Joe Catchpole: Learning The Hard (Knocks) Way

boxingBy Ezio Prapotnich - After the success of The Takeover and with Tony Salam entering Prizefighter by popular demand, Hard Knock Boxing, Spencer Fearon’s promotional vehicle, seems to be on the ascending. All eyes are on Tony right now, but, while he is busy training, we took the chance to meet the youngest prospect of the stable, 18 years old southpaw Light Welterweight Joe Catchpole (2-0) from Dagenham, who turned pro on March of this year. Time is on his side and he is as hungry as they come…

EASTSIDEBOXING: When and how did you start boxing?

JC: I got into boxing when I was about 5 or 6 but didn't join a gym till I was 9. I just loved to fight and had loads of energy, so my mum bought me some equipment on Christmas and I started from there.

ESB: What is your amateur pedigree?

JC: I won 20 out of 29 and was ABA London champ. To be honest, I didn’t take it seriously till I was 16..

ESB: How did you get involved with Hard Knocks?

JC: My trainer, Tunde Ajayi, is close to Spencer Fearon and took us to his gym during Christmas period, when Peacock was shut. We started talking and then he came to watch me fight. When I turned 18, he asked Tunde to manage me.

ESB: Was it hard the passage from amateur to pro? How did it impact your training?

JC: I didn't find it hard, to be honest. My style is suited better for the pro, as I throw a lot of body shots and in amateur boxing they don't get scored. The training was pretty much the same I have been doing since I was 15 years old. Tunde knows me very well and gets the best out of me.

ESB: How would you describe your own style?

JC: I am a busy fighter, who likes to pressure and move forward, pushing the opponent onto the ropes, so I can throw my combinations. But, I can also box on the back foot. I'm comfortable with both. I just prefer to excite the crowd.

ESB: What's your favorite shot or combination to throw?

JC: Right hook, as I'm southpaw. For combinations, I like a flurry of straight lefts and rights and finish with a right hook to the body, then up to the head.

ESB: Are you happy with you first two performances? Did you notice anything you would need to improve or work on?

JC: I am very happy with both of them, as I won. I need to improve my head movement and my guard, but I'm still 18 and will improve bundles when I'm out next. Also I'm going to get a stoppage next time, to show people I am not a boy!

ESB: What are your career goals, both short and long term?

JC: My short term goal is to remain unbeaten and get a Southern Area title in late 2011, then the British title in 2013. My long term goal is to win a world belt, unify the Welterweight division, and to be the people champion, like Manny Pacquiao.

ESB: Who is your favorite boxer, or boxers, of all times?

JC: Muhammad Ali and Manny Pacquiao. They're both amazing.

ESB: And your favorite boxer on the current scene?

JC: Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. He’s great. I love everything about him: his heart, fighting style, training style, and his kindness to the poor people. I look up to models like that to try and benefit for my career.

ESB: How do you like to spend your time when you are not training for a fight?

JC: I stay in the gym and just slow the training down. Also, I like spending time with my family and my girlfriend and chill out, doing the same things any 18 years old does, although I do not go clubbing anymore! I've only been twice since turning professional, as I do not approve of drinking!

ESB: How do your parents feel about your career choice?

JC: My mum is very supportive and is of great help in the weeks leading up to a fight. Also, my grandparents are always there and would do anything for me. I would love to say one day “Here is enough money not to worry about financial stuff anymore” and also give them a present, my world title belt, which would make them prouder than anyone! I love them truly and fight harder knowing they are watching.

ESB: If you weren't a boxer, what would you do for a living?

JC: I would probably become a grafter and do a lot of laboring jobs. I've never fancied myself in retail. But then again, I always knew I was going to become a professional boxer, so I never really thought of anything else.

ESB: Is there anything you would like to share with the readers?

JC: I just hope they will be interested in coming to my fights and enjoy them, as it’s the crowd opinion I cherish the most! Thanks!

Article posted on 23.06.2010

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