Monday, 2 July 2012

My interview with middleweight prospect Tom Baker about his career to date 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. What was your amateur record?

Tom Baker: I had 69 amateur fights and lost 7. How old are you now?

Tom Baker: 20. What weight do you fight at?

Tom Baker: Middleweight. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Who is your promoter?

Tom Baker: Frank Warren. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Do you have a boxing nickname?

Tom Baker: No, not yet. 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. Who is your all time favourite fighter?

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

No comments:

Post a Comment