Tyler “El Tornado” Goodjohn has already in his 11 years as a fighter encountered various cross roads in his career that would have made many quit boxing.
El Tornado didn’t and displays maturity that far outweighs his 22 yrs; for a young man who turned professional at the tender age of 18, it felt like I was listening to a 28 yr old.
What I found most endearing about Tyler was his passion & hunger to succeed in boxing; the time is nigh for him to prove many doubters wrong.
He for one can’t wait to do so.
When I first approached him to conduct an interview, I knew we would hit it off, Goodjohn is a huge Arsenal fan and his love for the “Gooners” is only surpassed by his one true love; boxing.
You would struggle to dislike Tyler after speaking to him, a genuine guy, big boxing fan and we spoke at a length about various match-ups he would like see.
El Tornado knows that he is 1 fight away from winning his first title and putting himself in the thick of the thriving British Light-Welterweight scene.
Who or what influenced you to become a boxer?
As a boy I was quite a chunky kid, my parents took me to a boxing club to lose weight. I was 11 and really struggled with it to begin with.
I lost my first 7 amateur fight, what made it worse was my brother (who is 5 years older) was at the same club and was knocking people out for fun.
Looking back, I think if I was 16-17, my mates might have been telling me to pack it in and do something else.
Suddenly it just clicked for me and took over his life. I had 70 amateur fights in total and ended up winning the juniors.
The club I was at was really small; we only had 1 punch-bag between 3 of us.
I still speak to my old trainer who is in now in his 70’s and he gives me some tips.
My older brother is still an amateur and whenever I get the time, I go watch his fights and support him.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without my brother being there for me.
What boxing installed in me from a young age was determination not to fail. It’s something that now is transferable in every aspect of my life.
I hate failing at anything.
Who was your favourite fighter growing up and what fighters currently do you watch?
I would have to say Muhammed Ali; I loved his charisma and boxing style.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve watched “When We Were Kings” (Based on Rumble in Jungle; Ali v Foreman in Zaire, Africa 1974).
Mike Tyson was another I loved watching as a boy.
Modern day fighters, I’m a big fan of Floyd Mayweather Jnr, I have huge respect for his style. He isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but defensively he is flawless.
At Simsy’s gym I’m in awe of Kevin Mitchell and previously Darren Barker, basically any fighters who have competed at world level, sparring with those guys is a big step up.
What is even more amazing about Mayweather is that he not only competes at World Level but he makes those he face look average, Floyd truly dominates them, you can’t get near him.
In December 2013 you had your 3rd fight with Danny Connor, tell me about the win and reflect back on the saga?
I honestly felt that I had done enough to win the 2nd fight.
I spoke to dad after the Danny Connor loss and he wanted me take over the family farm business.
I told him and mum that I’ve got to be selfish, I knew I wasn’t finished in boxing and had plenty more to give.
They supported my decision which I thank them for.
In the build up to the 3rd fight, I’m not ashamed to say that I suffered a few sleepless nights going over and over how it would pan out.
I was being slated for being farmer on Twitter, which didn’t bother me. I’m proud of my roots and rather than let it get to me, I made a joke of myself.
My family was apprehensive for him to do it, as they felt I was being a bit disrespectful to dad’s line of work.
But when I explained, they understood.
I’ve worked on the farm in-between fights; dealing with pigs and cows was my down time!
Winning that fight felt like a title to me, I was over the moon to finally put that issue to bed.
I’d like to thank the Fen Army, my supporters that come to my fights. You’ve been great for me.
Your surprise loss to Vinny Woolford in 2011, what happened & how did you learn from it?
Firstly I wasn’t in the best shape before. I was suffering from hypoglycemia, and kept it to myself. Looking back, this was a really naive move on my part to not mention it to anyone.
I was undefeated at the time and felt that I would comfortably win; I fully underestimated the extent of my health at that time.
I felt completely shot in that fight and was easily picked off by Vinny. No disrespect to him, but I wouldn’t of lost if I was at in my normal fighting condition.
I spent 4 months in hospital afterwards which was punishment enough.
This was a massive learning experience for me and it taught me to always be upfront with my condition to my trainer.
When you are in training camps, what do you do in your down time?
I moved down to Essex, from Ely to be closer to the gym. You will probably think I’m boring but I really don’t do anything exciting outside of boxing.
I tend to watch films and catch-up with friends when possible.
