THE BRITISH Lionhearts return to the World Series of Boxing this Thursday  (January 15). Liverpool’s Sam Maxwell, now a WSB veteran, has had a tortuous experience in the new format, boxing at altitude in Mexico as well as having to endure two five-round contests with Ukrainian great Vasyl Lomachenko.

“I’m one of the most experienced now. I’ve had five [WSB bouts]. Three home ones, two away, I’ve been all around the world as well. I’ve got to take that experience into this year,” Sam told Boxing News.

“I boxed terrible in Mexico. Even when we’d go for a walk in the morning I was out of breath. It was mad. I think psychologically, because we knew it was at altitude. It made you feel even more tired, psychologically. Physically it was hard out there. But it was experience. They’re in our group again this year. I’ll have to go over there again. Do better this time!”

He has put the draining defeats to Lomachenko behind him and moved up to his natural weight category, 64kgs. “At the time it was devastating because I felt like I didn’t perform well. Because he was so good it made me feel like I did rubbish but looking back on it now, I got two fights out of the way, 10 rounds with him. He won a world title about three or four fights later. He was at that level already. That’s all I can take from it. Second fight I did a lot better than the first fight. It’s a positive. He was literally at a world class standard then. He should have won it in the second fight against [Orlando] Salido.

“Watching it back as well, first minute I’d be throwing about 50 shots, one-two, one-two. Maybe [Lomachenko] would throw five shots but he’d look like he was winning the round. Even to me watching it, he looks like he’s winning the round even though I’m throwing all the shots. His ringcraft, he puts you where he wants you, he knows when to go, when to not go. He’s just brilliant,” Maxwell continued. “I’d love to be able to do that. Winning the round by slipping and pushing me where he wants me to go without throwing a shot.

“He must feel unbeatable. It was at 61kgs, so I was drained as anything. After one or two rounds I started feeling the pace then. This year I’m at the right weight, I’m feeling good and strong so that’s not going to happen to me this time.”

Tickets are £10 for adults, £5 for children and £20 for a family of four and can be purchased on the door at York Hall in London on the night from 7.00pm.  Boxing starts at 8.00pm.

For more features on amateur boxing, including Maxwell’s club Salisbury ABC, don’t miss this week’s issue of Boxing News.