IN the sixth round I was trying to take Ricards Bolotniks out and I was thinking, ‘How has he not gone down? I’ve landed some big bombs.’ He looked gone but 100 percent credit to him, his feet were still under him, he moved about, probably took the sting out of some of the shots and kept himself safe. So I have to rate him for weathering that storm.
After the sixth I did think, ‘Damn, how have I not get rid of him?’ But you can tell up to the sixth, I was boxing in a comfortable gear. It was at a pace that I was happy with. I had the engine in me. Of course, when I put more pressure on in the sixth and he didn’t go, I needed a round or so to recover. But I wasn’t disheartened that he hadn’t gone, I knew I was boxing someone tough.
With that being the first time I’ve done 11 rounds, it was good. He’d done 12 a few times, it was something he was confident in because I hadn’t really been into the second half of a fight before. He felt it would be unknown territory for me. But I think I showed that first half or second half, either or I don’t mind, every round I’m there.
I think for me the most important thing was that I still had my power in me in the later rounds, when I landed the one punch that took him out. So I think at least I know that when we’re both fatigued I’ve still got it in me to exert that kind of force. That for me was a bonus. In training and in camp, we’ve worked on these things. These things happening, it wasn’t something new. It didn’t surprise my coach. It didn’t necessarily surprise me. But doing it of course in the gym is different to doing it under the lights.
I built it up, round nine was a solid finish, round 10 was a solid round for me and round 11 I took him out so I’ve got the engine and you can gauge someone’s energy levels when you’re that close and personal with them. So I just adapted really.
There’s a lot more to do to make my work cleaner – to take less but hand out more.
In the States, the education that I’m having with my trainer Virgil Hunter, it’s all about the jab. It’s having an educated jab, knowing when to use it, how to use it. There’s so much that comes from it. So I think I started the fight with that and gradually used it more, drifted away from it a bit but it opened up things and allowed me to see more off the openings that I had.
Most importantly this year the aim was to keep active. I had a fight in May, I did one in August and we’re looking at another in November, December. I’ll have a week, a week and a half off and then head back out to the States.
I think for me it’s important next to have that top 10 opponent again and I’ll just keep building from that. We all know what the aim is, we all know where I want to get to. I want that kind of opponent again and be in a good fight again.
Matchroom will do their best and throw some names at us and we’ll pick who they’ll accept and who my trainer feels is going to give me the work that I need and then we’ll take it from there. I want to give credit to Bolotniks because he was tough, he did come, he did push me. He gave me the rounds that I needed, the rounds that people were saying I do need. This guy was genuinely trying so they were competitive rounds.
There are good guys to fight nationally and internationally. We’re spoiled for choice almost. It’s just about being in the right fight at the right time and I’ll be ready for whoever.