March 27, 2016
March 27, 2016
ashley theophane

Esaiah Gomez /Mayweather Promotions/Premier Boxing Champions

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THE British fans hated me. They always used to say to me, ‘Go back to America’. But I lived in London, I only used to go to training camps in America. I think when Mick Hennessy promoted my fight with Lenny Daws in 2011, he made it seem like I lived in America. But even now, if I’m not in camp, I’m in London. But this is my job, I fight often, so I’m in camp a lot. But yeah, even as British champion, the fans didn’t like me. Now all of a sudden, I’m signed with Floyd Mayweather, and everyone is saying, ‘Ashley! When are you going to fight here?’ But you had me here for all those years and you didn’t care about me.

I used to get the hateful Tweets, but it’s not so bad now. Boxing fans are weird. They like to criticise the fighters, they call them boring. But you get boxers like Gerald McClellan, who go all out, and they get injured. The fans are not there to look after them, the family have to. He hasn’t got any money, the fans are not going to give him any money. The family have to find money. So Floyd Mayweather gets a lot of criticism, but he always says, as long as he has his family he’s happy, because that’s why he started to box. All the money that he makes goes to his kids, the family. You want to be able retire with money. There are too many examples of fighters who are broke. Like Iran Barkley, you see him in the gym, and he’s homeless. It’s sad, because he was a great fighter.

Fans are very critical of us. They call us bums. But they have never had one professional fight in their life. You know, as [Gabriel] Rosado said, ‘We give our all’. It’s true. And at the end of the day the way I see it is this: I never let my losses hold me back. It’s sport. The top teams lose but it’s about how they come back. Whenever I lose, I always come back strong.

There is a lot of love now, fans want me to fight in Britain again. They’re very nice now. And if they’re a Floyd fan, they’re a fan of mine, because they support his whole team. That’s cool because he has loads of fans, but there are also a lot who don’t like him as a fighter, so you get that as well. At the end of day, if you’re going to do something that is worth doing, you’re not going to make everyone happy so that’s why I don’t worry too much about what fans think. They don’t pay my bills. Right now, Floyd Mayweather pays my bills and writes my cheques. As long as that man likes me, I’m good.

I like fighting in Las Vegas. There was only one fight I really liked here. Well, there was two. I loved my debut and when I won the British title. They were the only two I actually enjoyed. I never got love here, and I feel more loved in America than I do here.

For my career it’s a great place to be. For boxing, it’s great. You see so many great boxers around, great influences that you respect Mike Tyson, Zab Judah, Floyd Mayweather, you’ve got [Cornelius] Boza [Edwards] in the camp. Jeff [Mayweather], Roger [Mayweather], Eddie Mustafa [Muhammad]. You’re surrounded by them. It’s nice, it’s cool. But would I live there? I don’t know. But for the past 10 years, the majority of my life has been over there. It will be strange not to be there. When I finish boxing, I need to find a job where I can keep moving back and forth. But I do enjoy coming back to London after my fight. I’ll be in Vegas for a week after my fight and then I come back here. That’s why I haven’t got a place there, because in my mind, I’m going out to training camp.