I’ve decided to make a change to ‘Under the Radar’ this week, and take a step down into the amateur game.
The reality is however, this isn’t a step down at all – at least not in terms of quality.
I’m sure many people would tell you, Anthony Fowler would undoubtedly test a number of the professional middleweights boxers – even now.
Fowler is one of Britian’s strongest amateur prospects and the Olympics are soon to be upon him. With Rio 2016 looming, ‘The Machine’ is hitting peak condition just at the right time.
Anthony has been speaking to InstantBoxing.com’s Luke Madeira, and here is what he had to say:
Why did you first get into boxing?
To be honest it was never planned, I was always at school and there was a lad in my class called James Hill who boxed and I just went down to the gym with him.
What are your earliest memories of boxing as an amateur?
I’ve got a few, I remember when I was about 11 years old, my coach Joe Harper said that I would be a boxer one day. I didn’t believe him but now obviously boxing is with me today and that early memory always sticks in my head.
Was your ambition always to stay as an amateur and go to the Olympics when you started or was your intention to become a professional?
When I was younger all I could think about was being professional and being a world champion but as time progressed and I’ve got older I’ve realised how big the platform is from Olympic to professional. I’m hoping to get a medal in Rio and get a bigger fan base to make it a bit easier for me. Hopefully with the Olympic background I can skip a few small hall shows and get my name out there quicker.
The Commonwealth games, I’d say getting a bronze medal at the World Championships was a good achievement too but I got a lot of publicity because I won the gold at the Commonwealth’s rather than getting the bronze. I like to be on top as a winner, I don’t want to be stood in third even though it was the World Championships.
Moving on to the World Series of Boxing, what do you think about the whole tournament?
I think it’s very entertaining for the fans, I think with good class amateurs in for five rounds it’s a 50/50 fight. There’s definitely not an easy fight. I do think it’s good for amateur boxers to get a bit of a professional experience before they turn pro to see if they like it or not. It fills the gap between amateurs and professionals and I definitely got a lot more experience than if I was just boxing over three rounds.
Does the five round format in the tournament which has just been introduced benefit you?
Yeah I’d say that the longer it goes on, the stronger I become. Obviously it is hard in the five rounders but I think I’ve got more time to exert my pace and get my shots away.
Mixed emotions for you last week with the bronze medal, how did you find the whole tournament?
It was a bit of a disappointment if I’m honest. I beat a good Russian who was a junior world champion but then in the next fight I won the first round and then in the second round he came out, we clashed heads and I cut my eye which meant they stopped the fight. The scorecards said it was a punch which I thought was wrong so that annoyed me a bit. I learnt a lesson that I needed to be a bit more clever and not get as involved. That’s why we clashed heads, because I was flying in too hard. I was away from home and boxing journalists were there, I thought I had to beat him convincingly.
It’s now an Olympic year, for those who don’t know could you explain the process that you have to go through this year to qualify for the event?
There are three tournaments: the WSB qualifier, European Qualifier and the World Championship qualifier. I need to finish in the top five in the world, the last three in Europe or the last three in WSB qualifier.
I always support the changes in regards to whose fighting. I want to box for my country and do the best that I can so it doesn’t really bother me. Whoever they want me to fight, I’ll fight.
Where do you see yourself in a year’s time?
I’ll be professional, hopefully I’ll be three or four fights unbeaten with four knockouts! Hopefully I’ll have an Olympic medal as well.
How much of a motivation is it for you that some of your former team mates and friends such as Anthony Joshua have made such a big impact in the pro game?
I couldn’t really be more motivated than what I am, I live the sport 24/7. I train six days a week and have one day off. Obviously the likes of Joshua and [Luke] Campbell inspire me even further for what I want to achieve.
What’s the dream for you as a fighter?
I want to be an Olympic champion and I want to a World champion. That won’t change. I honestly believe I can be both.
Favourite fighter growing up – Floyd Mayweather
Favourite glove – Winning
Best ever round – Corrales – Castillo round nine or ten
Best ever fight – Gatti – Ward even though it was a bit of a slug out, I just admired the heart and determination that they both showed.
First fight you went to – It was one of Ricky Hatton’s earlier fights, it wasn’t a big fight but I remember the atmosphere was incredible.
Best punch you’ve ever received – It’s a tough one, I’ve taken a lot of punches in my time! A left hook from Carl Froch in sparring, he can punch!
Craziest thing you’ve seen in boxing – I’ve seen an amateur boxer knock out a referee after he had been stopped prematurely.
Best fight you’ve seen live – That’s a tough one, I’ll say Sean Dodd against Scotty Cardle.