I’m feeling really good. I feel like how I did when I was 28, 29, that’s how I feel at the moment.
I’m getting a little bit more rest, a little bit more time to recover. I’ve dropped weight off from the last fight. So I’m obviously feeling the benefit of being lighter as well. I’m feeling good, working on some things in the gym with the trainers. I’m feeling quite positive.
What do you think has caused that?
I really do put it in in the gym to the point where after training sessions I was exhausted, walking around like a bit of a corpse. That doesn’t need to be the case. I used to think that should have been the case. As I’ve got a bit older and a bit wiser, I’m out of it. Now I’m getting way more rest and being able to put more into the sessions. I’m doing less training but for me at the moment, less is more.
The proof will inevitably be in the performances so I’m looking forward to it.
Do you feel boxing in Brentwood (on December 2) there’s less pressure?
There is but I’m in a position now where I’m not spoiled for choice type of thing and I’m made up to have this opportunity to get on a show. If I was fighting in Liverpool I’d have jumped at that, I was [going to be] fighting in Liverpool in September. There’s no pressure on me now because the consensus is that I’m finished.
I could do with just getting some rounds under my belt and not worry about knocking people out or getting back in the big fights.
But speaking of the big fights, fighting Tyson Fury is a great shout.
That would be brilliant. It would be poetic for me, given the way my career’s gone. There is respect between us but if we were to fight I’m sure the rivalry would be reignited, there would be a bit of dislike because we’d be fighting each other. I think he’d like to give me the opportunity.
If he was to lose to me it would undo everything he’d done. It would be different if he was to get in and lose to Anthony Joshua. There’s that much on the line. Him and his team will probably see me, [think] ‘Pricey’s finished, a decent fight.’ There’s still a bit of a name, that rivalry in the background. But anything can happen.
Either way today, whatever happens Tyson Fury’s got my name out there today. People are talking about me again good or bad. You can’t ask for more than that.
It makes sense. It’s two big giants, from the north west, in the ring against each other, who did used to dislike each other and it would only take one cross word for it to start again. People would want to see it, for the novelty factor.
It’s a massive opportunity for me and a great chance to gatecrash the division.
When did you box him before?
It was a local final [in the ABAs], it was about 11 years ago. It was a long time ago but it didn’t sit well with him for years. It was only when he beat Klitschko he managed to let that defeat go. I think it bothered him for years because the rivalry was there. Then obviously he went on to do the things he’s done. It doesn’t matter obviously.
You were the last English person to beat him?
I think I might have been the only one. I don’t know if anyone else has… Apart from [John] McDermott in the first fight!
Do you remember the bout itself?
I think at the time Fury was pretty inexperienced and I remember getting in the ring and I could see that he was young. He didn’t look quite ready. The occasion might have got to him a little bit. He kind of froze in the first couple of rounds. And in the amateurs then the tactics were getting the lead in the first round and protect your lead. If you started fast you had a great chance of carrying on and winning the fight. I think I was well up after two rounds and then he started to warm into it. He clawed a few points back. There was a knockdown that he used to say he knocked me down but it didn’t get ruled a knocked down. I fell in over my front foot and he pushed the back of my head to the floor.
That happened and then the last round I coasted it. It was an alright fight. But at that time I thought he was a little bit young, I was a little bit long in the tooth. But you could tell he had talent. But I never expected him to go out and do what he has done.