Elite Boxing Awards 2014 by Paul Ready

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In what has been a memorable year for British Boxing with new world champions and blockbuster events.

Let’s look at who & what has stood out for me this calendar year:

UK Fighter of the Year

Kell Brook

Yes I can hear the anti-Sky and anti-Matchroom brigade chortling in to their pot noodles watching Boxnation in their parents’ living room – but for me Brook deserves this.

Carl Frampton ran him a very close second but Brook having gone out to California and snatching the IBF title from the claws of Shawn Porter edged it.

Coupled with all the stick and adversity the 28 yr old has had to endure – it made the win even more bittersweet for me.

Runner up: Carl Frampton

The Jackal graduated in 2014 by becoming the IBF Super Bantamweight world champion with a one-sided victory over former foe Kiko Martinez.

 

Overseas Fighter of the Year

Terence Crawford

Was Crawford hype or the real deal?

It was a question on everyone’s lips prior to the Ricky Burns fight. The 27 yr old put that to bed in emphatic fashion – dethroning the Scot in his own backyard.

Victories over Yuriorkis Gamboa and Raymund Beltran cemented his status as THE man in the Lightweight division. With his huge frame he can and will move up to Light-Welter becoming a multi-weight world champion.

Runner up: Miguel Cotto

Cotto became the first 4 weight Puerto Rican world champion by beating Sergio Martinez in the summer.  The 34 yr old is in the midst of an indian summer in his career since linking up with Freddie Roach in 2013.

 

UK Fight of The Year

Tommy Coyle v Daniel Brizuela

A fight that saw eight knock-downs in total, each man dropped four times. Coyle appeared beaten in the 6th after a crippling body shot from the Argentinian – but the Hull man displayed some real grit and determination to rise to his feet.

The 25 yr old stopped Brizuela in the 12th with the referee waving off the contest. A real edge of your seat scrap that I could happily watch over and over again.

Runner-up: Tyler Goodjohn v Ricky Boylan

 

Overseas Fight Of The Year

Terence Crawford v Yuriorkis Gamboa

Crawford’s first title defence in his hometown of Omaha is one that he won’t forget in a hurry for a variety of reasons.

Gamboa started the brighter of the two taking the first four rounds – Crawford then dropped the Cuban in the 5th, 8th and twice in the 9th before it was stopped.

The height difference was telling as Crawford eventually kept the 33 yr old at range but Gamboa never stopped applying the pressure – true to his Cuban heritage.

 

UK KO of the Year

Carl Froch v George Groves 2

The setting was a post-war record-breaking crowd at the national stadium of 80,000 which I was proudly part of.

A conclusive punch ended a rematch that had captured everyone’s imagination.

As soon as it landed and Groves hit the deck I knew it was over. Brutal, unrelenting and it remains to be seen whether Saint GG will ever be the same.

Runner-up: Tommy Coyle v Michael Katsidis

Veteran Katsidis jumped on Coyle from the outset and was eager to catch an early flight home. Coyle flattened the Aussie in the 2nd with a huge counter-punch that sent him crashing to the ground – like a tree in a forest.

 

Overseas KO of The Year

Felix Verdejo v Sergio Villaneuva

The 2012 Olympic Bronze medallist nearly decapitated Villaneuva with a right-hook in the 3rd round. It was a sickening shot that immediately halted the contest and further enhanced the Puerto Rican’s growing reputation.

Runner-up: Nicholas Walters v Vic Darchinyan

Jamaican Walter’s was one of the break-out stars of 2014 with impressive stoppages over Nonito Donaire and Vic Darchinyan.

The Darchinyan KO was that rapid it needed to be appreciated on slow motion replay.

 

UK Trainer of the Year

Joe Gallagher

In another successful year for Gallagher’s Gym in Manchester with all their leading names make significant statements over the past 12mths. Paul Smith Jr took Arthur Abraham to the wire in Germany for the WBO Super-Middleweight title. Callum Smith continued his ascendancy towards a world title with some impressive victories. Scott Quigg remains undefeated as he chases the biggest names in the Super-Bantamweight division. Liam & Stephen Smith continue their paths towards world titles.

