Kofi Yates is a twenty three year old super lightweight from Wythenshawe, Lancashire. He is currently managed by the fast growing MGM Marbella team and trains at Arnies gym under the guidance of Anthony Farnell.
He has a professional record of eleven wins and one defeat in the two years that he has been a pro. One of his eleven victories has come by stoppage while the other ten have gone the distance for Yates, achieving convincing points decisions. The only loss so far came over four rounds in Sheffield but Kofi will have chance to avenge that defeat when he faces Wager once more, this time for the Central area title.
Kofi has done an exclusive interview with InstantBoxing.com, here is what he had to say:
How do you assess your professional career so far?
I’m quite happy with it so far to be fair. Obviously I have been beaten before which was a set back, but I’ve got the rematch now in two weeks. It’s all coming together now.
You only have one career loss so far to Ben Wager, how did that affect you at the time?
Well because it came so early on in my career, it hasn’t really been a major factor for me. If I lose to him again, it will send me right back to the beginning because I’ve got big plans for next year once I have won this title.
You have the chance to put the defeat right on the eighteenth, has that loss made you even more motivated to win your first title?
I think so yeah because no disrespect to Wager but I had to lose six pounds on the day and I only weighed in an hour and a half before the fight. I wasn’t taking the fight too seriously and I’ve learnt that I need to have more professionalism towards my career now.
Now that the fight is over ten rounds instead of four, does that benefit you?
I think so yes, people say no because he has been there before and done the ten rounds and hes been at that level for a bit now but as everybody knows that have seen me spar, I come on strong after four, five, six rounds. I think that’s my style so I think so yeah.
How would you describe your fighting style, and what are your best attributes as a fighter?
I would say I’m a strong, come forward fighter with a boxers brain. I can stand off and box but I like to have a fight. There’s having a fight and then there’s a boxer and I put myself in the boxer category. I rely on my timing rather than my speed and I use my timing to land shots but as well evade shots instead of just standing in front of my opponent.
Do you think your style suits the professional game?
Yes more so than the amateurs. I had fifty four amateur fights and I lost eighteen of them just from people landing shots and running. Now I’ve got the time to break them down and now I train full time I have learnt a lot more than I did training three nights a week.
How do you find training as a professional?
It’s hard and it’s a lot of commitment. It’s not an easy job like people think it is, they think ‘you just get paid for four rounds’ but I’ve been training for this fight for thirteen weeks now. Every week Monday to Friday is intense and on the track at the weekends. It’s not just nine to five, it’s a full time job and that’s hard work.
Whose the best fighter you’ve faced so far in your career?
The best fighter I’ve faced has got to be between Lee Gibbon or Abdon Cesar. Them two lads are quite long tall rangy fighters which makes things very difficult anyway but they could punch a bit with it as well. You have to be switched on the whole fight. It wasn’t a hard fight, I won convincingly against both of them but I had to stay switched on because you could just sense they had a big punch that could change the fight with one shot.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
The highlight of my career so far was turning professional. I made my debut at my local leisure centre. Obviously I’ve won and had a good knock out in Dublin on Sky Sports but I think the highlight of my career was fighting in front of my friends and family as a professional.
What’s the dream for you as a professional boxer?
I just want to go as far as I can. Everybody’s dream is to win a world title but sometimes you’ve got to be realistic and I want to win the British title. When I get the British title we can look past it but for now I just want to be British champion.
Where do you see yourself in a years time?
A year from now I see myself as English champion, mandatory for the British title.
By Luke Madeira, follow Luke on Twitter @lukemadeira15