“When You Work This HardYou Appreciate It More” – Lewis Paulin Interview

“When You Work This HardYou Appreciate It More” – Lewis Paulin Interview

For boxing fans it is easy to be drawn to the very top of the sport , whether it be the glitz of Las Vegas , A massive stadium fight at Wembley or even watching the glamours World Boxing Super Series , following some of the biggest names in the sport . I think it would surprise a lot of armchair boxing fan to find out that some of the best fights actually happen in sport centres and halls all around the country , right on our doorsteps . On December 16 Lewis Paulin will fight for the Scottish Super Featherweight title against Stephen Tiffney in the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley . This fight see’s two lads from Edinburgh go head to head to see who is the best in Scotland and someones “0” has to GO and Lewis Paulin can’t wait .

“With us both coming from Edinburgh we are deffo fighting for bragging rights , we know each other , we are roughly the same age , we turned pro around the same time it makes sense for us to meet now and the winner will hopefully progress on.” 

MTK Scotland have some great card on this year but this “Christmas Cracker” did seem a little a strange as its in Paisley which is West of Scotland but the show is headlined by two fighter from the east coast .

“Yeah it is strange that its in Paisley but to be fair the venues in Edinburgh aren’t that great for boxing , Glasgow area does seem to have the better venues “

Hopefully it will be busy with i being Christmas time , I know the public response shows there is a lot of people buzzing about this fight so i think it will be a busy show and it should be a good atmosphere”

The winner of this fight could be in a great position to push on to challenge for the British Title which is currently vacant , something that Lewis has thought about .

 ” Of course i have thought about that but i can only look at one fight at a time , hopefully i can dominate Scotland and then push on to the bigger things , but that is deffo a road we would look to go down “

At the start we touched on the Glitz and Glamour at the very top end of boxing but i wanted to know what it was like for guys like Lewis who have to find the right balance of  working there family lives and work around boxing .

‘ It is difficult and it is an issue , unless you have big sponsorship and enough backing  do this full time and you don’t have to worry about working , but we aren’t all as fortunate as that . I do work full time , but my work have been really good giving me time off to travel away to England for sparring so thats helped massively and my sponsors have helped so i am appreciative of that . Hopefully after a big win i hope to get another couple of big sponsors and that would make it more likely i could go full time “

The life blood of any sport comes from the grass roots and in the cut throat world of boxing it is so hard hard to make it as there just isn’t enough money to go round . The landscape is filled with young boxers who just couldn’t get the breaks or funding and regardless of there talent have just gave up on the sport .

“Unless you are one of the lucky ones who have made it to the olympic games its very difficult to get sponsorship , those first few years are very hard . Its once you start to prove yourself thats when more sponsors want to come onboard . Right now i train before work , go to work and then train at night , you don’t get any free time . When you work that hard you will appreciate it more .  

When Lewis was starting out as a young amateur boxed for the famous Meadowbank Amateurs who has brought thru some of the best talent this country has produced , a club which is now under threat due to its home in the Meadowbank Sports Arena going thru a revamp which has seen the club evicted with nowhere to go , I asked Lewis about the full situation .

“I am pretty gutted , the Meadowbank does need refurbished but the club have effectively been made homeless which is pretty poor. The club get a lot of people through the door no they lads have to go train in other gyms which isn’t great . 

“Hopefully they get something set for all the young guys coming through” 

Lewis Paulin vs Stephen Tiffney will take place on December 16 in Paisley . For tickets get in touch with Lewis Paulin through this link or here MTK Scotland .

Full Interview Click Here

Steven Donnell

Dejan Zlaticanin Interview : An Old Skool Fighter

Dejan Zlaticanin Interview : An Old Skool Fighter

Before we get started let me paint you a picture , lets roll back a few years , back to a summers night in Glasgow 2014 . There is an air of optimism surrounding the bout for the WBC International Lightweight title in Braehead Arena , a night where Ricky Burns was going to get his career back on track after a contentious draw with Ray Beltran that was followed up by the loss of Burns WBO Lightweight title to future P4P superstar Terrence Crawford .The general consensus was that Burns would win this fight and get into position for a shot at the WBC Crown, all that stood in Ricky’s way was Dejan Zlaticanin , a little known 18-0 fighter from Montenegro , Well we all know what happened next .

 

 

Dejan recalls “I can remember almost every detail from the moment i stepped in the UK . There was so much excitement , not just because i had a tough test against a two weight world champion , but also the same day my had wife gave birth to my daughter Sofija. I was so excited and i knew nothing was goin to stop me beating him (Burns) and devoting the win to her” . That was the night Dejan broke my heart , but that was also the night Dejan Zlaticanin announced himself to the boxing world .Dejan really took Burns apart in Glasgow that night , even dropping Ricky in the process , no one knew Dejan Zlaticanin when he came to Scotland , but everyone knew him when he left .