Anthony Crolla who last night suffered horrific injuries stopping a burglary in his neighborhood is perhaps Gallagher’s biggest success story of 2014.

Crolla had signed to face Richar Abril in January for the WBA Lightweight prior to his injury and his progression since his defeat to Derry Mathews has been staggering. The fight against John Murray was one of the very best we saw domestically and you hope his title shot will still be present – should he make a full recovery.

Runner up: Shane McGuigan

The 26 yr old steered his 27 yr old charge Carl Frampton to the IBF title this year. Shane is destined for a long and successful career as a trainer. Displaying  a modern mindset regarding diet, strength and conditioning – McGuigan has a boxing aptitude that far outweighs his years.

 

Overseas Trainer of the Year

Freddie Roach

Roach has prolonged the careers of two future Hall of Fame fighters in Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto over the past 12mths. Pacquiao after he was knocked out cold by Juan Manuel Marquez many expected him to ponder retirement and focus on politics.

The Filipino has reignited the flame with an impressive one-sided victory over Tim Bradley early 2014 which paid homage to that.

Cotto became a four weight world champion and adjusted his style cutting the ring off more & spending less time on the ropes. Those tweaks saw him overpower Martinez in the summer.

Runner up: Abel Sanchez

Sanchez has worked wonders with Gennady Golovkin making him the most avoided man in boxing. The power was always evident with GGG but Sanchez has taught him how to box and his footwork is now one of his greatest assets.

 

UK Prospect of the Year

Anthony Joshua

Olympic Gold Medallist Joshua’s progression since turning pro late 2013 has been frightening. Fast forward 12 mths and there are already calls for him to be thrown in with the divisions very best. Credit to the team around him, they have a patient plan and refuse to deviate from it. Standing at 10-0: 10 KO’s facing the likes of David Price and Dereck Chisora are real possibilities in 2015.

The question is can they live with his power?

Overseas Prospect of the Year

Felix Verdejo

21 yr old Verdejo is 16-0: 12 KO’s and for me looks unbelievable. With 7 fights in 2014 and 6 KO’s – his team are in a similar position to Joshua’s camp where they are running out of “tests” for him. It is only a matter of before he faces the big boys and I expect a title shot in the second half of 2015.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

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@MartinJWard1 aiming for late stoppage

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Essex talent says he’ll shine in British title eliminator

Martin J. Ward believes he’ll have too much for Maxi Hughes to handle when the pair meet in a British Super Featherweight title eliminator tomorrow night (December 6) at York Hall, Bethnal Green, live on Sky Sports.

Unbeaten Ward faces the Rossington man at the east London boxing mecca and while he rates his 24 year old opponent, he expects to overpower ‘Maximus’ in the later rounds as he faces his first southpaw in the paid ranks.

“He is an all-round pretty sound pro but he doesn’t have what I have got and I believe I have more than enough in the tank to beat him,” said Ward, who scaled 9st 3 ½lbs today, as did Hughes.

“He is a southpaw. A lot of orthodox fighters struggle with southpaws but I love fighting southpaws. He is not the most elusive of fights. He has a good boxing brain but I am going to be too quick, too sharp and hit too hard for him.

“I haven’t fought any southpaws as a pro but I used to love getting drawn to them. On the GB squad we used to spar southpaws and fight southpaws week in, week out. I used to love it because a backhand was a scoring point and I couldn’t miss them with a backhand.

“I believe I will come on stronger in the later rounds. Tony always trains you hard and over the years he builds an engine which stays inside you and the engine in have for this fight I could do 12 rounds. I will come on stronger later in the fight.

“It could go the distance. I am going to go out there and enjoy it. I am not going in there swinging and punching looking for a big knockout. I will keep my head on my shoulders and go and stick to my advice from Tony in the corner. But if he walks onto one he walks onto one and I have the power to knock him out.”

