How have you been enjoying the switch to pro boxing?
I’m really enjoying it. I’ve joined Derry [Mathews]’ gym and George Vaughan is my coach, just learning every day and it’s a great experience. Just trying to work on my style. George said he can’t teach me how to box any better. He thinks he’s going to get me hitting hard and I think my fights have shown that that’s working. I’ve been working on a few things and that’s coming off. I’m enjoying it.
I think if I boxed my debut again [against Ibrar Riyaz] now I’d get the stoppage in that fight as well. I’m really enjoying my boxing.
Were you demoralised when you were an amateur?
I’d been on the [GB] squad for a long time. I’d been through some highs and lows. I’d had some really good times but by the end of it I knew I was out of the chance to go to the Olympics. My form was on a downer, I was stuck in a rut a little bit. I wasn’t pushing myself training. I just switched off. As soon as I turn pro, I rekindled that fire a little bit and I wanted to prove to everyone it’s just what I needed. I’m pushing on now, showing my level again, getting my form back.
Confidence plays a big part in how I perform. When I’m high in confidence I put on a good performance.
No, you don’t look at it like that. I look at it like I feel I’m on a level with these lads and they’re all smashing it. Like Sean McGoldrick, Joshua Buatsi, Ekow Essuman. I trained with them every day and I feel like I’m at that level and it’s good to see them doing so well.
Are there any names in particular on the horizon that you’re working your way towards fighting?
Anyone with a title I think, that’s got to be my goal to go for. They’re all big fights. The names could change anyway over the next few fights. I just want to know I want to get to a British title shot, or get to a title shot, whether it’s Central Area, English or British, that’s where I want to be definitely by the end of next year. I think I’m capable of doing that.
Your old rival Vasyl Lomachenko was in action, obviously you’ve done 10 rounds with him, what is it like to box him?
He’s got that many plans in his head. He’s just the most intelligent boxer I’ve ever boxed. He plans three or four moves ahead. He’ll do a feint, you’ll see him do the feint and he’s just judging what you’re going to do. Later on in the fight you might have forgot about it but he’ll do that feint again knowing what your reaction’s going to be and he’ll counter it.
He’s very accurate, his punches are very accurate. He doesn’t waste any shots. He caught me with some good body shots as well. He’s more like a correct hitter than a massive power puncher.
But enough about Lomachenko, the only guy to beat him [in the amateurs] Albert Selimov, I stopped him. I knocked him out.
I was ringside for that as well…
It wasn’t like he was beating me, it was a close fight and I stopped him. I could have won that on points.
Three back hands in a row and he got like a double cut. And I just pointed it out to the referee that he was cut [laughs]!
Watch Sam Maxwell box Vasyl Lomachenko here:
Video: World Series of Boxing