Dancing destroyer Ahmet Patterson is refusing to allow location or lack of action to interrupt his vision of collecting the British super-welter title this month, writes Glynn Evans.
On October 22nd, after nine months on the sidelines, the uber quick and super-skilled south Londoner ventures west to face Welsh warlord Liam Williams at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.
Though unbeaten in 17, bookmakers have listed the 28 year old from East Dulwich as a prohibitive 11/4 outsider.
‘This is nothing new. I’ve won ‘Big’ away from home before. The crowd can’t get in the ring to help ‘em,’ claims the man they call ‘Pattycake’ who cites his English welterweight title win over home hero Chad Gaynor (rsc5) in September 2014 as hard evidence.
‘If I’m honest, I don’t even hear the crowd. I’m tunnel vision. To me, it makes no difference if a fight is round the back of a pub or before tens of thousands.
‘And though I’ve not fought since January (a mightily impressive six round destruction of Birmingham southpaw Ryan Aston), I’m constantly in the gym training.
‘For me, boxing is a lifestyle. I’m totally dedicated to my craft, no time to sit down. I like being around my people and I love my sport. If you just restrict yourself to eight week training camps, you’re probably in the wrong game.’
Trained and managed by Martin Bowers at the Peacock Gym in the capital city’s East End, Patterson has been bubbling beneath the surface for a couple of years now. However, the division’s leading lights have been swerving him as though he were a leper.
A pro since October 2010, the part Turkish, part-Jamaican descendant has racked up 17 straight wins (seven stopped, seven shut out) but has predominately operated away from the TV glare. Nevertheless, the industry is awash with whispers of his wizardry.
‘It gives me great pride knowing that I did it the hard way, took no short cuts to get to my (mandatory) position. It’s been earned,’ says the one-time national junior champion and ex England amateur rep.
‘I’m conscious of not coming across as arrogant but I’ve always had huge confidence in my ability. I just know what I can bring when I’m 100% ‘on it’. Listen, I’ve sparred a lot of rated boys – champions, including world champions – yet I hardly ever lose any rounds.
‘Everybody rates Liam Williams as a top, top fighter so it’s another top scalp I can claim. But the titles are equally as important because it opens doors, moves you to the next level.
‘I’ve been inactive, I’m away from home…..but all these hardships will just make the elation extra special when I win.’
Patterson’s awayday assignment is certainly magnified by the man who’ll be smouldering across from the opposite corner. Champion Williams, himself undefeated in 16 (one draw), is widely touted as the next ‘Big Thing’ to emerge from the Principality with promoter Frank Warren appearing keen to build a Welsh renaissance around the rumbler from the Rhondda.
‘I don’t know Liam personally but on fight night its business and I’m ruthless. I’m not here to be his friend,’ says Ahmet whose feted technical tools are garnished by a steely mindset.
‘I respect every single opponent – all fighters know what we put ourselves through – but this one is British and Commonwealth champion. He’s a very good fighter who I’ve great respect for.
‘That said, I’ve not looked at him on tape. People don’t seem to believe me but I NEVER study opponents. They won’t shape up against a different opponent, like they’re going to shape up against me so it’s pretty pointless. It’s not as if Williams will be the best I’ve been in a ring with. I routinely spar world class.
‘All opponents have two arms, two legs and I’ll adapt to whatever they bring. The story will be written after that!’
The common consensus appears to be anticipating a fistic foxhunt with the bull strong champion chasing the one time street dancer around 24 square feet for 36 minutes or less. Don’t bank on it, warns Patterson!
‘We’ll see how I feel on the night. Whichever way Liam wants to play it, he can have it. There’s between five and ten versions of me and no one’s ever sure which one will turn up!’ he teases.
‘I’ve no reservations about receiving an honest verdict from the judges in Wales because I don’t go in for close decisions. I always win clean, no room for doubts. Next day, the headline will read: ‘Patterson wins in style!’ Believe.’
‘I’ll claim the titles because my name is Ahmet Patterson and I’m a winner!’
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