I have a few pro boxers who follow me on Twitter but while it’s unlikely that I’ll ever get Erislandy Lara or Robert Guerrero to sit down for an interview, undefeated up-and-comer Adam Battle, @B47TLEOFBRITAIN , was more than happy to answer a few questions about his career, how he got started and where he hopes to end up.
1. How old were you when you first started boxing?
2. What was the extent of your amateur background?
I had a 53-40 fight record, was Southern Area Champion from being in the ABA’s then got beaten by the combine services champion (Steve Turner) who was England’s number 2 leaving me England’s number 6 and the Four Nation’s number 9. I started at the age of 11, boxing for Pinewood Star ABC, winning the London Minors at the age of 12. I stayed with Pinewood for a further year but had lack of fights and decided to move to Woking ABC as it had a good reputation. I was with Woking for 3 years when boxers all decided to either give up or move clubs, because of this I had no sparring and felt I was going backwards instead of forwards so I decided to go to Guildford’s Onslow Lions because at the time the club was booming with talent. The trainer at Onslow being Alan Tombs, who had a number of champions and England representatives. Sadly, Onslow fell apart due to coaching arguments. Alan tried to make a number of clubs with John Matthews (another trainer) but could not succeed. Alan quit, I stayed with Johnny for a while and felt I was going backwards yet again due to no sparring etc.
It was at this time Woking began to peak again and as I left on good terms they welcomed me back and this is where I ended my Amateur Career.
3. Was there a reason why you turned pro in your twenties instead of 18 or 19 like most amateurs turning pro do?
I had 18 months out before I went for the ABA’s for the second time (think I was about 21) just to have a break as hadn’t done so since the age of 11 and had slightly fallen out of love with it. I needed to know that boxing was really my passion. I then did the ABA’s, got beaten by Steve and decided I didn’t want to fight for plastic trophies anymore and thought my style would suit the Pro game better.
4. You hold a full time job, I believe. What field do you work in and in regards to your boxing career, do you hope that boxing will one day be your main source of income or is this just something that you like to do that can add to your bank account?
I work for a fencing company as a fence erector and have done this line of work since leaving school at 16. I would love to make boxing my full time job as it’s been a dream since the age of 4. I’m currently looking for sponsorship, preferably from someone who loves the sport as much as I do. If someone offered me this tomorrow I’d take it at a drop of a hat. I have a friend & local businessman who helps with sponsorship where possible including such things as equipment, expenses and to take time off work in the run up to a fight. My team & I really do believe I can go all the way with the right help and I’ll be looking for a British Title shot before the end of the year.
5. Who are the people who work your corner and how long have you worked with them? Do they go back to your amateur days?
My Team consists of my Trainer, Darren Whitman & Manager Jim Evans. I’ve been with Darren & Jim since turning Pro. I’ve known Darren from my Amateur days as he used to box for the same club (Woking ABC). Darren gave up boxing then became a Pro trainer but his face was always still about in Woking, bringing the odd pros to the gym for sparring. Knowing Darren and wanting to turn Pro, he was the only Pro Trainer I knew so thought it was the right thing to do as i could trust him and we already had a good friendship.
When I was an amateur, one of my trainers (John Mathews) used to take me to Jim Evan’s Gym for sparring so I had met him before turning pro. Darren was one of Jim’s trainers so I had already known the pair of them for years.
6. You’ve only got five fights on your record, from the past 2.5 years. Is it there a reason you don’t fight very often?
I had three fights, each was a four rounder where I won all rounds. Unfortunately in my last contest I hurt my hand in the run up to the fight in sparring and then again in the fight with a right hand, dropping my opponent. This had me out for the best part of 2 years as I couldn’t get my hand sorted and had to undergo an exploratory op followed by sessions of ultrasound & rehabilitation.
When all this was going on, it was difficult to get motivated knowing I had nothing coming up and no goals to work towards. This made me put on weight, tipping the scales to over 13 stone!
Finally once my hand was sorted in Jan 2012, I hit the gym hard, lost all the weight and was ready to fight again. Jim had 2 scheduled fights for me lined up, before failing to pass my medical a week before the first one, due to blood in my urine. Tests went on for months and nothing was ever found so we put it down to hard training, putting my body through it’s paces.
I eventually made my comeback straight into a ten rounder against a known fighter (Nathan Graham) having only done 4’s to date. Nathan had fought the likes of Junior Witter and had knocked out more people than I had fought with a record of 17-13-9. I’d been out for so long, had had a roller coaster of emotions and felt I’d missed out on so many opportunities I needed to drop myself in the deep end and take a risk, which paid off!
7. Once you do have a fight scheduled, how long do you train for it?
I continuously tick over with the odd sparring session here and there. Once I know there’s a fight in sight, we have a good 6 – 8 week camp and good diet.
8. In the days/weeks leading up to a fight, describe what a normal day in the gym is like for you?
I Get to the gym for about 5.30 after a full day working. I start by getting changed then I’ll loosen off before 5 or 6 rounds of shadow boxing working on everything I can. Once I’ve got a sweat on, we may kit up for sparring doing anything between 4 to 10 rounds. After sparring I’ll do pad work with Darren followed by some bag work under his commands. Following this I’ll take my gloves and wraps off and get into some groundwork, varying exercises from sit ups, press ups, medicine ball work etc. After 30 minutes of groundwork I may do some strengthening or get out a skipping rope or sometimes I’ll do 15 minutes on a cross trainer. All in all, an average training session for me lasts about 90 minutes.
9. Going over your record, all fights have you winning every round except for your fight with Andrew Patterson back in Feb. of 2011 where you won by a score of 97-96. What can you tell me about that fight and was it really as close as the score indicates?
I’m to know you’ve misread boxrec on that one, the Patterson fight was scored 35-40 due to a knock-down in the first round only being a four rounder. The fight was very one-sided.
The Graham fight was the one scored 96-97 being the 10 rounder. I believe this fight was scored closer than it actually was but a win is a win, especially after a 2 year absence!
10. Despite your undefeated record, the one thing missing thus far is a victory by knockout. Is that frustrating to you or do you see it as a way to highlight your boxing ability?
This is not frustrating as it has allowed me to show my boxing ability like you say. With doing all the rounds in all my fights I have gained the most experience that I could have. Being weight drained in my first 2 fights and only having 2 weeks to prepare for my third, as I was on holiday, I still managed to put Patterson down and really shake him up which doesn’t happen to him very often so I’ve proven that I’ve got power and strength when not even 50% fit. I’m a hurtful, spiteful puncher and a KO will come. SOON.
11. You hinted on your twitter account that we might see you soon on Prizefighter in January of next year? Any idea what’s happening with that yet?
As far as I’m aware I have not been picked for Prizefighter in January, I know they have announced 5 names so far but I’m not expecting anything now to come of it.
I do however have a re-match lined up with Nathan Graham for his Southern Area Title on 24th Feb in York Hall which I’m going to rip from him and you never know, you may see the KO you and all my fans are looking for.