How have you been preparing for Andrew Robinson?
I think a lot of people think I’m going to overlook
Robinson. Believe I’ve been training just as hard, if not harder than any of my
fights. Because it’s at this stage where people trip and fall. They think
they’ve got it all. You’ve seen a couple of people recently slip up. I’m not
going to allow that to happen.
I’m more than ready. I could fight tomorrow. I’m coming with
bad intentions, I really want to look good and put on a big display.
Your performances at middleweight have looked really
good, what do you put that leap in performance down to?
I think it’s a case of me being at a different weight, it’s
a lot better for me. More suited, I’m not killing myself to make weight. A
number of things really. I’m just a lot happier in myself now.
I think as well, success breeds success. I’m around so many
talented fighters and so many driven fighters with big ambitions, I’m buzzing
and everybody in the gym is flying. So it’s a number of things.
It’s interesting you say you’re happier because watching
you fight recently you look like a very aggressive, angry, determined fighter.
What’s your mindset at the moment?
I’m definitely a lot angrier when I go through the ropes. I
just feel like [before] the last 18 months, I haven’t really been fulfilling my
full potential. In many ways I’m pissed off with myself before that because I
haven’t been my best. I’ve cut corners in certain things. I’ve always trained
hard and been dedicated, but certain things like diet and, towards the [Liam]
Smith fights, I was going out a little bit more than I should have been. Little
things where in many ways I let myself down. Now I’m on a good path and I’m
determined to make a massive statement and become world champion.
I would have been one of those maybe men. I don’t want to be
that. When I retire, I want to be former world champion or former multi title
world champion, whatever it may be. The main thing for me is just to be my best
and now I feel like I’m on the right path.
Was there a moment when you realised you might be
throwing away your talent?
That was when I lost to Smith. I just wasn’t doing what I
should have been. After that fight I was in quite a low place. I thought you
know what, I don’t like losing. This is s***e. If I’m going to be a loser then
I’d rather just not box. There are easier things to lose at. I thought this
I’ve often thought that losing is part of a fighter’s
development, do you think that fight helped change you?
I think to myself I shouldn’t have lost. Also don’t really
think I should have lost the first fight anyway. But you know what, I don’t
regret any of it. It might sound silly but I’m happy I lost those fights and if
I could go back I wouldn’t change a single thing. Because they have brought me
to where I’m at today. If that didn’t happen, then I still could have been
cutting corners and whatever else. So I’m glad and if I could go back I honestly
wouldn’t change a single thing.
Do you think that now you’ve proved yourself a world class fighter, especially after a dominant performance over Alantez Fox (who’d gone the distance with WBO champion Demetrius Andrade)?
I think it did make a bit of a statement. I was going out
with a point to prove. Same as what I still am.
I feel it would have really taken some man to beat on that
night and it’s going to take some man to beat me any time soon. I’m really
focused on what I’m doing now. I’ve got a beautiful little girl, I’ve got a
family to provide for. I’ve got so much going on. I’m very, very driven.
Did you find it hard when you had no opportunity to fight
earlier this year?
I need to wake up in the morning with a bit of purpose. If I
haven’t got that, then I’ll be honest with you, I really do struggle.
Sometimes I tend to do my own head in. Sometimes I burn my
own head out. Being in the gym among the people I’m with is fantastic because,
it’s a thing at the Ingle gym, it’s not really a camp there’s a constant flow
of work going on.
[In lockdown] at first it was all fun and games, locked in
the house doing absolutely nothing. Do you know after one week … I felt like
banging my head against the wall.
Lockdown gave me a little bit of a realisation of what it
would be like with nothing to do. That definitely helped me because now I’m
really motivated, I’m ready to go again.
Could you have gone off the rails?
In my life I do need a sense of direction of purpose… When
I’ve got nothing on, I can quite easily spiral out of control. I’m just telling
you the truth. We all have ups and downs, we all have negative sides. [But] I’m
not going anywhere any time soon. I’m very, very driven. I’ve got so much to
fight for. So if not the end of this year, early next year you will 100% see me
as world champion.