APPRENTICESHIP now served in the paid ranks, undefeated Guisborough star, Josh Leather, is now looking for titles to add to his impressive 10-0 (4) record.
The super lightweight, who has formed a lifelong bond with trainer Imran Naeem at their Natural Progression gym in Stockton, has not looked back since turning professional in September 2013. Now, under the guidance of Frank Warren, and awaiting the debut of brother Kalam, the Leathers, combined, plan to take the boxing world by storm.
The last three opponents placed in Josh’s path have been, rather ceremoniously, destroyed, the last, a short-notice change of opponent at the Echo Arena at the start of the month.
Henry Janes, 7-18 (1), went the way of Pal Olah (in Gateshead) and Michael Mooney (in Wolverhampton), for an early bath as Leather showed that, a recent change in Strength Coach to Jemma Wesson, was worth its weight in stoppage gold.
“I’m just beginning to find my real power, that man strength,” began Josh when talking about the recent explosive nature of his outings.
“I do believe that is down to a change in Strength & Conditioning coach earlier this year, showing as much in my last three outings. Jemma has been a great addition, not only for me but for Kalam as well and she pushes us both really hard.
“However I know that if a stoppage comes, it comes, it’s not going to be there every time.”
Last time out saw a curveball thrown at the Leather camp, a last minute one at that.
On Merseyside, the day before his tenth fight, a composed and relaxed Leather weighs in with then opponent, Terry Needham. The weight limit is set at 10 stone and Leather, along with coach Naeem et al, are prepped for a ten round fight.
Needham though weighs in at 10st 7lbs, a good half stone over the limit and the fight is off. Josh wasn’t prepared to walk away though and the call was put out for a new opponent, Josh eventually taking a four rounder with the Welshman who had previously opposed the likes of Derry Matthews, Paul McCloskey, Kevin Mitchell and more.
“Yes I was supposed to fight Needham over ten rounds in a fight set at 10 stone,” continued Josh.
“I’d trained for eight hard weeks for a ten round contest only for him to come in seven pounds over. I wasn’t going to let all that hard work go to waste though and when I got Janes I was pleased even if it was only a four rounder.
“I didn’t know who he was until I checked his record and seen that he’s been in with the likes of Mitchell and Matthews. It was a tough fight though and I didn’t want to take any risks when I was in there.”
With Jemma Wesson’s ‘The Unit’ now adding much needed support alongside Solar Style UK, Leather can continue his run as a full-time athlete. Looking at September for his next outing, and for Kalam’s debut, it’ll be interesting to see how things progress for the 24-year-old.
“Kalam is ready to go now if needs be but I’m looking forward to seeing his debut later this year,” added Josh.
“Meanwhile, for me, I’m now looking at ten rounders and title fights from September onwards. It’s certainly a case of onwards and upwards whilst looking at either European or Inter-continental belts late this year or early next year to push me up the rankings.”