Winning the WBC Internatinal Title in Glasgow moved Dejan up the ranking and it wasn’t long before he was fighting for the real thing . In 2016 Dejan Zlaticanin beat Bolivia’s  Franklin Mamani for the Vacant WBC Lightweight Title , He says ‘When i beat Mamani i made history and became the first man from Montenegro to win a World Title, I touched the sky that night and the feeling was unbelievable “. One would be forgiven for thinking Dejan would be a superstar in his home nation , i mean being the first person from your nation to be World Champion is a massive achievement , monumental even ?. Well you could imagine my shock when i asked Dejan if after achieving what he had achieved , has boxing became more popular in Montenegro and if that was his legacy , he answers “No ! They didn’t respect my achievements like they needed to do . If i was from the UK i would get all that respect . You know I didn’t even win sports  man of the year award because of some law . People in Montenegro don’t know what it means to be WBC Champion of the world “. But Dejan doesn’t let that lack of acknowledgement stop him from giving back to the children of Montenegro  “My Brother and I open our Boxing Gym and we get a lot of kids in there , and that makes me happy as it keeps them safe and off the streets” 

Once Dejan had won his World Title we seen the return of the “Champion in recess” Jorge Linares to the ring from a layoff with injury as “WBC Diamond Champion” who the WBC said should fight Zlaticanin to see who was the true champion of the division . This was a fight fans wanted to see but as time went by it became apparent that this was another case of a “Great Fight That Never Was” , Dejan says “Linares is a fighter who studies his opponents and will avoid them ,that’s what he did when he was supposed to fight me , that’s what he’s doing to Mikey Garcia now . Boxing fans don’t like that, he’s not an old school fighter ”  . Now that the Linares vs Garcia fight seems to have fallen through i asked Dejan if he would be trying to chase the Linares fight down for his return to the ring . “I would like to fight Linares , He doesn’t need to run from me now he’s seen i have a weakness ‘(referring to his KO loss to Garcia ) but i think he’s still scared to fight me , He knows i only need to catch him with one one good punch and fight would be over . We as boxers fight for the fans and give them the fights they want to see , if you avoid these fights that’s bad for boxing and means your not a real champion”

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In Dejan’s last fight he had hit the big time fighting in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas , the Mecca of boxing against the returning Mikey Garcia “The MGM is incredible . It was unbelievable for someone from Montenegro like me to go there and fight ” .The very talented Garcia was on top form that night and scored a third round KO , Dejan tells “I just wanted Mikey to stand in the centre of the ring like a real Mexican and we could exchange punch for punch , bur Mikey was to smart for that and he deserved the win”.  But although Dejan accepts Garcia deserved his win , Dejan tells us he didn’t have the best build up to the fight “There was a lot of thing that meant I wasn’t going to be leaving Vegas the winner . I had some difficulties in camp but I didn’t want to pull out this fight , i am a fighter but this time it just didn’t go to plan” . Mikey Garcia is widely viewed as one of the best in the business , a real fighter who only wants the best fights , i asked Dejan what it was like to share the ring with Garcia ? . ‘                                    “Garcia is an excellent fighter , he’s very intelligent and a big puncher but he looked better that night than he actually is because i was not in my element . That night it felt like i had been hypnotised and worst of all i was slow , i really don’t know what happened to me in that ring , i felt like it wasn’t me in the ring that night “. 

Dejan Zlaticanin is the kind of fighter that will always get fans tuning in , and i really look forward to his long awaited return to the ring . Dejan is the kind of boxer who will fight anybody and i cant help but think if Jorge Linares really wants to validate his CV here is a man ready and willing  .

Steven Donnell

 

 

Jason Easton Interview

When people from the west of Scotland think about the Capital Edinburgh they think of a beautiful tourist destination , a castle fortress up on top of a cliff which casts a shadow over a city steeped in history . A place where you will see an image of Scotland that the country wants to project to the world  , even if not necessarily a true reflection of Scotland it is something that tourists from USA and Canada eat up . People from Glasgow or Paisley look across and think they see a different country with happy ,wealthy people and that somehow we are being given a raw deal , which is of course total bullshit .

Just a few miles from the city centre as you pass some traveler sites you will hit Nidrie ,a place you could easily confuse with with Glasgow’s Gorbals or Paisley’s Ferguslie Park , a place that will lay out all your misconceptions of this City in front of you and show them up as narrow minded . Just up a small side street you come up to an old beat up community centre . Inside there is an after school care providing a vital service and just behind that you will find Sandys Gym . As i arrived i was greeted by Kenny McCartney (Jason’s trainer) and as we wait for Jason to arrive me and Kenny talk Celtic,Rangers, Jason’s sparring with Ant Crolla and we also spoke about  Kenny and Jason’s trip to Norway . Jason arrives and after some small talk and the odd bit of banter we get underway .DSC_0392.JPG

So Jason how is preparation going for your next fight ? 

