Louis Adolphe Interview
2012 English ABA champion Louis Adolphe finally makes his pro debut at the York Hall this Wednesday in a four rounder.
The 22 year old Wimbledon welter graduated from the highly regarded Earlsfield ABC academy with several national honours and England vests and now hopes his slick skills can take him to the big titles and big money as a pro.
Catch the whole show live and exclusive – headlined by Frank Buglioni’s comeback against Sam Couzens but also featuring the English superfeather title clash between unbeaten rivals Mitchell Smith and Peter Cope plus a host of quality prospects – by tuning into BoxNation, the Channel of Champions from 7pm Wednesday evening on Sky Ch.437 (HD490)/Virgin Ch. 546.
Recently boxing writer Glynn Evans interviewed the ‘no nonsense’ South Londoner to gather some background information.
Name: Louis Adolphe
Born: Tooting, south London
Family background: I’m the only child. Well, I’ve got a sister from another mum. There’s no other boxers in my family. Today, I live in Wimbledon with my mum. I’ve no kids.
Trade: None. I’m a full-time boxer.
What age did you become interested in boxing and why? From as young as four, I’d watch Tyson and Prince Naseem (Hamed) fights on TV with my dad. There was always one of those cheap punch balls on a stand around our house.
What do you recall of your amateur career? I first went to the Earlsfield gym when I was 10 or 11 and I stayed there throughout my entire amateur career. No wavering.
The club is not for everyone. It was extremely disciplined and the coach Sid Khan ran a very strict regime. Fitness was always the key. You weren’t allowed to leave one minute before the session was finished. No prima donnas. But Sid was a great man who really helped me both in and out of boxing.
I had 80 bouts and I lost about 12. Most of those losses came from the very early days. As a senior, not many could get through me.
I got to three national schoolboy finals and lost the lot but, in my last year eligible, I won both the junior ABAs and the NABCs. In 2012 I won the senior ABAs after losing to Danny Phillips from South Bank, Middlesbrough, in the final the year before. When I won I beat Robbie Davies from Liverpool whose Dad went to the (1976 Montreal) Olympics. That would’ve been my amateur highlight and it was made extra special because my club mates Kirk Garvey and Joe Joyce also won senior titles that night.
I must’ve boxed for England about ten times and I also fought for Great Britain. I won the Three Nations as both a junior and a senior but, though I was on the Development set-up in Sheffield for a while, I didn’t get any overseas trips.
The GB squad wasn’t for me. I beat a lot of good kids such as Martin Stead (three time senior ABA champion), Josh Taylor, who represented GB at the London Olympics, and Sam McNess. I should’ve been on the Development Squad years before they put me on it. Then they insisted I went on a probationary period. I’m not the type of guy that you can do that to. I left GB off my own back.
I underachieved in the amateurs, mainly due to lack of opportunities, but I enjoyed my time in the amateurs. I was at a great club with guys like Bradley Skeete, Ricky Boylan, Kirk Garvey and his brother Rob, plus big Joe Joyce.
Why did you decide to turn pro when you did? Twenty-two was a good age to go. I really didn’t want any part of the GB set up so all I could do was win the ABAs and I’d already achieved that. I could go no further.
Tell us about your back up team: I’m managed and promoted by Frank Warren. I spoke to a few people and they all advised me that Frank was the best option. From a youngster, Frank was boxing in Britain. Lots of great fighters have passed through his hands. Now he has the chance to build up another!
I’m coached by Jimmy Mac (McDonnell, the ex two time world super feather challenger). He just has no limits. When he explains our session we think it’s unreal but after you get through it, you feel a million dollars. He trains you like no other – strength, fitness or skill wise – and I’m having a great time.
My mum does my nutrition. There’s nothing quite like Mum’s cooking! She knows what fuels me and I always arrive big and strong at the weight. Jimmy Mac conditions me.
What’s your training schedule? Which parts do you most and least enjoy? I train six mornings a week at Jimmy’s boxing gym over in Essex. Sometimes he doubles up and we do two sessions a day. Evenings, I go for a long, one and a half hour run at a nice pace. If I’ve had more of a technical session with Jim, I’ll do some hill sprints around Wimbledon where there’s plenty of hills. I’m very self-motivated.
