Polish welterweight, Carl ‘The Doctor’ Ozimkowski 0-3(1)-0 was KO’d in the first round of his professional boxing comeback after a six year hiatus by journeyman, Mick Mills 1(1)-4(3)-0 at London’s York Hall on November 29th.
Carl took five minutes out of his continued training schedule to reflect on the moments that took place before, during and after the fight that night, stating, “I was the fittest I’ve ever been before so going into the fight I was confident and nothing was going to surprise me physically or mentally. I had literally been in training camp non-stop since May because I was meant to box in September but couldn’t get my licence in time so I just carried on with the training.”
The likeable welterweight from East London, part of Team Wilkey, has had well over 150 amateur bouts and always looks in good shape, even between fights.
In his first stint as a pro, over six years ago, Ozimkowski trained himself all of the time but second time around, he has a trainer and is part of a closely knit team from the increasingly successful Lansbury Boxing Club in Poplar, London.
“My trainer, Alec Wilkey does spend a lot of time with us in the gym and on the track at weekends, so I was putting all of the effort into the training,” said The Doctor.
The Polish 28-year-old, real name Karol Ozimkowski, has fought twice at the York Hall previously back in 2008 losing to two unbeaten prospects – Badru Lusambya and Johnny Creamer.
In September 2008, ‘The Doctor’ took on number one ranked Ugandan southpaw, Badru Lusambya 16(15)-0-1 on his professional debut losing on points over four rounds. Lusambya was unbeaten and held the African Boxing Union light-middleweight title at the time of Ozimkowski’s debut defeat.
A return to the same venue three months later in December 2008 saw Ozimkowski taste his second consecutive loss in the pro game to Portsmouth’s Johnny Creamer 1-0-0, also in his second professional contest, coming away from the ring that night still unbeaten.
After a return to the amateurs, Ozikowski vowed to have a second crack at his life-long dream of being a successful professional boxer six years later on November 29th at London’s York Hall resulting in his third loss to Mick Mills.
When fight night finally arrived, after what ended up as an extended seven month training camp, there was a very large and intensely audible crowd in attendance at the ‘home of boxing’ in support of Ozimkowski.
“I’ve had amazing support. For a Polish kid in the UK, I was amazed at how many people there was there. Just talking about it now and I’ve got goosebumps on my skin again. A few years ago, I couldn’t imagine having such support,” said Ozimkowski.
On the fight itself, the confident 28-year-old started brightly and showed skilful boxing moves during the opening round. A good left hook sent opponent, Mick Mills backpedalling across the entire breadth of the ring onto the ropes on the opposite side from the offending punch.
Ozimkowski reflected, “I was stalking him, boxing clever, ducking and diving, and it was all perfect. Then, one punch pushed him back across the ring and, it was my mistake for not being patient, he took a wild swing and caught me straight on the chin.”
The shot dumped The Lansbury Gym fighter onto the canvas and was immediately out cold with no chance of beating the count.
“To be honest, all I remember is getting in the ring and starting well, then waking up in the changing room! I thought, ‘why have I still got my gloves on?’ And then I thought, ‘Shit! I must have been out cold,’ and then I realised what had happened,” he explained.
Following the fight, the aforementioned support of family and friends showed their concern and caring for their boxing hero.
He explained, “I went back home and had lots of good friends looking after me but after the fight, I was fine. I got back up in the morning and still didn’t realise what had happened. I looked in the mirror and didn’t see any marks then I looked through a few pics on Facebook and saw what had happened.”
“Then, I got my training gear on and went to the tracks with my team. Alec Wilkey was surprised to see me and said, ‘What are you doing here?’ I said that I just wanted to get back on track and straight back to training again.”
Remarkably, Ozimkowski completed a gruelling sprints session with the rest of his teammates the following morning after that devastating KO at the hands of Mills.
“I felt fresh like nothing had happened. To me, it’s a minor setback and I’ve trained so hard so I don’t want to lose the momentum. Obviously, Christmas is coming now so I’ll be going home but making sure that I keep fit throughout,” explained Ozimkowski.
The Polish national, residing in London, is not easily kept down and is eagerly looking ahead towards the next fight in early 2015. He enthusiastically concluded, “I’ll be out again at end of February, possibly early March; it depends on what Alec Wilkey will say but I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring and back on track!”
To follow Carl ‘The Doctor’ on Twitter click here @CarlTheDoctor