Everything is going really well, i am feeling fit and strong and I’m ready to go .

Your next fight is against Josef Zahradnik who is ranked No1 in Czech Rep but is bringing a bit of an unknown quantity in, have you seen anything of him ?

I ve seen him a couple of times , one of them against Philip Insingi and he took his 0 , but if you watch the fight it was a close contest , the boy (Insingi) isn’t a big puncher and left himself open so he can’t take to much credit for that. He’s good but whether he has the grit and determination we will find out next week.

*Before coming out to the interview i had asked Barry McGuigan about his recent signing Jason Easton and his plans for him , this is what he said .

“Jason Easton is very exciting with a crowd pleasing style, this young Super Lightweight is making great advances and has already won the IBO Title. In the UK the Super Lightweight division is red hot with Josh Taylor Jack Catteral Tyrone Nurse & Robbie Davise all vying for contention. There’s no reason why Josh and Jason can’t maximise there potential by winning various different Titles with the prospect of meeting each other further down the line.. You cannot put a price on the advantage a Terrestrial TV deal can give to a fighter. Channel5 can give you that advantage.”

Jason i have spoke to Barry McGuigan and he said he’s looking for you and Josh Taylor to pick up multiple titles with the potential of both of you fighting each other in the future , does that give you something to get excited about ? 

Yeah thats a fight at the top level, Josh has fought at the top level in the amateurs and as a pro , so thats where i want to be .

In your last fight you fought Steve Jamoye which was a brilliant fight for the fans but the way you fought must have been giving Kenny fits . ( Jason looks at Kenny and laughs as Kenny just shakes his head at him)

Yeah i was stupid, i should have showed my ability a bit better but at the start of the fight i was just pacing myself for a twelve rounder but he (Jamoye) came out flying and got involved , which was stupid . He wasn’t really hurting me with any of his shots but i was stupid to take them in the first place . I learned a lot from that and Kenny had me back in right away working on basics , head movement and footwork and just feel i have improved so much since then .

You get so many guys now with padded records but you probably learned more in that one fight than some do in 16 fights .

Oh yeah big time , i didn’t expect the guy (Jamoye) to be that tuff , he made it a difficult fight at times . I expected to get him out of there a bit quicker but he just kept walking thru them and made it a good fight . Full Interview Uncut Here

I would just like to thank Jason for giving us his time to speak to us . Jason will be fighting on the Josh Taylor vs Vazquez undercard on 11th November which will be shown live on C5 and Spike (freeview) for ticket enquiries get in touch with Jason via Twitter on @JEastonn

Steven Donnell

 

Stephen Simmons Interview 

So again i had been invited down to Airdrie to Billy Nelsons Gym for a catch up with the MTK lads and Stephen Simmons in particular to talk about his upcoming British Title fight he was scheduled to fight in March against Welsh top prospect Craig Kennedy , a fight which he had accepted on short notice but was more than confident that he was going to take the title back to Scotland , but as i was dong my final preperations before heading out i had noticed the fight had been removed from the boxer schedule so i went down to find out why . DSC_0024.JPG

On entering the gym the usual lads where there and one familiar face in Rocky Fielding was there who had travelled up from Liverpool for a couple of days of sparring with David Brophy , so today was going to be a good day , Then in walks a dejected Stephen Simmons who had informed me in a previous meeting he was desperate to get back in the ring, so we got the camera rolling as the rest of the lads set about there training .

Stephen you where scheduled to fight Craig Kennedy for the vacant cruiserweight title but doesn’t seem to be happening now, can you tell me whats happened ?Watch the full interview here

Well due to circumstances which where out of my control I’ve had to pull out . I had took the fight on short notice anyway but as i stepped up my training a back injury i had in December has flared back up again, so to stop it getting as bad as it was I’ve had to pull out and just cut back to rehabbing,and do some exercises to strengthen it up .

Do you think you will get another shot at it later in the year ?

Yeah i belive so, its gotta come again as i am up there ,theres not many people infant of me . I will fight anybody at the weight and i will give anybody a good fight , so its gotta come again.

So when will we see you back in the ring

I would like to be back April or the beginning of May, the rehab should only take a week to ten days so I’ve just got to step back from training and take a wee rest .

In your last outing you where on the wrong end of a split decision in Germany , did you believe you done enough to win that fight ?

Yeah , i done enough to win that fight easily in my opinion and in many other opinions, i won 8 of the rounds , so in my eyes i won by 4 rounds but it was a typical German decision .

