I’VE had good work from loads of different guys, loads of different guys I’ve sparred, Martin Bakole, he’s pretty known for sparring tough guys, I’ve sparred Frazer Clarke, I’ve sparred them all. They’ve all given me a little something to think about. I’m sure I have as well.
Usually I’ve got giants, monsters that I’m sparring, trying to kill me. It’s all good… Sometimes you have to go to war, sometimes you’re just learning.
Without [being on GB] I don’t think I would have been able to have the opportunity to spar Anthony Joshua and all these other guys, learn from that and kick start my career to the professional game.
I was a young kid, I wanted to prove myself do well and do well in the spars. That’s all I was thinking about. I didn’t know where it was going to lead to at some points.
It’s the experience of sharing the ring with him and having that on my resume… I’m glad I was able to have those moments, like winning those national junior ABA titles.
I do enjoy it. I love my time in the gym. Moments I’ve been working at since I was a little boy. When I have a bad day I’ll go away and really work on it to make sure I don’t have a bad day again. Bad days count just as much as the good times. Those are the moments when you really have to dig it out. Because you don’t appreciate the good times unless you’ve really come through hard times.
A bad day could be in sparring, getting your ass kicked in sparring, it’s not nice at all… I’ve taken a few licks in sparring but eventually I always come back. I dig it out and return the favour. It’s always fun. It’s a challenge but I’m glad. It can make you or break you, that situation.
You’ve got to learn. When you don’t even think you’ve got it in you, you’ve got to bring it out of you. That’s the best possible scenario sometimes, sink or swim. It can make you or break you. I feel like those situations, when you’re put into that sort of scenario you can really, really develop quickly and before you know it you’re unbeatable. Things happen like that.
It’s known as one of the hardest sports in the world for a reason. I can see that definitely now. From my own experience I’ve had to really, really work on killing myself in the gym.
Ultimately it’s all down to you, you being fit on the night. Some fighters don’t take training seriously. For a pro, it’s different from being an amateur. You don’t have to come to the gym, you can stay at home. You can be lazy. But ultimately you can’t be lazy in boxing. It’s a vicious sport. You have to be on top of it at all times.
[In terms of motivation] I don’t even think about it like that. It’s my life. Once you make it into a lifestyle every day, like going to the park for a walk, doing anything, it becomes normal, normal to push yourself or bring yourself close to the point of collapse. I enjoy it.