Ward and Hughes both faced Kakhaber Avetisian in their last outings – Ward stopping the experienced Georgian in the final round of eight at Wembley Arena on September 20, eight days after he’d taken Hughes ten rounds for the vacant International Masters Super Featherweight title in Sheffield, with Hughes winning every round.

“We both had the same opponent for our last fights and you can take a little bit from that,” said Ward. “Styles make fights and I believe my style is going to cause Maxi a world of trouble. I believe he is in for a hiding tomorrow.

“I step up with each fight that goes on because I am looking to get to the title stage and this is an eliminator for the British. He has proved himself over the ten-round distance that he is a decent ten-round fighter so he is a step up but it is one where I am excited to be able to show what I can do.

“I have been in a really hard camp for this fight, I have trained the hardest I ever have for a fight and I want to make a statement to every Super Featherweight in the country that I mean business. I want that British title around my waist by next summer.”

The title is now the property of Liam Walsh after the unbeaten Norfolk man took it from Gary Sykes in London last week, and Ward was a keen observer of their bout.

“Liam looked really good in winning it,” said Ward. “Sykes was a little bit off point to be honest, I wasn’t impressed with him, but Liam looked a good fighter. I cannot look past Maxi because I am in for a tough night’s work and I have put my body through hell over the last ten weeks for this and I am going to prove I am a legitimate challenger for the title and show that I am ready to take it home with me in the New Year.

“Every other Super Featherweight is going to be watching. If you are a Super Featherweight and there is somebody fighting for the British title or an eliminator, you are going to watch that fight and take interest in it. People in the weight division will be watching and I am going to show them what I am all about.

“I am strong and nice and big for the weight. It was the right move for me and I can make the weight comfortably. In the pro game you have to get every little extra you can and the move to Super Featherweight was definitely the right move for me.

“I am in there mixing it with some great fighters in the gym and in sparring. Sparring is different from fight night but the quality of sparring in the gym, I love it. I enjoy every moment of it and all the hard work is towards fight night and this is the enjoyable part of it.”

Hughes and Ward clash in between the semi-finals and final of the Prizefighter Lightweights III, with yesterday’s draw throwing up a rematch in the top-half while the two favourites are separated in the bottom section.

Danny Connor and Michael Devine met in the same venue in September only for their ten-rounder to be halted prematurely when a clash of heads left Connor with a cut that he couldn’t continue to box with.

They clash in the second quarter-final with the winner then facing either Craig Whyatt or Lee Martin, who kick off the action.

Pre-tournament favourites Gary Buckland and Stephen Foster Jnr could meet in the second semi-final, with Foster taking on Irishman Jono Carroll in the third quarter-final and Prizefighter Super Featherweight champion Buckland facing big-punching Floyd Moore in the fourth quarter-final.

The draw (weights to follow):

Quarter-final 1: Craig Whyatt vs. Lee Martin

Quarter-final 2: Michael Devine vs. Danny Connor

Quarter-final 3: Stephen Foster Jnr. vs. Jono Carroll

Quarter-final 4: Gary Buckland vs. Floyd Moore

The night begins with outings for former British and Commonwealth Light Welterweight champion Ajose Olusegun fighting back in the UK for the first time since 2011, and talented young Lightweight Ohara Davies in his fourth pro fight.

A limited number of £40 tickets for Saturday night’s action are still available from http://www.matchroomboxing.com.

@EddieHearn on Mitchell, Ryder, Joshua and Al Haymon meeting by Paul Ready

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Elite Boxing:

Another big card on the horizon early next year.

Start with Kevin Mitchell firstly – Estrada v Figueroa was a good fight so what can we expect when Kevin faces Estrada?

 

Eddie Hearn:

Figueroa won most rounds don’t get me wrong, one round Estrada hurt him. Figueroa is a quality fighter.

It’s a perfect fight for Kevin, I’m so disappointed that he didn’t get the IBF title shot – that’s his mistake (Mitchell was over the check-weight limit on the day of the fight) that he has to live with. I think he would have beaten Miquel Vazquez too.

