Lawrence Bennett is a 33 year old cruiserweight hailing from Swindon, Wiltshire.
The six-foot-two native Jamaican currently has a record of (7-1-1), having won the Southern Area title in only his sixth fight with a convincing points victory over ten rounds against Jack Morris.
The awkward southpaw is slowly moving his way up the British rankings, with his next fight being against Matty Askin for the English crown, following on from their contest being called a technical draw in October of last year.
InstantBoxing.com’s Luke Madeira has been speaking to Lawrence, and here is what he had to say:
Why did you first get into boxing?
That’s a tricky one really. I think I was turning thirty and I used to be a runner but I didn’t really achieve my full potential in that. I thought that I would take up professional sport and I chose boxing. That’s how it started really.
How much amateur experience did you have before you turned pro?
I had two amateur fights. I won one and I lost one so I started my pro career coming off a loss.
How have you found the professional game so far?
It’s tough but it’s good fun. It is a lot tougher then I thought it would be but it is very rewarding.
Do you think your style suits the professional game?
Yes I think styles make fights and originally I was more of a boxer but now I am turning into more of a puncher. I didn’t really have much amateur background so I learnt the professional style and I have made my own start.
Your second pro fight was in Sweden, how did that fight come about?
To begin with I turned pro and I was kind of on the road because I moved to Swindon which meant that I had to fight out of the away corner as I couldn’t sell tickets. My manager rung me and somebody had pulled out with eighteen hours notice and he said to me “do you fancy going to Sweden?”. I thought he said Swindon but it turns out it was in Sweden, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I think it’s the best thing that could have happened to me because it changed everything going to Sweden and experiencing being on a world title card. It gave me a taste of big time boxing and what I wanted to achieve.
The only loss so far in your career came against Courtney Richards, how did that loss affect you at the time?
Badly to be honest. I almost gave up after the Courtney Richards loss because no disrespect to Courtney but those were the kind of fights that I should be winning. If I can’t beat Courtney Richards then where am I going in boxing? It did affect me but looking back on it that was the second best thing that has happened to me. It made me want it more and work harder to prove the level that I can be at. They say ‘you learn more from your losses’ but I learnt more in that loss then in my previous victories.
For those who don’t know, could you explain what happened in the first fight between you and Matty Askin?
Me and Matty Askin had previously had a few words. I started quite sharply and landed some nice jabs to the head and stomach, we were just feeling each other out. He walked onto a hook and I’ve dropped him with that hook. He’s got back up and I tried to put it on him a bit. He came back with a right hand, I slipped under and as we came up on the ropes he went through them. He pulled me through, we landed on the table and the table collapsed. He was on the floor but I got up and back in the ring thinking that everything was going to be alright. Askin has been through the ropes before so I thought we would just carry on, but he didn’t get back in the ring. His Mum and Dad got in instead, his Mum threw a little hook at me but she wasn’t very quick and his Dad had to be restrained by four or five people. It turned into a bit of free for all to be honest but that’s what boxing is all about sometimes.
A second fight between you two is coming up, how much do you know about Askin?
I know a lot about Matty Askin. He was very good in the ABAs and he has a lot more amateur experience than me. He is a good boxer but I do believe the best Lawrence Bennett beats the best Matty Askin. I don’t believe he has been in with people like me and he can’t work me out. He fell for the oldest trick in the book; I dropped my hands waiting for him to come in, and then I caught him with a check hook which put him on the floor. For someone with two amateur fights, I have gone in there with a former ABA champion signed by Ricky Hatton and Frank Warren, but I made him look silly. He didn’t like that, his Mum and Dad made themselves look silly. I know a lot about him but I don’t have to worry about what he is doing, I have to worry about what I am doing. I know he won’t be able to cope with me and what I bring.
Do you think fighting at the Echo arena on such a great show will bring the best out of you?
Definitely. This is why I got into boxing. I think I have done my apprenticeship and I have done it the hard way, performing on a lot of small hall shows in Swindon. I’ve been in the away corner and I have fought away from home. This is my reward from four years of hard work. I won the Southern Area title in the away corner and now I am travelling to Liverpool on a world title bill live on TV and it is my time to shine. It is time for me to go and get my name out there. I was so prepared to take that title off Matty Askin but it kind of ended disastrously, but in the end it has actually worked out so much better. Now I get my chance on live TV so everybody can see me beat Matty Askin. Being part of these shows is where you want to be. You start off in these small hall shows and you want to get to these big shows in big arenas fighting big names, and that is what I am fortunate enough to be doing.
Where do you see yourself in a year’s time?
That’s a difficult question to be honest because I didn’t think my boxing career would last this long. Originally I said I would give it three years, but I’ve been in the game four years now. I’m thirty four this year so I’ll be thirty five in a years time, so depending on how this year and the beginning of next year goes, we will see. I may have to look after my kids and stop boxing or hopefully I’ll be fighting for big titles, but I am an old man!
What is the dream for you as a fighter?
The dream is to win all of the belts. The dream was to win a fight, and then it was to win the Southern Area title. After that I thought I want to win the English and then the British, and then knock back with my kids. If I could walk away with one of them two belts then I think I will have achieved a lot more than people thought I would. The dream is to walk away with the whole set of Southern Area, English and British. My kids will be able to say “Daddy didn’t do too bad”.
Favourite fighter growing up – Mike Tyson 100%.
Favourite glove – Grants.
Best ever round – Chad Dawson, any Chad Dawson round. He is just an amazing fighter.
Best ever fight – Gatti-Ward 1, they went to war.
First fight you went to – It was David Haye – Enzo Maccarinelli in the O2.
First memory of boxing – Getting beat up in the boxing ring!
Best punch your ever received – It was against Chris Keane in a British title eliminator, he hit me and I thought ‘wow’. It was a big right hand.
Craziest thing you’ve seen in boxing – Matty Askin’s Mum and Dad getting in the ring at York Hall, Bethnal Green.
Funniest personal moment in boxing – Me and Liam Griffiths were hiding in the car park because I was trying to wait on ticket sales coming in.
Best fight you’ve seen live – It was Lee Markham against Jahmaine Smyle.