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From Box Up Crime to professional boxing, meet Franklin Ignatius

Franklin Ignatius
Paul Wheeler talks to Franklin Ignatius, a big fan of James ‘Lights Out’ Toney

When and why you started boxing:
I started boxing at [social youth organisation] Box Up Crime, but my first amateur club was Golden Gloves in Liverpool. I started there when I was 18 years old, as a way to get fit and confident. I was very introverted as a kid.

Favourite all-time fighter:
James Toney. He had great defensive skills in combination with a ruthless instinct and braggadocio. He was never in a boring fight and to me he represented what being a fighter is all about.

Best fight you’ve seen:
James Toney against Evander Holyfield. Both fighters had their moments, but overall it was a boxing lesson from ‘Lights Out’.

Personal career highlight:
Making my pro debut with my family in attendance and winning by stoppage [in the fourth round against Hrvoje Bozinovic in December last year].

Toughest opponent:
There hasn’t been a toughest opponent so far, but when the time comes I’ll be ready to meet him.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:
My best attributes are my toughness and ring smarts. My worst is that I like to take my time, figure my opponent out and break him down before going for the finish, instead of jumping on him straight away.

Training tip:
Be consistent.

Favourite meal/restaurant:
Pounded yam and egusi soup is my favourite meal. I like my food from M&C Kitchen. It’s a local food delivery service that always provides tasty West African and Caribbean foods.

Best friends in boxing:
None.

Other sportsperson you would like to be:
Floyd Mayweather because of his success commercially and in the ring.

Last film/TV show you saw:
I recently watched Project Power on Netflix.

Who would play you in a film of your life:
Jamie Foxx. He’s in Project Power. He’s a great actor.

Have you ever been starstruck:
Nope. The only people I’d be starstruck meeting are James Toney and LeBron James. I’ll never get the chance to meet Muhammad Ali or Kobe Bryant. May they rest in peace.

Last time you cried:
I can’t remember the last time I cried. I don’t cry generally.

Best advice received:
‘Pro boxing is a business.’ Ohara Davies told me that.

Worst rumour about yourself:
No idea. I don’t pay attention to rumours.

Something not many people know about you:
I’m a voracious reader.

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