But now we look at Estrada, win that get the silver title and they should make that a Final Eliminator next week at the WBC convention when we lobby it – I think he will get it.

Kevin is ranked 4/5 Estrada is 4/5 it’s a natural fight and a really good fight.

 

EB:

John Ryder looks set for the Heiland fight….

 

EH:

They like the fight as it doesn’t look like they will get the WBC Final Eliminator so I’ve suggested for them to come over and fight John.

John and Tony are both looking really to fight anyone which is really refreshing. I don’t think there is one Middleweight I could suggest that they would say no to.

I just think with Heiland for the victory over Macklin and his position within the WBC is absolutely perfect.

 

EB:

Anthony Joshua confirmed to face Kevin Johnson as the headline.

If he knocks him out after that you are looking to get him out in Newcastle next year – is Chisora or Price next, I appreciate Chisora might be tricky to make with politics.

 

EH:

Chisora is a good fight for him. Let’s be honest Joshua gets him out of there so quickly compared to Tyson Fury. But he’s just doing his own thing.

People talk about the Fury fight as people want to see it – in time it will be massive.

Johnson was right in the presser with this being a 10 week camp for him will suit him better. This isn’t Kevin Johnson fighting on 2 weeks notice – he will come in and have a go and it will be a great night.

 

EB:

What I like most about this fight is the vocal nature of Johnson towards Joshua which is something up until now he hasn’t experienced.

 

EH:

Exactly. That is why it’s great for Joshua as there will be times when he doesn’t know what to say back. You nearly got it in the presser when Johnson suggested making a bet on a KO.

Normally they are Eastern European who don’t even talk English! So it’s good and a perfect fight for him.

 

EB:

So you’ve been out in LA recently meeting Al Haymon – what is he actually like?

I had visions of him sat down with the Watson brothers fanning him with a giant feather and Sam Watson feeding him grapes.

 

EH:

He’s great. We had a couple of hours together and it was fascinating – the landscape over there is changing all the time.

We were talking about Froch v Chavez Jr, Brook v Khan, talking about us doing stuff in America – it was a general chit chat really that was great.

It’s obviously a huge market over there.

 

EB:

I’m sure he pays close attention to what you are doing over here and the size of the crowds etc.

 

EH:

He knows exactly what is going on over here as well so there is plenty of stuff for us to do together.

 

EB:

Do you think Brook v Khan could be strengthened by Canelo Alvarez moving to HBO and publicly declaring he wants to fight in May & September on the two big Mexican dates. Which could nullify the interest in Mayweather v Khan on ShowTime.

For Mayweather it is either Pacquiao or he gets hammered on PPV by HBO.

 

EH:

Yeah definitely. If Khan doesn’t get Mayweather then he has to fight Kell Brook. I don’t believe he will get Mayweather. Simple as that.

We will see. We will be out there on the 13th December (Khan v Alexander) if he gets the win it’s great for Khan to be back on Sky and hopefully we can make Brook v Khan fight for May or June.

 

EB:

Would you consider taking Joshua over to Las Vegas to box on the Froch v Chavez Jr undercard?

EH:

Yeah definitely. He is going to box as much as possible. As long as his body holds up he will be out all the time.

 

EB:

Finally I wanted to mention Callum Smith. I know people moaned about that performance as he didn’t stop him but it was a great 12 rounds in the bank.

EH:

Exactly. He was a tough guy who Callum nearly stopped mid-way through. It was a great learning fight and he will move on to a Final Eliminator in the summer.

The WBC have taken him under his wing and the fights will be bubbling away early 2015 – they are looking to move him forward.

EB:

I would back Callum against Groves should they meet.

EH:

100% especially at the moment with Groves’ recent performances.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

@_John_Ryder_ interview by Paul Ready #CapitalPunishment

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Elite Boxing:

John – 2015: The Year of The Gorilla. Shit gets real.

