BN: How does it feel to have the IBO belt?
I don’t know. It’s another thing to have. It’s good. I’m glad that I won it, obviously. I had a pretty shit camp if I’m fair and if I’m honest. It was good I was able to get through it all.
BN: You’ve said you had a bad camp for your last fight, why was that?
I had a cut from my last fight [against Boris Crighton] that didn’t heal properly, and it opened. I only managed to spar a few times. It was one of them things. You kinda question will the 12 rounds be an issue. As a fighter myself I like to spar 12 rounds a couple of times going into fights like that. The fact I was able to get through that fight, with the knockdown, was good. I watched it back, big right hand I got hit with, but I got up against a guy that’s knocked everyone out. The one fight he didn’t win was against the only fighter he didn’t knock out. To be able to take that, come back and win the fight just shows me I can weather a storm.
BN: Did thinking about the cut affect you on fight night?
It probably did but I don’t know how much. In the back of your mind you’re thinking, “I don’t want the cut to open.” You then think, “Shit, am I going to be cool with the rounds.” There’s a few more things as well but it is what it is. I won. I was able to come through the adversity of being put down in the fourth. Big right hand, I got up and I won against a guy that’s a knockout artist. I’m happy with what happened knowing that was me at 60 per cent. I can’t wait to have a full camp of sparring, nutritionist, full everything.
BN: Was the way Suarez fought what you expected?
A little bit, yeah. I expected a bit more from him if I’m honest. I knew he was a tough, tough, tough Argentinian who was coming to win, who was not used to losing, lost once and won his last fight by knockout. I knew he was going to be up for it. I was supposed to fight him before and it never happened. I knew he was coming to take my head off and he tried to do it. When I say I expected more I expected him to be on me a little bit more. He was on me anyway and credit to him, he came, and he tried.
BN: That moment in round four can you remember what was going through your mind?
I just remember thinking, “Right, I’m setting him up for the right uppercut,” and he threw one, too. Caught me flush on the chin, next thing referee’s counting. I just remember thinking, “Let’s take the eight-count”. It was a big knockdown, but it was also a flash knockdown, so my head wasn’t completely gone. I was aware of what was going on, but I knew to take the eight-count, get back up, finish the round off.
BN: Were you expecting the fight to go to points or were you expecting to finish the fight with a body shot?
This is going to sound daft, not daft but weird. Before he knocked me down, I was saying to myself, “I’m going to catch him.” I was literally talking to myself in the fight thinking, “I’m going to get him.” Personally, I thought it’d be the straight right, that’s what I envisioned. But I always knew that through the fight I’m going to do something to stop him. I knew I was going to stop him.
BN: Did you notice beforehand if you hurt him to the body?
No. I was surprised he went down with the shot. I understand body shots though. If you get hit by one, it hurts. It can affect you and cause a delayed effect like it did do.
BN: How are you finding life with Wasserman after four fights with them?
We’re working well together. It’s good to have a promoter that’s onside rather than have ones against you. One that’s actually pushing for you. It’s good. I feel a bit more at home. They’re treating me well. The respect is there both ways.
BN: Are you hoping to be back out again this year?
I would like to get out in December if I can, before Christmas so I’ll see what the plan is.
BN: You’ve got a target on your back now, but it’s clear already you’re relaxed and it doesn’t matter who you fight.
A lot of people say if I’m any more laid-back I’ll stop. It is what it is. It’s boxing. I understand the IBO’s not the f**king WBC, I’m fully aware. Still, nonetheless, I’m proud of myself. I’ve come back from a loss and I’m here headlining, boxing, winning and winning titles. It’s a bargaining tool and it’s definitely good to have.
BN: Since boxing on terrestrial TV have you noticed a difference in being recognised more?
I get noticed quite a bit. Not to sound big-headed, I’m not like a footballer or owt like that but I’ve been getting noticed before Channel 5. It’s normal.
BN: You spoke about how laid-back you are. Have you always been that way and is there anything that gets you mad?
I have been like this my whole life. What gets me mad? My son can wind me up. My girlfriend and my mum (laughs). When it’s near fight time your temper gets a bit shorter and stuff like that. Apart from that I’m just a laid-back character.
BN: With that being said, did you find it easy to bounce back after the defeat to Anthony Yarde?
Yeah. When you say easy, a loss is never easy. It’s never easy to take a loss. It’s probably took me a couple of fights. I’m alive and there’s people that aren’t. I was able to take the loss because I’m alive. It’s not a good thing taking a loss, but I take positives from it. I’ve lost friends and I’ve lost family members that are not even here to see me. I’m grateful to be in the position that I’m in.
BN: Would a third fight against Yarde interest you or not?
I would take it at the drop of a hat. Am I chasing it? No. I’m on my own path, I’m doing well. If it happens it happens. If it doesn’t it doesn’t.
BN: Is there anyone in the top 10 that you would like to face?
I’m not into calling people out. The fights will happen. There’s a lot of fights out there for me to be in and I will be in big fights. I’m sure that’ll happen.