Every now and then, I’ll pop down Earlsfield so Sid Khan can beast me with a circuit, bring me down a peg or two and get me on ‘point’.
At Jimmy’s, I’ll start with a little shake out, then we’re straight on it. Everything is so different to every other gym. It’s very different to my amateur schedule and nothing is run by time.
I’ve done sparring with Richard Commey, Aaron Morgan, a light-middle from Islington and Kay Prosper. I also move around with ‘Chunky’ (James DeGale).
I most enjoy sparring and the track sessions. I least like Jimmy’s strength and conditioning circuits. They’re unreal; take your mind to a different place!
Describe your style? What are your best qualities? I’m a quick orthodox fighter who can box and fight. I’m not afraid to have a war with my hands up but I fight with my head not my heart. I can be elusive. Fans will have to watch and make their own judgements as to what my best qualities are.
What specifically do you need to work on to fully optimise your potential as a fighter? Not getting overly gee-ed up by the crowd. I’ve sold 200 tickets for Wednesday. I also need to develop a bit of patience.
What have you found to be the biggest difference between the pro and amateur codes? As amateurs we trained hard right up to the day before the fight. In the pros you have a peaking down time the week before. Technically, you need to plant your feet more, and incorporate more hip movement to transfer weight. As an amateur, I didn’t have many stoppages. I was in and out, an arm puncher.
Who is the best opponent that you’ve shared a ring with? It would have to be ‘Chunky’ (DeGale) because of his experience and ring craft. He’s got a great defence and movement plus he’s southpaw. Being heavier, he never goes full out and takes the piss. He uses my speed to sharpen himself up.
All time favourite fighter: There’s two. I love Bernard Hopkins because of his mind frame and attitude and I love Guillermo Rigondeaux. He’s got great judgement of distance, is very relaxed and chucks shots from all angles.
All time favourite fight: Gatti-Ward I. So much heart and want. That was about more than just boxing.
Which current match would you most like to see made? It’d probably still be Mayweather and Pacquiao. There’s a chance Pacquiao might nick it. I want to see how Mayweather would deal with him because Zab Judah, another quick southpaw, gave Floyd big problems early on, nipping in and out. Pacquiao is quicker and better than Judah. It’d be very interesting.
What is your routine on fight day? I try hard to treat it just as a training day. I can train and spar great when I have that relaxed mentality so why change? I focus on myself so don’t watch tapes of opponents but I might watch footage of legends like Roy Jones Jnr, Hopkins, Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns just to buzz me up. After that, I’ll try to cut off from the fight but it’s never easy. We’re fighters!
Mum makes me her secret pre fight meal then it’s off to the venue. In the changing rooms, I like to sit and think. I know no (gym)session has broken me. I know my opponent hasn’t put themself through what I’ve put myself through in the gym. That gives me confidence. I like to go to the ring hot and with a good sweat on.
Entrance music: It’s going to be ‘You’ve Got The Love’ by Florence and the Machine.
What are your ambitions as a boxer? I set no timescales but my ultimate goal is a world title and anything else is just a stepping stone towards that.
How do you relax? I don’t drink but I do most stuff other young guys do. I play some pool and enjoy long walks with my dogs. I’m a fan of dogs; rottweilers, dobermen, pitballs, American staffs….anything that can guard a house!
Football team: I’m not a fan. I don’t really have one. It used to be Chelsea as a kid. Put down them and AFC Wimbledon cos they’re the most local.
Read: I’m lazy. I’d rather download the audios. I want to read ‘The 48 Powers of Law’ and ‘The Secret’.
Music: I like hip-hop and UK rap which doesn’t receive the credibility it deserves. I also listen to old school garage.
Films/TV: My favourite film is ‘Kickboxer by Jean Claude Van Damme but at the cinema I choose comedies. I don’t watch a lot of TV cos I’m usually out but I quite like the reality shows.
Aspiration in life: To succeed in whatever I put myself into. For my future family not to want for anything, but to appreciate the need for hard work. To help less fortunate people; impact on someone who’s unable to help them self.
Motto: It is, what it is.