With the possibility of Heiland as an opponent,  are you at the point where you don’t care who you get as long as it’s top 10 in a governing body?

 

John Ryder:

Let’s have it. Gennady Golovkin, Miguel Cotto – who ever wants it!

No, Jorge Sebastian Heiland – I love that as he’s got a great ranking with the WBC and the WBC International belt I’d love to have one of them.

 

EB:

What did you make of his fight against Matthew Macklin recently – was it a surprise to you how it went or did you half expect that performance?

 

JR:

No I didn’t. I thought Macklin was going to blow him out of the water. A lot of people were surprised – even the bookies were surprised and they don’t often get it wrong do they?

It is what it is. Who knows – maybe Macklin was at the end of his career and for Heiland it was the right time. It’s boxing, it takes one punch.

Although I felt Macklin was getting outboxed a bit, he caught and didn’t really recover.

 

EB:

You and I spoke recently about your sparring in France with Andy Lee. Experience wise how was that for you and did it strengthen your belief that you can mix it at world level even more?

 

JR:

Definitely. We had good spars, Andy is very technical and a good boxer. I don’t believe people appreciate just how good he is.

EB:

He has the Kronk DNA in him…

JR:

Exactly. He was under the watchful eye of Emanuel Steward for years and now Adam Booth. I know that Adam is a great tactician in fights so that is one thing he has in abundance.

He is in a good fight but for me I’m top ten in WBO – in 8 mths that is where I want to be fighting for a world title. It doesn’t have to be Vegas but it would be nice!

 

EB:

So route wise for yourself I know you have the WBO International now and if Heiland comes over you will turn your attentions to the WBC rankings.

For you whatever is the shortest route to a world title you will take?

 

JR:

Yeah I don’t really care which route. I’d like as many belts as I can on my mantle-piece. Whatever route pans out best for us. We are in a position where we can dip our toes in and mix it up a bit.

Fingers crossed we can get Heiland who is ranked at what number 3 I believe. That is a great ranking.

 

EB:

I know the past few months have been frustrating for you. How did you rate Nick Blackwell’s performance against Sergey Khomitsky?

 

JR:

Do you know what I thought Nick Blackwell was battering him, if it had gone any longer I think he would have stopped him.

Listen, this is how it goes in the fight game – things get changed at the last-minute and we have to do what we do.

It was frustrating to watch as the week before I should have been in there myself with Khomistky.

 

EB:

With Billy Joe Saunders now mandatory for WBO after the weekend. For you it’s been head down focusing on what you are doing in training.

Tell me how it has been for you watching these guys around you making moves recently?

 

JR:

I’ve experienced a big night when I fought Saunders – that was a big occasion for me so it has been a shame recently. Been hard with there not being a big occasion for me but come January 31st there will be one – which I’m looking forward to.

They are going about their business and I’m going about mine.

 

EB:

Eubank Jr got beat the weekend is he someone maybe not straight away but a fight you can see further down the line?

 

JR:

Yeah I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place as I’ve got the WBO ranking and the British title will come available.

What do I do – do I take a step back to fight for the British with the aim to win that outright which is four defences which could cost me 2 yrs and I’m 28/29 or do I keep taking steps forward in world rankings?

That is what I need to sit down with Tony and Eddie to talk about.

I feel that if Eddie makes the Heiland fight that decision is made.

 

EB:

Final thing John with Christmas coming up as a boxer with you eating well and the first one with your daughter, have you got much planned?

 

JR:

Nothing much planned, training every day really – hopefully I’ll get Christmas Day off.

To be fair she’s only a baby so she won’t know what it is this year. Next Christmas I hopefully will be off when she does.

 

EB:

John – best of luck with the training mate and no doubt we will catch up soon.

 

JR:

Nice one Paul, speak soon.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing,net

 

 

Tony Sims on Joshua, Ryder, Mitchell & Burns by Paul Ready

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Elite Boxing:

Tony you’ve got a busy night on the 31st with (Anthony) Joshua, (John) Ryder, (Kevin) Mitchell and O’Hara Davies on the bill.

