How have you been preparing for Andrew Robinson?
I think a lot of people think I’m going to overlook Robinson. Believe I’ve been training just as hard, if not harder than any of my fights. Because it’s at this stage where people trip and fall. They think they’ve got it all. You’ve seen a couple of people recently slip up. I’m not going to allow that to happen.
I’m more than ready. I could fight tomorrow. I’m coming with bad intentions, I really want to look good and put on a big display.
Your performances at middleweight have looked really good, what do you put that leap in performance down to?
I think it’s a case of me being at a different weight, it’s a lot better for me. More suited, I’m not killing myself to make weight. A number of things really. I’m just a lot happier in myself now.
I think as well, success breeds success. I’m around so many talented fighters and so many driven fighters with big ambitions, I’m buzzing and everybody in the gym is flying. So it’s a number of things.
It’s interesting you say you’re happier because watching you fight recently you look like a very aggressive, angry, determined fighter. What’s your mindset at the moment?
I’m definitely a lot angrier when I go through the ropes. I just feel like [before] the last 18 months, I haven’t really been fulfilling my full potential. In many ways I’m pissed off with myself before that because I haven’t been my best. I’ve cut corners in certain things. I’ve always trained hard and been dedicated, but certain things like diet and, towards the [Liam] Smith fights, I was going out a little bit more than I should have been. Little things where in many ways I let myself down. Now I’m on a good path and I’m determined to make a massive statement and become world champion.
I would have been one of those maybe men. I don’t want to be that. When I retire, I want to be former world champion or former multi title world champion, whatever it may be. The main thing for me is just to be my best and now I feel like I’m on the right path.
Was there a moment when you realised you might be throwing away your talent?
That was when I lost to Smith. I just wasn’t doing what I should have been. After that fight I was in quite a low place. I thought you know what, I don’t like losing. This is s***e. If I’m going to be a loser then I’d rather just not box. There are easier things to lose at. I thought this ain’t me.
I’ve often thought that losing is part of a fighter’s development, do you think that fight helped change you?
I think to myself I shouldn’t have lost. Also don’t really think I should have lost the first fight anyway. But you know what, I don’t regret any of it. It might sound silly but I’m happy I lost those fights and if I could go back I wouldn’t change a single thing. Because they have brought me to where I’m at today. If that didn’t happen, then I still could have been cutting corners and whatever else. So I’m glad and if I could go back I honestly wouldn’t change a single thing.
Do you think that now you’ve proved yourself a world class fighter, especially after a dominant performance over Alantez Fox (who’d gone the distance with WBO champion Demetrius Andrade)?
I think it did make a bit of a statement. I was going out with a point to prove. Same as what I still am.
I feel it would have really taken some man to beat on that night and it’s going to take some man to beat me any time soon. I’m really focused on what I’m doing now. I’ve got a beautiful little girl, I’ve got a family to provide for. I’ve got so much going on. I’m very, very driven.
Did you find it hard when you had no opportunity to fight earlier this year?
I need to wake up in the morning with a bit of purpose. If I haven’t got that, then I’ll be honest with you, I really do struggle.
Sometimes I tend to do my own head in. Sometimes I burn my own head out. Being in the gym among the people I’m with is fantastic because, it’s a thing at the Ingle gym, it’s not really a camp there’s a constant flow of work going on.[In lockdown] at first it was all fun and games, locked in the house doing absolutely nothing. Do you know after one week … I felt like banging my head against the wall.
Lockdown gave me a little bit of a realisation of what it would be like with nothing to do. That definitely helped me because now I’m really motivated, I’m ready to go again.
Could you have gone off the rails?
In my life I do need a sense of direction of purpose… When I’ve got nothing on, I can quite easily spiral out of control. I’m just telling you the truth. We all have ups and downs, we all have negative sides. [But] I’m not going anywhere any time soon. I’m very, very driven. I’ve got so much to fight for. So if not the end of this year, early next year you will 100% see me as world champion.