John, firstly thanks for your time. Just watched you sparring two different guys this morning, you look in great shape.
Last time we saw you in action was your impressive KO of Billi Godoy in January.
Have you watched the fight back since and what did you make of your performance?
I’ve got it taped on my Sky box at home and I’ve watched it to round three so far.
Do you know what it was a bit one paced, slow and monotonous. I think I started good 1st round, 2nd round I went out I caught him with a good left hand and he seemed to change tactics – adapted and went on the back-foot.
That took me out of my comfort zone a bit as I like to box a bit and fight on the back-foot – but that’s something to work on. I will watch it in time and right the wrongs.
I think it was a difficult opponent to prepare for as not to sound like a broken record – it was another late change of opponent for you.
I suspect you had a slightly disruptive camp as a consequence, but let’s to dwell on that – you went out there and got the win.
Godoy was tough, he was a spoiler and had no interest in attempting to engage with you. Despite all of that you did knock him out and I think you should get credit for that.
Yeah definitely. I’d be doing a lot of research on Les Sherrington on the lead up to the fight – then Tony (Sims) text me and told me Billi Godoy was now the opponent. I then looked at him and thought it would be a good match – in the previous fights I’ve seen he was non-stop punching and moving forward – which is perfect for me.
But like I say I caught him in the 2nd with a good shot, he closed up and retreated which was frustrating.
In the end the outcome was a good one and I got the win.
I know you said you haven’t watched the fight back yet – but a sentiment shared by a lot of people is that you received some unfair criticism post-fight on social network and from some of the media.
I’m sure you are your own worst critic but what is your response to that and is there anything you’d like to get off your chest about it?
Not really. Listen – people are always going to criticise, if I do something fantastic there will be knockers.
I think certain criticism was a bit harsh at the time. There was a lot read in to the criticism from Glenn McCroy (Skysports) but Glenn sent me a message the day after and explained – he has my best interests at heart.
Glenn wants me to do well and he knows what I’m capable of, it might not have come across well but you’ve got to respect the man. He was fighting for titles when I was a kid – he’s been around the game for a while so you’ve got to respect his opinion.
In terms of yourself and your future plans. You are expected to be out within the next 2 months – any news on who?
Potentially I was told April 25th at O2, but now with the DeGale purse bids being won elsewhere – I don’t know if that show will go on or not.
I’ve been training a good few weeks now and I feel I already have a good level of fitness. I want to continue to build on that & get my weight down gradually – so I will be ready whenever it comes.
You’ve recently comeback from Fuerteventura where you were there for ten days sparring with IBF Welterweight Champion Kell Brook.
Tell me how that experience was for you?
It was fantastic. I’d sparred Kell two years ago before he was due to fight Devon Alexander and he was different this time – you can see the champ’s mentality taking over.
He was different gravy – much more spite in his punches. Kell wanted to hurt me and take my head off!
He didn’t take my head off though or manage to knock me out – but he tried and fair play to him!
There are a lot of fighters that don’t try to take your head off and take their foot of the gas – he doesn’t and he is high intensity.
That’s where you learn the trade. Kell is a fantastic puncher and so natural. Certain things he done I asked him to try pick his brains and he just replies:
“I don’t know how I do it – it’s just natural!”
What a talent.
You sparred Andy Lee WBO Middleweight world champion end of last year and now Kell.
Surely you must reflect on those two experiences where you held your own and say “I’m not too far away from that level?!”
Yeah there’s a difference between holding my own and wanting to push on – I’ve still got a way to go.
I think that the way to go isn’t in my ability – it’s in my mindset and belief, if there is anything I lack maybe it’s a lack of self-belief.
That’s something to work on and adapt and just keep trying.
John finally if we look at 2015 for you – where would you like to be in December and what are your aspirations?
It would be lovely to be on the verge of a world title – be it the WBO or another governing body. If I keep winning it’s not something out of my reach.
I think it’s a realistic goal so I’m going to keep working towards that.