Would you go back to Germany for the rematch or has that put you off ?

I would go back in a heartbeat because i know i would stop him, i started hurting him downstairs later in the fight, next time i would go there early doors and i would get the stoppage.

When i was down a few weeks ago i left amazed with how close a team this stable is , do you always pull together or is there any competitviness in the camp.

We always pull together as a team, Me and Brophy have been training together since we both turned pro ,even when i was away with other coaches we still kept in close contact . Now I’m back and we are close as ever and now Gary [Cornish] has now joined the wolfpack ,so we all gel together really well , and we have a coach in Billy Nelson who is on the same sort of mind level as us so we all get on really well . 

And just to finish up , i remember a few years ago things got a bit heated with you and Wadi Camacho ,is there still bad blood or was it all left in the ring that night ?

I wouldn’t talk to him if i walked past him on the street ….the guys a wank. I think he is an absolute disrespectful bastard so i would never talk to him infact il propably hit him a back hander .  

Watch the full interview here

DSC_0210.JPGMassive thanks again to the MTK guys and Billy Nelson for having us down , and we should have big News on Gary Cornish in the coming weeks swell as picking the brain of Billy Nelson which should be entertaining so watch this space .

Steven Donnell

@Dinobhoy86 also @DJayboxingblog

Exclusive: David Brophy Interview 

So i had been invited out to Billy Nelson’s Gym in Airdrie to catch up with David Brophy before he heads out to Australia to fight Zac Dunn for the commonwealth title and watch him spar with a Brazialian lad Dieago, whomb David described to me as “one tuff guy” . we also got to catch up with Stephen Simmons and Gary Cornish and both looked in fantastic shape .David Brophy interview

In the Gym you get the feeling this is one close stable, a group who you can tell enjoy each others company . As the lads are getting ready there is a lot of laughter and storytelling, we where even treated to 3 jokes by Billy, the same 3 Jokes he tells anyone new in the gym according to Gary Cornish and even then he still managed to mess one up . Then Billys tone changes ever so slightly and the laughter stops as these lads get ready to go to work . Full David Brophy interview

After watching David look really impressive in sparring against a very tricky partner we got our chance to sit down for a chat :

so David how are the preparations going for the fight ?

“Aye its going well the training has went as planned , I’m feeling sharper every day . The sparring is going well,the running is going well and theres been a great atmosphere in the gym so I’m really enjoying this camp and I’m looking forward to getting over there, getting away from this weather and doing a job over here.”

Zac Dunn has a bit of a reputation as a puncher, does that worry you or do you think his power is a bit overrated ?

“uch it doesn’t worry me , I’m going over there and theres a ring there , a fight’s a fight . We have got to deal with this the right way ,he is powerful and he is fit but he’s beatable . We will get our tactics spot on,the preparation in the gym is going according to plan for this fight ”

I seen on twitter last week you had Liam Williams up for sparring, preparation doesn’t get much better than that does it ?

“Liam is a good friend of mine, we have helped each other out with sparring loads of times before , He (williams) has the biggest fight of his life coming up against Liam Smith which is going to be a cracker. So he comes up and i go to Cardiff sometimes and we have a great relationship that way and he was great sparring , he was here for 3 days so we got a 8 round  and 10 rounds of sparring in so it was great preparation , you couldn’t get any better than that”

I notice with Billy Nelson and yourself on twitter yous go at it , no holds barred, do you find it hard to separate Billy the mate from Billy the cornerman ?

“We  know there is a fine line between that, but I’ve known billy for 7 years now unfortunately . We’ve got a good relationship inside and outside the gym but its two very different relationships . Billy has done a lot for me inside and outside the gym and we do know when to change it . It is only banter on twitter ”

with the wealth in knowledge Billy has it must give you confidence to go over there and talk you thru any changes that might need made .

“Billy has been in these situations loads of times, world title fights everywhere with Scott Harrison and Ricky Burns so i couldn’t ask for any more experience to take over there with me . Its worked up to now but we do have a long way to go on our journey ”

We also had time to ask David his thoughts on the George Groves fight

The Last time i seen you, you where training hard to go fight George Groves in the bright light lights of London , how was that experience ?

“It was good in terms of experience but it wasn’t good what happend, don’t get me wrong if i get offered that fight again tommorow for no money i would take it because that experience is priceless to have . It never went our way last time ,it was bad,its the loneliest shower I’ve ever had . I got things wrong altho i wasn’t nervus before the fight maybe the big stage did overcome me a little bit”

Watch the full interview and more here

would just like to thank all the MTK lads and Billy for having us down, really was an education watching these guys .
Steven Donnell @dinobhoy86 @Djayboxingblog