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Deion Jumah: ‘I’ve got to fulfil my potential’

Deion Jumah
Action Images/Andrew Couldridge
In his own words Deion Jumah says he's looking to break through when he fights Wadi Camacho for English cruiserweight title at York Hall on September 7

I’VE found it hard to get fights and get a relevant opponent who will set me up for the next big fight. It has been difficult. People use the excuse that nobody knows who I am but they know who I am. This is the issue, they know they can avoid me. But people in boxing will know who I am. So me performing on September 7, against Wadi Camacho for the English cruiserweight, title is major.

I remember boxing Wadi in the amateurs [in 2011] well. I remember him hitting me so hard in the first round I couldn’t feel my legs and I realised we were in for a war. I think I underestimated him at the time but I’m not underestimating him now. And I still got the win then, so I’m happy.

I am focused on this fight. It’s Wadi’s last chance. He’s going to be going for it. So I can’t get too caught up in what’s next but when I do win this fight I’m looking at big things.

I want the Lawrence Okolie fight as soon as possible. I believe I’m a better fighter than him, I believe I’m a better athlete than him and I believe I’ll be an absolute nightmare for him and I know how to beat him.

I’d like to fight Richard Riakporhe too. I’m wrong for Riakporhe, totally wrong for Riakporhe.

Deion Jumah on Lawrence Okolie
Deion Jumah takes aim at British champion Lawrence Okolie Action Images/Peter Cziborra

I’ve been doing this a long time, it’s about time I got something out of it. It’s a hard life. My advice to anyone is have a five or six year plan and follow it through no matter what happens, keep pressing forward with it because there will be times where you’re treated unjustly or certain things don’t happen for you that should and there will be times where you want to quit.

I got a heart condition and it just set me back two, two and a half years and I’d say since then I’ve been finding it hard to find my way back in. It’s been one thing after another. It disrupted my flow.

Getting over such an illness, it’s not just physically getting better, it’s mentally getting better and that took a while.

I had to do everything in my power to get better, changing my diet, I was on strong medication and I had to prove to doctors that I’m not in danger of it coming up because of exercise. It was a tough period in my life but I learned a lot from it. I discovered how much that I need boxing and boxing was a big motivation for me to get better.

I tried to leave it, there’s easier ways to make money than boxing. But you realise it’s not even about the money. This is the hardest sport in the world. You become addicted to it. It just becomes a part of you.

Now I feel fitter than ever and I’m also a lot smarter with my training, whereas before I was just killing it literally every day.

I’ve known Gary Logan, my trainer, for ages. Someone who believes, someone who understands the style that I’m working on. It just made sense. My advice to any fighter would be to go to someone who spends time with you, who believes in you. I feel like you’re going to get to a point in a fight where things aren’t going your way and whatever this person’s telling you, you’ve got to believe in him more than you believe in yourself. You’ve got to think this guy knows, this guy cares, this guy wants me to win. I want to achieve my potential. I believe I can go all the way. I know I need to prove it to myself. I’ve got a timeframe. I’m just going to keep going for it, as long as possible, as hard as possible in that timeframe and see where I end up. I believe I have got the skills and the potential to be world champion. But it’s about doing it, not talking about it.

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