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Alex Dilmaghani: ‘Julio Cesar Chavez and Roberto Duran were the epitome of machismo in the ring’

Alex Dilmaghani
'Either you do or you don’t – nothing half-arsed,' Alex Dilmaghani tells Paul Wheeler

When and why you started boxing:
I was 16 years old when I started. I was always getting into fights, so I found a nearby boxing gym. I’ve loved it ever since.

Favourite all-time fighter:
Julio Cesar Chavez or Roberto Duran. They were both the epitome of machismo in the ring.

Best fight you’ve seen:
Live, it has to be Srisaket Sor Rungvisai against Carlos Cuadras in Mexico. Even though Cuadras won, Srisaket’s performance in that fight was the reason why I picked him to beat Roman Gonzalez.

Personal career highlight:
Working with Nacho Beristain in Mexico, as he’s one of the all-time best trainers. Also, being brought back to the UK by Mick Hennessy and having my fights televised live on terrestrial TV on Channel 5.

Toughest opponent:
Miguel Angel Gonzalez, who I fought in Canada [w ud 8 – April 2017]. Boy he was tough.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:
I’d say my speed, chin and defence are my main strengths, but I need to be more patient, as I’m always forcing the fight.

Training tip:
Always work hard, as you can’t cut corners.

Favourite meal/restaurant:
Persian food is my favourite. I won’t name the restaurant until I get my endorsement!

Best friends in boxing:
One is German Rafael, the super-middleweight from Argentina. He’s a great person. We were the only two foreigners at the Romanza Gym in Mexico. The other is the unbeaten Canadian heavyweight, Mladen Miljas.

Other sportsman you would like to be:
If I wasn’t a boxer, I wouldn’t mind being a footballer.

Last film/TV show you saw:
I recently watched Gladiator for about the 100th time!

Who would play you in a film of your life:
Robert De Niro is my favourite actor, but he’s too old!

Have you ever been starstruck:
I’ve only ever been starstruck once. That was when I met Mike Tyson.

Last time you cried:
When my mum broke her back. Thank God she’s made a full recovery.

Best advice received:
Either you do or you don’t – nothing half-arsed.

Worst rumour about yourself:
I haven’t heard any. I wouldn’t pay attention anyway.

Something not many people know about you:
I love to cook. I make a great Mexican dish called mole.

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