Home Boxing News Darren Hamilton would like to take Amir Khan head on as he...

Darren Hamilton would like to take Amir Khan head on as he prepares to defend his British title

Ringnews24 catches up with the new British light welterweight champion Darren ‘Ammo’ Hamilton, who was considered a replacement opponent before taking on then defending champion Ashley Theopane. Accepting the challenge at five day’s notice the Southern Area light welterweight champion was suffering from flu, yet he still became the new champion by way of a unanimous decision while surprising many people with his victory. Darren kindly agreed to spend some time talking about his career and life with me.

Ringnews24.com: Can you tell me a bit about yourself, Darren, background in boxing and where it all started?

Darren Hamilton: I started at a club called the Empire Sports Boxing Club in Bristol and I had twenty-seven amateur fights and ten of these were at senior level. I turned professional with Chis Sanigar who was a manager and promoter in Bristol. I had five fights and five wins when I first became a professional boxer. I was also doing a level 3 personal training course and by this time I had took some time out of boxing. I was told the best place to be was London and due to the recession the fitness industry was struggling. I went to London in an attempt to find a job. I was told I needed to complete my practical side of my course in the gym by the government. While in was in London I spent a month looking for a gym, however nobody would take me on until I found a gym near London bridge where I have sparred before I told them my situation, and they said “you are a professional boxer with five wins, if you sign a contract with us then we will take you on.” I started working and sparring with various fighters. I got a boost from the sparring as I was doing very well but where I was staying at the time could not house me any longer and I became homeless. I was living in the gym and it became my home for seven months. At one stage I was sleeping in a cupboard upstairs however I moved all around the gym as it was getting refurbished.

Ringnews24.com: Do you miss fighting as an amateur?

Darren Hamilton: I don’t miss head guards and the feeling is the same when you get nervous regardless if you’re a professional fighter or amateur. I also enjoy the longer rounds as a pro compared to the shorter distance with the amateurs.

Ringnews24.com:  Any fighter you feel your style is most suited to?

Darren Hamilton: Joe Gans who was nicknamed ‘the old master’. I have been told my style is like this boxer and I throw the same jabs while turning my head to the side.

Ringnews24.com: Have you any boxing idols?

Darren Hamilton: Yes, I like Floyd Mayweather Junior. Even if I look back in the history of boxing I can’t think of anybody I like as much as Floyd.

Ringnews24.com: Are you a boxing fan away from competing in the ring as a professional?

Darren Hamilton: Yes, I have purchased boxing tabloids and the ‘Ring’ magazine off and on for a long time.

Ringnews24.com: Are you a full time professional boxer, Darren?

Darren Hamilton: Yes, I teach boxing and I’m always boxing so I earn a living from it while blending this in with my personal coaching qualification. I have my own personal base of regular clients now. I believe I’m one of the most humblest boxers and don’t expect anything free.  I like to be called by my name and not the champ. I don’t have a fancy car parked outside of my house and still have to pay for my home. I always believe once the bell goes, the belt is anybody’s and I like to fight like a hungry challenger rather than an established champion.  I want to stay hungry and feel I have achieved nothing yet. Some fighters can end up with their heads in the clouds and I wish to avoid that as it can make you lazy. You can see the way they walk, the way they talk and they are not hungry anymore. I am around people and very rarely with famous people. I keep telling people in the gym “I’m Not champ, I’m just Darren.” How dare any fighter come out in the last rounds and cruise as if they already won, as you never know what might happen.

Ringnews24.com: Amir Khan lost his last fight. What do you think of that defeat and his style he uses?

Darren Hamilton:  Amir Khan throws his shots and his head is up in the air leaving him wide open for the counter punch, and I could tell that Garcia had been working on this in the gym. I’m an educated boxer and this is obvious. Khan leaves himself vulnerable to the counter punch. When he throws the right hand, his shoulder is not covering his chin. Counter punching kills speed with perfect timing. I feel Khan needs to work on his defence some more, especially at world title level.

Ringnews24.com: Do you think you could take on Khan at this stage of your career?

Darren Hamilton:  I believe I would do well. Every fight I have had, I have been the underdog. So why can’t I beat Khan? Look at my style, with more time to prepare I could put more into my shots with better timing. I don’t see a style out there that I don’t think I can’t beat. The only thing that could beat me is the judges, looking at my style, and I don’t think giving points for shots that only land on the gloves is winning. Judges might look at my style and think I look to be defence minded. I’m now looking at creating more shots with the counter and defence. At my weight I would do well against anybody and with my style I don’t think any boxer is out there that I can’t beat.

Ringnews24.com: If you could pick a fight to see, what fight would this be?

Darren Hamilton:  I want to see the fight everybody keeps talking about, and this is the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.

Ringnews24.com: Who was your toughest opponent at any time in your boxing career?

Darren Hamilton:  The toughest boxer I fought was called Ideh Ockuko. He was a Nigerian fighter who would not stop coming at me and the shots he kept throwing, there were a lot that were not connecting but I knew they were powerful and he was dangerous. I beat him on points in a tough four round fight. I cut him above the eye but he kept moving forward and wouldn’t be disheartened.

Ringnews24.com: Who has been your biggest influence in your boxing career?

Darren Hamilton: Spencer Fearon is my biggest influence and role model.

Ringnews24.com: Do you make the weight comfortably?

Darren Hamilton: I never go higher than ten stone, seven pounds.

Ringnews24.com: What are your plans now you have become the Light Welterweight Champion of Great Britain?

Darren Hamilton: We are looking at defending the British title and I’m always in shape and ready to take any fight, as the phone could ring anytime.

Ringnews24.com: Do you mean European level?

Darren Hamilton: Yes, anything because you never know when you could get the call. When I take my Lonsdale belt out of it’s case it makes me feel very proud. It is an amazing feeling.

Ringnews24.com: Where did you get your nickname ‘Ammo’ from?

Darren Hamilton:  It’s a name that was given to me from people I know friends etc. and is short for Hamilton.

Ringnews24.com: Any hobbies away from boxing?

Darren Hamilton: I like R&B music and I’m a part time rapper. I would also like to work with children.  I also like athletics and the bike ride especially now the Olympics are on. I was also watching the show jumping the other day and was really getting into it.

Ringnews24.com:  Have you got any plans to write a book?

Darren Hamilton: Yes, definitely, my book would have a fairly good ring to it especially now I’m not supposed to be doing what I’m doing now after my recent success. I am not supposed to have what I have now and every single fight I have been considered the underdog. My story is about defeating the odds and becoming the champion, and it will be a good book.

Ringnews24.com:  Have you got a message for your fans, Darren?

Darren Hamilton: Yes, I’m going to shock a few people and not going to be a boxer that will avoid fighters.

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