Home Boxing News In depth interview with Joey Taylor

In depth interview with Joey Taylor

Amateur ace Joey Taylor makes his professional debut on Thursday 5th July on BoxAcademy promoted by Queensberry Promotions and sponsored by Rainham Steel, live on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546).

The Islington super-featherweight goes in over four rounds and will feature alongside hot young talents Mitchell Smith, Charlie Hoy, Tom Baker and Darryll Williams.

Stephen Ormond takes on Mickey Coveney over ten rounds at super-featherweight, while flyweights Ashley Sexton and Paul Butler battle it in an Eliminator for the British title.

Taylor talks to boxing writer Glynn Evans about his background, amateur career and future plans.

Name:  Joey Taylor

Weight: Super-featherweight

Born: Islington, north London

Age: 24

Family background: I’ve a younger sister and a half sister. I live with my mum in Islington.

Trade: I’m a fully qualified tiler and stonemason but I’m taking a bit of time out from that at the minute to focus on the boxing.

Nickname: Everybody knows me as ‘Joe Boy’.

What age did you become interested in boxing and why? My dad, who apparently was a bit of a puncher in his time, was an amateur coach for years. I gave it a little go when I was about ten but didn’t have any bouts then re-started when I was 15. I went to an all boys school – The Central Foundation – in EC2 and, being a short arse, I got picked on a bit.  I knew I had to learn how to hold my hands up so I could get myself out of trouble.

What do you recall of your amateur career? I started up at the Lion club in Hoxton where (former world flyweight champion) Charlie Magri had once been a coach. Me dad trained me from start to finish, even after I moved to the Brentwood Youth gym when I was about 20.

I had roughly 50 bouts and lost about 12. I won loads of London, Essex and Eastern Counties titles and three gold medals in international tournaments including the Haringey Cup and the Denmark Box Cup. I got to two junior ABA finals, losing by one or two points to (current British superbantam king) Scott Quigg up in Barnsley. I can’t remember the name of the other kid who beat me.

I went in the senior ABAs three times. First year, I had a real ding dong with Bradley Evans and lost a very close points decision in the national semis. In 2009, I was due to box Iain Weaver in the quarter-finals but had to pull out with an illness then, in my final attempt, the weight killed me and I got beat in the quarters by a kid called Josh Kennedy.

I boxed once for England, against Wales down in Weymouth. I won something like 46-12. It was the only fight I’ve not had my dad in my corner. That was definitely my amateur highlight. National Pride. After achieving that goal, getting my England vest, I knew I was ready to turn pro.

I loved the amateurs because, basically, I just love fighting. I loved the banter with my gymmates and travelling away. Brilliant altogether.

Why did you decide to turn pro when you did? When I was about 18, I was stopping loads and had several offers to turn over then but I was ‘off and on’ at the time with injuries and was desperate for that England cap. Towards the end, I’d had enough of all the ‘tap-tap’ of the ABAs. My style was better suited to the pros where you hit people to hurt ‘em.

Tell us about your back up team: I’m managed by Frank Warren manages and promoted by Queensberry Promotions, but (matchmaker) Dean Powell also does a lot of work for me. I’m coached by (ex two weight Southern Area champion and three time British title challenger) Gary Logan.

I had a look at a few potential pro trainers but what sets Gary apart is that he really seems to care. He’s not interested in money, he’s very honest and does it because he loves it. That said, he’s very hard to please, a perfectionist, an army drill sergeant!  He can always dig that last little bit out of you. He’s improved me 110% technically, physically and mentally since we began working together just after Christmas.

As well as being an experienced top level ex pro, Gary’s also a qualified PT so he’s really clued up on diet and conditioning.

What’s your training schedule? Which parts do you most and least enjoy?  I train six days a week, usually at the Urban Kings gym in Kings Cross. I usually take Sunday off.

I do my runs early, half five (a.m) if I’m working. Sometimes it’ll be sprints, other times a nice 40 minute trot.

I hit the gym around four o’clock and I’ll work hard for two hours. I’ll start by jumping on the running machine for 10 minutes, then loosen up with four or five rounds shadow boxing. Next, I’ll do around 45 minutes on the pads – Gary loves them – then I’ll do four or five on the bag and maize ball, four or five rounds of skipping and some circuits. I do a lot of strength training; core work, resistance bands, weights. We usually travel around for sparring and Gary has sorted out some brilliant work with guys like Iain Weaver, Lewis Pettitt and Bradley Skeete.

Personally, I love the pads because you can throw as much as you want and don’t get hit back! Dieting is difficult because I do love my pie and mash. I’m not too fussed on those early morning runs before work, either.

Describe your style? What are your best qualities? I must be the shortest, stockiest fighter in the superfeather division but I’ve become more elusive of late; in and out. I’m Duran style, strong and aggressive. I like hurting them to the body. I probably stopped 12-15 as an amateur.

What specifically do you need to work on to fully optimise your potential as a fighter? Slow down my workrate and pick my shots more.

What have you found to be the biggest difference between the pro and amateur codes? Definitely the level of training. In the amateurs you don’t do much strength or power work. Also, you have to adjust your work rate.

Who is the best opponent that you’ve shared a ring with? Scott Quigg was probably the best allrounder. He was strong and tough and has improved massively since I faced him. Iain Weaver is the most skilful. Different class.

All time favourite fighter:  Probably Ricky Hatton but more for his character and personality. I liked his toughness.

All time favourite fight: Probably Duran-Leonard I because of the heart of both of them. Their workrate was unreal and both landed brilliant shots.

Which current match would you most like to see made? Still Mayweather-Pacquiao, even though he just got beat controversially. Don’t think it’ll happen though. I’m definitely in the Pacman camp but my brain says Mayweather wins. He’s the cleverest, best technical fighter I’ve ever seen.

What is your routine on fight day? I’m a lazy one. I’ll lay on for as long as I can. After making weight, I’ll eat like a horse; loads of pasta, bananas, lots of fluids. After that I’ll laze around, focussing my mind on the fight, what I’ve been taught and what my goals are. I try to keep calm and collected, mess about with family and friends, maybe listen to a bit of music or watch a film.

In the changing rooms I like to have a giggle with my gymmates. It’s only that last hour when nerves kick in and, once out the changing rooms, I’m okay. It’s ‘Game on!’

Entrance music:  ‘Supersonic’ by Oasis.

What are your ambitions as a boxer? To get the most I can out of myself and be happy with that. I intend staying undefeated for as long as I can and hopefully win a Lonsdale Belt before I retire.

How do you relax? Doing whatever makes me happy; out with the boys or taking a bird to the pictures. I go on holiday to Malta a lot. I used to help coach the national team out there.

Football team:  I’m N1 so big Arsenal. I used to go a lot as a kid but now I go the pub and watch it on the box.

Read: I don’t really bother. Whenever I read a newspaper it gives me the hump!

Music:  Everything really. I’m a big Oasis fan.

Films/TV: I’m a big movie buff. I probably go the cinema every week. I especially like the comedies and action films. My favourite is ‘True Romance’. Christian Slater at his absolute best!  On TV, I like Only Fools, Friends, Scrubs, Big Bang Theory, Celebrity Juice.

Aspiration in life: Just to have a nice house, wife and kids.

Motto: Have Fun. Be Happy!

Tickets for BoxAcademy, priced at £35 and £50, are available from Ticketmaster on 0844 844 0444.

BoxAcademy will be live and exclusive from London’s York Hall on Thursday 5th July.  Join at www.boxnation.com

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