The feeling I get when I’ve left the gym after a huge session is the best feeling ever, you ask any true fighter they will tell you the same.
I had 2 hand injuries last year, that kept me out for 4 months off and had ended up having an operation.
My hand was in a cast, I initially thought it would be great as i’ve never really had much time off. After a very short period I was climbing the walls to get back in the gym.
I couldn’t even go home and help out dad on the family farm to take my mind off it.
I love boxing, and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Most boxers would agree that they are mad to do this sport. But building up to fight night and the buzz you get when you win, you can’t describe it. It makes all the hard-work and sacrifice worthwhile.
I’m so focused to succeed in boxing.
When I go out with mates on the rare occasions and they are drinking, people come up to me and say:
“You must be having a terrible time Ty?!”
I smile at them and think to myself;
“Are you joking mate? You will be out drinking every weekend for the majority of your life. I’ve only got a short period of time in boxing and I intend to make the most of it. I’ve got the best job in the world!”
I’m sure you’ve got some great stories from your time in camp; do you have any in particular you wish to share?
I’ve just come back from Lanzarote with Wadi Camacho and Peter Sims where we had a training camp. Loads of high-altitude runs, real hard graft.
Wadi has a catch phrase “Yeah Buddy”, when we were out there he had a bet with a British sparring partner we brought over that if he won in sparring, the other guy would get Yeah Buddy tattooed on him.
Fair play to the guy, he was from Devon and really game in the ring. Wadi won and the guy agreed to get the tattoo.
Wadi is half Spanish and can speak it, so when we went to the tattoo parlour, he spoke in Spanish to the tattooist and told him to put “Yeah Buddy #TeamCamacho” on his lower back.
You’ve touched upon Simsy’s gym just there, you were previously trained by Tony and now by his brother Peter, give me an overview of your time there and the change in trainers…
I was with Tony Sims from 16/17 up until the 2nd Danny Connor fight.
Tony spoke to me after the loss and said that he didn’t feel he I would make it to British or European Level.
I respected his honesty and we decided to go our separate ways, no hard feelings.
I then trained myself, and got in to a position to have a British Masters fight.
Ryan Taylor text me one day to come spar against him Simsy’s.
Peter was down there, we had always got on well and he offered to do the corner for me in the spar with Ryan.
Afterwards, Peter spoke to me and said:
“You aren’t finished yet, you’ve got much more to give”.
Peter agreed to be in my corner for the British Masters fight and we agreed to speak after about what was next.
I ended up winning the British masters and relationship went from there.
I would be the first to admit that I sometimes need to have an arm round me to get the best performance from me.
We get on so well and really clicked together, I’m going to watch the football round his shortly (Arsenal v Bayern)
I can’t thank Peter enough for what he has done for me; for example he paid for the hand operation last year privately. I really appreciate everything he does.
I get on well with Tony still; Tony helped me out this week when Peter wasn’t around.
I have great respect for Tony and what he has achieved in the sport.
You are currently ranked 16th on BoxRec in the British Light-Welter division.
Your next opponent Tyrone Nurse is ranked 9th, with a British title and the opportunity to “gate-crash” the top 10 is at stake.
In a red-hot domestic division that contains Darren Hamilton, Curtis Woodhouse, Chris Jenkins, Tom Stalker to name a few; what would the win mean to you and your future goals in boxing?
After the Danny Connor fight, I took some-time out for the festive period. But since then, I’ve already been training for 6 weeks, I respect Tyrone, but I know I will beat him.
I spoke to Darren Barker on the phone a few weeks ago and he told me that winning the British Title for him, ranks as one of his greatest achievements. That has inspired me even more to win.
I’m going to win that belt so I can take it home and show it to my parents.
I feel in great shape and my preparation has been first class. I’ve been sparring with Martin Ward recently, and I know this is my moment to shine.
I think it is a great division, I’m looking forward to seeing Hamilton v Woodhouse this weekend but I’m focused on my next fight first and foremost. Then I will look to some big fights domestically.
Tyler, just want to say it has been a pleasure talking to you. I wish you all the very best in your British Title fight in April
Thanks mate, likewise.
You can follow Tyler on Twitter at @tornadotyler.
Tyler Goodjohn is fighting for Matchroom Boxing at the Phones 4 U Arena in Manchester on Saturday 19th April 2014, for tickets please contact him.
He is currently looking for sponsors to add to his growing portfolio so if you are interested please get in touch.
Article written by Paul Ready