved James Toney, when he was Super-Middle. His defensive & shoulder work, counter-shots I want to mimic. Oscar De La Hoya is another. I throw a good left-hook like him and I’m trying to gel myself with the best of those two and listen to my coaches but when I’m watching people it’s those two.
What Promoter are you working with at present?
Steve Goodwin is my manager so I box on his shows. But of course I want to box on the big shows on TV with Matchroom. Get my chance to impress everyone and show you what I can do, that’s the direction we want to go in.
Ben, I wont keep you any further. Thanks for your time this afternoon and I wish you the best of luck on 12th July.
Cheers Paul, thanks for chatting to me. I appreciate it.
You can follow Ben Hall’s journey via Twitter: @19BenHall; and on Instagram: 10BenHall
Ben is always looking to add sponsors to his growing portfolio, if you are interesting in sponsoring Ben please get in touch with him.
Article written by Paul Ready.