If we can discuss Mitchell firstly – I recently watched the Daniel Estrada v Omar Figueroa fight back and Estrada was competitive up until he was overpowered late.

What does Kevin need to do different in this fight compared to his last?

 

Tony Sims:

Kevin reads a fight really well – he’s got a great boxing brain on him.

As you say Estrada is a good fighter, he’s a Mexican fighter – they are all tough. He’s tall, throws long straight shots, when you come inside he throws the hooks and uppercuts up.

Kevin has got to be on his game – it could be a Final Eliminator for him but I don’t think Estrada is as good as Maduma. I really rated Maduma and Kevin overcome him – as long as Kevin is in shape for this fight and he’s on his game I know he can beat any Lightweight in the world.

 

EB:

I think the key thing for Kevin is to have a caveat in front of him to perform at his best.

When will you hear if it’s a Final Eliminator for him with the WBC Silver on the line?

TS:

The WBC convention is next week and we should know then. The WBC Silver is currently vacant as the Figueroa is champion in recess due to a cut sustained against Estrada not having healed yet. So what they are doing is an Interim title between Jorge Linares and Javier Prieto with Kevin and Estrada in an eliminator for the title.

If Kevin wins he will face the winner of Linares and Prieto.

 

EB:

If we can discuss John Ryder now – Eddie (Hearn) alluded to Jorge Sebastian Heiland as an opponent who is almost signed. 

Are you now at a stage where you want any fighter in the top 10 of the governing bodies?

 

TS:

We’ll take whatever Eddie can provide us with really. John is ranked number ten in the WBO now – so he is a top ten fighter in the world. He’s now done his apprenticeship, he’s done his learning now it’s about moving up to a world title for him.

He had that fight with Billy Joe Saunders who some people believe he won – other believe Ryder won. I personally think it was a draw. I’ve watched it again and again and scored it a draw.

If you look at that fight as a benchmark with Billy Joe who is now number one with the WBO and mandatory for the title once Andy Lee & Matt Korobov have fought for it.

There is nothing between Ryder & Billy Joe. I believe Ryder has come on since then – he’s developed more as a man, he’s punching harder and at the age of 26 he is probably entering the prime of his career.

These fights now Sebastian Heiland are the type of fights we need now to see where he actually is. Ryder has been out sparring Andy Lee for 2 weeks, he sparred Macklin before the Heiland fight, sparred loads with Darren Barker previously. He has had top sparring and in my eyes now he is ready to go – I want him to move through the ratings now.

Sebastian Heiland has got a good rating – he has just beaten Macklin and everyone knows him over here. I don’t believe that was Matthew Macklin in that fight, it was a shadow of him. You are talking about 2 yrs ago I think Macklin would have stopped Heiland as he was different class. Every fighter has his day and Matthew has had his.

 

EB:

Moving on to Anthony Joshua – from your perspective as his trainer & manager is he a nightmare to match?

I admire the job that has been done with him so far and he has been progressed sensibly.

If he beats Kevin Johnson comfortably will you be then looking at Price, Chisora etc?

 

TS:

It’s difficult to say that as Kevin Johnson has been the distance with Klitschko, Fury and Chisora – he is a clever fighter who survives the rounds. Even though he lost to those guys on wide points decisions I think the benchmark will be if he takes Johnson out.

Now if he boxes Johnson and wins every round like the others did we know he still has a lot to learn. That will be good for him as it’s 12 rounds in the bank.

If he knocks Johnson out then you are seeing a guy do something to a good fighter that no one else has – in only his 11th fight.

What I don’t want to is put him in to a fight experience-wise he isn’t ready for. At the end of the day I know he won Olympic Gold Medal but he only had 40 odd amateur and ten professional fights.

Everyone wants to see Anthony in with the best fight now but he’s not ready and he knows he’s not ready. But he will be ready – in another 12-18mths he will be ready to go in with anyone.

