Feature | Jan 01 2019

John Docherty in a rush to take over the British super-middleweight division

John Docherty has no patience for waiting around as he sets out his plans for the new year. He speaks to Jon Bruce
John Docherty
John Docherty v Jordan Latimer  |  Action Images/Craig Brough

AS an elite amateur John Docherty, as well as gold at the Youth Commonwealths, won bronze at the most recent Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast before turning professional. Speaking to Boxing News at the Hands of Stone gym in Montrose, he discussed his career so far and his hopes for 2019. Trained by Tony Sims in Essex John explained how they ended up working together.

“I liked Tony and also he has a good squad with a few lads around my weight so I can get great sparring down there and it all seemed to fit,” Docherty said. “The other advantage to being with Tony is the connection to Matchroom, it doesn’t automatically mean you get taken on by them but they will look at you. I was fortunate enough that they liked me and we signed a deal for six fights initially but hopefully that will be extended once I’m through those. I knew Eddie Hearn was keeping his eye on me through the GB set up as I had spoken to him there. I would have been number one choice to go to the Olympics in 2020 but I liked the thought of having a belt around my waist more.”

John has already mixed in some excellent company albeit mainly sparring as he has blown out both the opponents he has faced so far, with his debut being an 18 second demolition of Jordan Latimer. He went on to explain how this has helped his development as well as given him the confidence he will succeed.

“Being on the Podium squad at GB training down in Sheffield with the likes of AJ [Anthony Joshua] and Joshua Buatsi is great. I’ve also sparred George Groves and Chris Eubank Jnr which was fantastic. I’ve always held my own with everyone so far. Being around someone like AJ was great as he gives you some fantastic advice. In my own gym there are guys like Ricky Burns, Connor Benn, Ted Cheeseman, Martin J Ward, John Ryder, Felix Cash and I also do a lot of sparring with Craig Richardson as he comes down to the gym quite a bit. The best trainer I’ve seen is still Ricky Burns, even though he’s a wee bit older than the rest of us now he still trains like an absolute beast,” he said.

“Obviously [Matchroom] helps and the exposure it gets me is also good, I’m on a good contract and I just have to keep on doing what I’m doing. The last guy was supposed to give me rounds but even in the first I knew I could have stopped him. I walked back to my corner at the end of the first and winked over at Eddie Hearn and he started laughing as he knew I was levels above him. I don’t think anyone around British level just now would give me a fight, that’s not me being cocky that’s just how it is. I watched Rocky Fielding against Canelo and I think I’d beat him at the moment if we fought.”

Maybe it’s down to the fact that he got married early (at 18), or that they are expecting their first child in April. but Docherty seems to have a maturity and an almost matter of fact demeanour when he is talking about the level he believes he is at, or who he could beat.

“I don’t want protected in any way like some other fighters, I’m looking at British and Commonwealth title level guys and I know I can beat them right now. It’s obviously up to my coach Tony to decide when I’m ready but I know I’m good enough to beat these guys today. I hope David Brophy wins the Commonwealth and then I can come and fight him as I know I would beat him. It would be a good fight particularly with two Scottish guys but his style suits me perfectly,” he said. “In the pros with these small gloves I can punch so much harder and I can’t wait to prove it”

John Docherty

The biggest issue Tony Sims could have is trying to hold his new charge back. “Tony wants me to keep learning but I’m hoping to move up to six rounds in my next fight as it would get me better opposition. The main thing at the moment is getting the strength right so we are working on power, I’m so much stronger already,” Docherty said.

Finally, he outlined what ideally he would like to see happen next year. “I’ll be back out early next year but not had the exact date yet but it will be end Jan or beginning of February. I want to fight six or sevem times and have a title around my waist, the British would be brilliant but I’ll take any title going at the moment,” he said.

So, John Docherty appears to be in a rush to take over the super-middleweight division, it will be interesting to see how the journey progresses.

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