by Ashley Theophane – It was Saturday 22nd November 1986, when an extremely young and defiant fighter called Mike Tyson, became the youngest heavyweight champion of the world in the history of the sport of boxing. He won the crown in Las Vegas at the Hilton Hotel. Tyson was the self-proclaimed “baddest man on the planet”. After witnessing the demolition – no-one would dare argue with him.
A six year old kid in London was spellbound and mesmerised watching Mike Tyson explosively knock out Trevor Berbick.
28 years later that same kid is about to have his second fight in Las Vegas, on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather vs Marcos Maidana extravaganza at the MGM Grand Hotel.
Journeys have no definitive timeline. Do the right things and continue to work hard and harder still, and you will get closer to the outcome you dream of.
It’s all about the big picture. Setbacks will happen along the way, all successful people have learnt that nothing is straight forward. Many scientists, politicians, lawyers and doctors have all experienced setbacks on their path to achieving their ultimate goal. Boxing is no different. It takes time, focus and a good few years to achieve “The Dream”.
Amir Khan against Lou Collazo is the recently announced chief support to Floyd’s fight. I’ve sparred Collazo a couple times, and I’m on very good terms with his team as they tried to sign me last June. I graciously turned down their offer, as the number one boxer and highest paid sportsman in the world, Floyd Mayweather had promised me the fights I crave against the world’s best. And anyone who knows Floyd, knows he’s a man of his word. I will now have been on two of the biggest boxing events in the last nine months. That is something to be very proud of, and believe you me, I’m very proud of my achievements so far, but much more to do and much further to go. It’s a long way from London to Las Vegas, but it is sure worth it, I’ve got the number one boxer in the game, backing my name.
Adrien Broner will also be on the show, with JLeon Love opening the PPV telecast.
It will be a great weekend of boxing in Las Vegas with Ishe Smith fighting against Lara for the WBA Junior Middleweight championship at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, the day before ‘The Moment’.
It has been another week of hard work and dedication in Las Vegas. There are 5 tough weeks left until I fight at the MGM Grand again. Week in, week out, the aim is to be better than the week before, and in better shape and closer to my fight weight. Mountain runs, track work, boxing drills and strength conditioning. I can see why very few fighters get to this level. It is easier said than done, especially given the sacrifices you have to make, the torture you have to put your body through and the mental focus you need. It is not at all easy.
Finding faults is the easy bit, finding the remedy is what champions are made of.
Ashley Theophane: The Long journey to the Top
It is week three in Las Vegas and the work load is increasing week by week. My team truly do work hard. My friend Ishe Smith is already the first and only Las Vegas born fighter to win a world championship. On May 2nd he aims to win his second world title. I believe he will!
I’ve come a long way. From York Hall in Bethnal Green to the MGM Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Who says dreams don’t come true? I’ve fought on the biggest stage in the world of boxing.
I push myself day in day out to get the best out of my body. I’m a fighter, a spartan, a barbarian in the ring. That’s my job. To fight, to give my best and to win. But to reach for the stars and be one myself. It would not be possible without guidance from three great men. I’m able to be here because of a great team around me. Floyd Mayweather, Leonard Ellerbe and Rene Carayol.
Rene Carayol walked into my life three years ago. A chance meeting at Andy’s barber shop in Paddington, West London. Rene came to my British title challenge to the dominate British champion Lenny Daws to support me and see if I was as good as my barber, Andy believed I was. I crushed Lenny, dropping him twice in a unanimous decision that ripped the British crown from him and bestowed the crown on my head. I was now the King of the 140lb division in Great Britain. Only Amir Khan has achieved more than me in the British 140lb division, in recent years. I believe we will fight one day. It’s just a matter of when.
Rene saw the talent and charisma I had. He believed I had all the attributes to become a star. He backed me and gave me the resources to set up shop in Las Vegas. I met the number one boxer and highest paid sportsman in the world, Floyd Mayweather and CEO of Mayweather promotions, Leonard Ellerbe, they also believed I had the attributes to become something special. They respected my attitude and the hard working person I am. They have also backed me.
I have three men who have achieved so much in the world of business and sport. I am in safe hands. With a team with so much experience. I can not fail.
I’m closing in on my 35th win. I’m just a couple wins away from a landmark battle with Lamont Peterson or a rematch with the number one 140lb fighter in the world, Danny Garcia. We thought four years ago. Many boxing fans believe I won. The only people who really matter are the three judges sitting around the ring. Two of the three judges believed he won by one round. It was that close. Nothing in it. We will battle again. This time the world will be watching.
A success attitude…? A mindset, a lifestyle, a journey..but NEVER a destination.
Too many people see one or two goals as capable of completing their lives. Well, no, in my opinion – as when you factor in the twists and turns of what can be a long hard life road then ALL you can have is the right mentality to see you through – Brian James