 

EB:

So you think after 18-20 fights he will be ready for anyone?

 

TS:

Exactly. I don’t think there will be anyone else to fight then. I think we would have gone through the best opponents we can get at that stage of his career.

With Chisora, Price & Fury they are all massive fights as we haven’t had that in this country before with so many top Heavyweights.

 

EB:

I did see Dillian Whyte in here earlier and he’s back from his ban. Is that something you could see further down the line?  

TS:

He’s got to rebuild his career as he’s just come back. He’s not in our sights currently and Anthony is further ahead currently.

 

EB:

Final question Tony – Ricky Burns, after his last fight being a victory and a much-needed confidence boost for him.

Is he going to stay at Light-Welter or move back down to Lightweight?

 

TS:

He’s going to drop back down to Lightweight. We got a dietician in and it’s the first time he has ever used one. He made the last fight at 10st 1lb he come in at 9st 13lbs.

If he eats correctly and at the right time with the right calories in him he makes Lightweight comfortably.

He made Lightweight before as he’s always done from a young age dropping weight late, when you get older your metabolism slows down and your diet needs to change as well.

You’ve got to realise he was Super-Feather before and you will see him making it easy with the dietician.

Eddie is in the process of making a big fight for him we will announce it when it’s confirmed. We are looking at early March for that.

 

EB:

Tony – thanks for your time and I’ll catch up with you soon.

 

TS:

Cheers Paul.

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net

@tornadotyler Interview by Paul Ready #CapitalPunishment

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Elite Boxing:

Tyler – firstly I just want to congratulate you on a great few months for you.

You won the English Title and then signed with Matchroom. Next step now is an International title, what do you expect from John Wayne Hibbert?

Tyler Goodjohn:

To be honest the belt itself is an added bonus. For the past few months Hibbert has had a bit too much to say for himself really.

I was in Egypt just after my last fight and I text Peter (Sims) and said “Let’s make this fight”.

EB:

It’s become a bit personal with you both now. You are a wanted man now in the division, with various people taking pot shots at you.

How do you see the fight with Hibbert differing from the (Ricky) Boylan one?

TG:

I don’t think he is anymore the athlete than Boylan is. Ricky is a fit guy and was there for ten hard rounds. I don’t think Hibbert has that pace in him – he’s 30 yrs old, this is last chance saloon for him.

That being said I expect him to put everything in to the training camp for the night – but it’s not going to be enough.

If he wants to have a fight, a boxing match, a brawl – whatever he wants to have I’ll beat him. I 100% expect the best John Wayne Hibbert to turn up.

EB:

It’s a great division as we have mentioned before and with the addition of Bradley Saunders to the stable recently it makes for some big fights.

TG:

As you say it is a great division. Me and Ricky Boylan spoke before the press conference and in the South of England there are some huge fights that can happen at the O2. I love that place.

I won’t overlook this fight but once I get it out-of-the-way I want to go for the British title.

When I turned pro at 18/19 that was the aim & goal. If I can do that at 24/25 that would be outrageous really!

I’ve never been the type of guy to sit there and say I’m definitely going to be world champion to be a British champion would be a dream come true.

EB:

I was fortunate enough to have been there at the 02 in October and saw the Fen Army out in full force. Can we expect much of the same next time?

TG:

Yeah if anything I expect more to be there! I had about 250 come down, Boylan had 450-500 – mine completely swamped Ricky’s fans for noise.

EB:

Finally Tyler, with Christmas it must be interesting for a boxer as you can’t overindulge with a fight 8 weeks away. What are your plans for the festive period?

TG:

I will be spending time with my girlfriend and that – I’ve already got it in my head that it is just another day. There will be a few presents and that but Pete will have me back in the gym Boxing Day and I will go for a run on Christmas Day.

EB:

Tyler if I don’t see you I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 2014 has ended really well for you and I’m sure 2015 will enable you to kick on.

TB:

Thanks mate, you too!

 

@PaulReady

@EliteBoxingNet

http://www.eliteboxing.net