Colin Lynes Interview - Talks Witter, Purdy and Future Aspirations

by Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro - Back in May 2011 I interviewed former IBO Light Welterweight World Champion Colin Lynes, just as he was preparing to take part in the excellent Matchroom Sport promoted Prizefighter series. It was a real pleasure, as here was a man who during his illustrious career had done it all, won British, European and World honours, yet he seemed to genuinely enjoy discussing all aspects of the sport and his career..

Unfortunately Colin didnít win Prizefighter, having lost to eventual competition winner Yassine El Maachi in the semifinal, by a highly dubious points decision.

Some five months later Colin was back in action, this time challenging Lee ĎLights Outí Purdy for his British Welterweight title. After twelve scintillating rounds Colin once again strapped the coveted Lonsdale belt around his waist.

I have to be honest and say other than republishing my fight report in itís entirety I couldnít possibly get across just how good that fight was, I mean it truly was ĎFight of the Yearí material - it was a seriously great fight. OK, so you get the gist I really rated the fight, anyway back to business.

I did intend to catch up with Colin after the victory over Purdy, but somehow never quite got round to it. So with the news that this Saturday, almost a year to the day after I last interviewed him, Colin will defend the title for the first time, against former WBC World Light Welterweight World Champion Junior Witter, I felt now would be a rather good time to catch up with him again.

Rio - So Colin, you are defending your British title for the first time, against Junior Witter, and itís a mandatory, not the usual voluntary, why is that?

Colin - Yeah, Junior Witter is the mandatory and Iím looking forward to it really.

Theyíre all good fighters in the top ten so, people say would you like to pick this one or pick that one, but Iím happy with whoever it is and Witter will come and make a good fight of it.

Itís a chance to get one back for me, as he beat me two years ago on a close points decision.

Iím a better fighter now, he may have improved and be a better fighter himself, so that makes me look forward to it even more and itíll be fireworks on the night, a good defense for myself and the chance to get one back.

Rio - By rights you should have been facing Junior earlier than this, in the final of Prizefighter back last June, what are your thoughts on the rather contentious decision that sent Yassine El Maachi to the final and not yourself?

Colin - Yeah, I wont go too much on that, everyone knows what happened and that. It just didnít happen on the night so I got over that and won the British title and Iím faced with Witter again who I should have faced in the final that night and people have got that final now.

Rio - Do you think that your performance in Prizefighter helped to get you the British Title fight?

Colin - Yes and No. I mean El Maachi won Prizefighter and I think if he had been a British national at the time he would have rightly got the shot, except he wasnít.

Witter had been a bit out of sorts that night, heíd openly admit that and of course everyone thought I should have gone on and been in the final.

I fought Purdy at short notice, as no one else could have stepped up in the time given for the fight, so I went for it and came off the winner.

Rio - I didnít realise it was a short notice call, mind you your trainers, Jimmy and Mark Tibbs, both say you are the consummate professional and are always ready, always fit.

Colin - Thatís very true, by the same token you have to have a trainer with you that knows, because you are always in the gym ticking over, that itís a special care that you donít overstep the mark when you are in the gym ticking over and Jimmy and Mark are superb, theyíre the men for that.

Rio - Who have you been sparring for Junior, as his style is not the easiest to replicate. I can only think of a few people with a similar style at this weight.

Colin - Thereís not that many, but they are out there and thankful enough we know of them.

Iíve been doing enough sparring with some switch hitters, but weíve also been doing plenty of sparring with our normal partners to get the rounds done.

Now weíve bought some tricky customers in and thatís been going well and weíve still got a little time to go with those tricky opponents.

Itís good that you donít know them, you know of them and they know of you but theyíre not out of the TRAD TKO Gym and theyíre not from the same area and itís good because they come with that bit of spite and itís all in good stead for the fight.

Rio - I know you donít look past any fight, BUT you win, you defend your title, will you stay on the domestic scene or will you move back to the International scene, say a shot at the European title.

