Monday, 2 July 2012

My interview with middleweight prospect Tom Baker about his career to date

Ringnews24.com: How old were you when you started out boxing and why did you get into it?


Tom Baker: I’ve been doing it for years. I started at 6 years old because I had older brothers doing it. We all boxed at the Repton boxing club. They were all doing it so I took it up too. I had my first fight at 11 years old. I stayed at Repton until I was 16 and then I went to West Ham [boxing club]. I had all my junior fights at Repton and all my senior fights at West Ham.

Ringnews24.com: What was your amateur record?

Tom Baker: I had 69 amateur fights and lost 7.

Ringnews24.com: How old are you now?

Tom Baker: 20.

Ringnews24.com: What weight do you fight at?

Tom Baker: Middleweight.

Ringnews24.com: Do you find making weight fairly easy?

Tom Baker: I’m fine making weight. I don’t have to starve myself to make weight or anything like that. It’s all about eating the right food and the weight will come off.

Ringnews24.com: What do you think about fighters starving themselves to make weight?

Tom Baker: It’s not good for them. You’re not yourself really, especially strength-wise.

Ringnews24.com: Why did you decide to turn pro just before the Olympics?

Tom Baker: I was aiming for the Olympics, I beat all the favourites but I didn’t get picked. They got their favourites I guess. That’s the reason I turned pro.

Ringnews24.com: How was the experience of your first pro fight at York Hall in Bethnal Green where you fought Danny Brown?

Tom Baker: I really enjoyed it, especially at York Hall which is one of my favourite arenas.

Ringnews24.com: Have you got another fight lined up?

Tom Baker: Yeah, I’m fighting again on 5th July at York Hall. Not sure who I’m fighting yet though.

Ringnews24.com: What are your plans for the coming months?

Tom Baker: Hopefully I can get as many fights lined up as possible and see what my trainer [Mark Tibbs] says. If he thinks I’m ready and should go for something, I’ll do it. As for titles and all that, I think I’m a few years away from that stage.

Ringnews24.com: Who is your promoter?

Tom Baker: Frank Warren.

Ringnews24.com: Who have you sparred so far at this stage of your career?

Tom Baker: I’ve sparred Billy Joe Saunders, Frank Buglioni, John O’Donnell. Anyone who wants to spar really.

Ringnews24.com: How do you do against top quality fighters like that?

Tom Baker: Well, I can hold my own against them but they have much more experience than me and are top notch. It will all come for me too.

Ringnews24.com: You train with plenty of great boxers at the Trad TKO gym in east London. Do you get much advice from the other lads?

Tom Baker: Yeah, they all give me a bit of advice like when I was in my early pro days. But now I know what it’s all about. They all gave me advice for my first pro fight.

Ringnews24.com: How would you describe your style?

Tom Baker: I’m a boxer, I like to pick my shots and use my jab. If it comes to having to have a war, I’ll do that too. But I like to be a good, clean boxer.

Ringnews24.com: What is the main difference between the amateurs and pros in your opinion?

Tom Baker: In the amateurs you’re a lot more tense and rigid. I’ve come to Mark now as a pro and I’m a lot more comfortable and relaxed now. He’s changed me for the better. As a pro you don’t have to worry about getting points here and there in a fight. In the pros you can waste a few shots but in the amateurs you can’t.

Ringnews24.com: Do you have a boxing nickname?

Tom Baker: No, not yet.

Ringnews24.com: What are the best and worst parts of boxing?

Tom Baker: The worst part is struggling to make weight. Bad decisions are also bad. I haven’t had to experience anything like that yet as a pro though.

Ringnews24.com: Who is your all time favourite fighter?

Tom Baker: Sugar Ray Leonard. He had it all. He was simply World class.

Ringnews24.com: Who would you say is the best middleweight in the country right now?

Tom Baker: I’d say it’s between Billy Joe [Saunders] and Darren Barker. I’d probably say Billy Joe takes it.

Ringnews24.com: Have you got a message for boxing fans?

Tom Baker: I haven’t been a pro for long but I’m confident for the future so watch this space.


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