Colin - Iíll never vacate a championship until I have the next fight inked in, so until that time Iíll never just vacate as I know how hard it is to work your way back, not just winning fights to earn your way back but being given the chance.

Once a set of doors shut on you, people can make it very hard, they havenít got to take you on and then youíre on the Ďwho needs himí list because of how fit you are, so I will never vacate a Championship unless I have another title fight inked in on the contract.

Saying that of course I want to get into the European mix, youíve got an Italian champion, whoís defending against another Italian, no matter what it stays in an Italian camp and itís very hard to prise Italianís out of their camp.

We all know what happened last time I went over there, so I wouldnít be too quick to be invited over there and I donít think I would accept an invitation to go over there to be honest, with what goes on there, so it could be a long waiting game for that.

Having said that, with Kell Brook beating Matthew Hatton I go into my fight knowing that doors have been opened, which motivates me even more.

Itís a waiting game but I am looking very much beyond British level.

Rio - I know we touched on it earlier but time to get back to ĎLights Outí - What a performance, I think it was clear Fight of The Year, please tell the readers your thoughts on the fight.

Colin - Yeah, it was a good performance, something I knew I was well capable of, and Jimmy and Mark trusted me, had faith in me.

It surprised some people, because as I said, rightfully so people were asking questions, has he still got it, is he over the hill, seen him before he goes so many rounds then...

Iíve always said, hand on heart, that was down to my body not coping with making the weight.

I made the weight correctly, I didnít struggle or kill myself or gone without food or water but my body just wasnít having it any more at the lower weight. It took perhaps one fight too many at that Light Welter level for me to decide and talk to Jimmy and Mark and step up a weight so onwards and upwards.

It may surprise people but I have put that performance behind me now, because Iíve got a new job, a new opponent, new style and itís a different fight and Iím not dwelling on what I did to Purdy, so Witter is a new challenge and Iím going to be up for it.

Rio - Youíve already been World Champion - Is that where your looking towards again?

Colin - Yeah, I mean I donít get carried away and with the names youíve got in my division at the moment, I would be silly and a bit foolish to say I want to fight Mayweather or I want this one, so Iíve got to take it step by step because itís a rebuilding campaign.

Iíve stepped up a weight and Iím doing those things, so itís a building process but I want to get there, I believe I can get there, but Iím not one of those to shout out and call people out. I feel I have got to prove my right to be in that mix.

What is quite attractive is Kell Brook beat Matthew Hatton, heís in the same camp, that should earn Kell Brook a World title shot and my being in the same camp and when heís due a voluntary I think thatís a fight that can be made.

I know Kellís flying high at the moment, heís a step above, but he was at my last fight commentating so I had a bit of joking like banter with him afterwards, I said ĎI know youíre a step above but Iím pushing to get there and Iím going to catch you up, Iíll get there you know and then the fightís on after.

Rio - You touched on it earlier, you were struggling at Light Welter, how are you now finding life as a Welterweight?

Colin - Iím not going to be the biggest Welter, I said that when I first moved up but itís not about being the biggest at the weight, itís about being right.

Itís great being at Welterweight, Iím not worrying about food, in fact I can take on more carbs, more protein and Iím really enjoying training.

The weights not an issue, Iím really enjoying training, Iím strong as an Ox and as I said itís a fine line and the Tibbsí are making sure I donít overstep the line.

Rio - Thank you so much, I would say give us a prediction but I know you donít give predictions, so may I just take this chance to wish you all the success on the twelfth.

Colin - Youíre right and thank you.

Colin Lynes defends his British Welterweight title against Junior Witter at the Hennessy Sports, in association with Alma Ingle, promoted ĎPride of Yorkshireí event, which will e headlined by the WBC International Super Bantamweight clash between Kid Galahad and Josh Wale, at the Hillsborough Leisure Centre, Sheffiel

Article posted on 08.05.2012

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