Hot lightweight talent Eddie Hussein from Dagenham features on the big Wembley Arena card on Friday 14th September, live on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
Unbeaten in two fights, with wins over robin Deakin and Marc Callaghan, Hussein will go in over four rounds as he starts his campaign of the new season.
British Super-Middleweight Champion George Groves headlines the card (against Kenny Anderson, subject to purse offers), plus Commonwealth Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders defends his title and Bradley Skeete and Chas Symonds clash for the Vacant Southern Area Welterweight title.
On the undercard, fast-rising super-middleweight talent Frank Buglioni, plus exciting prospects Gary Corcoran, Billy Morgan and Mitchell Smith are all in action.
Tickets, priced at £40, £50, £75 and £100, are available from the Wembley Arena Box Office on 0844 815 0815 or online at www.wembleyarena.co.uk
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Name: Ediz Hussein
Age: Just turned 23
Family background: I’m the second youngest of four children from a Turkish-Cypriot background. I’ve an older brother and older sister and a younger brother. My Dad Mo Hussein was the Commonwealth lightweight champion (1987-9). I live in a small flat on an estate in Dagenham and I’ve a daughter Jaida who’s one and a half.
Trade: I’m a self-employed heating and ventilation engineer but things have been a bit quiet lately.
Nickname: My previous trainers at Dagenham called me ‘The Hammer’. My real name is Ediz but everybody calls me ‘Eddie’.
What age did you become interested in boxing and why? Though I never saw my Dad box – I was too young – I grew up watching his tapes and aspiring to be like him. I think Dad would have preferred I’d done something else but I was intrigued. From about the age of eight I was pestering to be taken the boxing gym – I had so much energy – but my mum won’t allow it.
What do you recall of your amateur career? When I was about 12, mum finally relented and Dad took me to Dagenham ABC where the main trainer was his good mate Johnny Burell. I stayed there until I was 17 then had a couple of seasons at West Ham under Mickey May and Brian O’Shaughnessy.
I didn’t have that many amateur bouts – somewhere between 25 and 30 – and I suppose I lost about five. I got to the semis of the Novices when I was 14, won a couple of London junior titles and reached the junior ABA semis at 15. I boxed for London over in Jersey and, with the Dagenham club, went over to Florida where I beat the US number 10.
From the age of 19, I was out for a couple of years with an injury. I was always in the gym, possibly overtrained, and as a result picked up quite a few injuries. Consequently, I was never really around for the senior ABAs. Training in the gyms around Miami was probably my amateur highlight.
Why did you decide to turn pro when you did? I’d always wanted to be a professional boxer since when I was a little kid. When I came back from injury I told Dad I wanted to go pro and he set up the meet with Frank Warren. Frank had managed my Dad during his pro career.
Tell us about your back up team: Frank manages and promotes me, Dad trains me and my older brother, Tayran Hussein, takes care of my strength and conditioning and nutrition. He’s a personal trainer by profession so I’m in good hands. It’s a real family affair.
Dad has fantastic knowledge. He’s like a professor and I can’t think of anyone better to train me.
What’s your training schedule? Which parts do you most and least enjoy? I train about four or five times a week, either at the TKO in Canning Town or in Dad’s shed. I also run over Hainault Forest four or five mornings a week. Sometimes I go with Kevin Mitchell who’s also from Dagenham. He puts me through my paces. I usually do about four or five miles in about 40 minutes and, closer to a fight date, I’ll start to chuck in a couple of sprints.
My gym schedule is dependant upon whether I’m working. Sometimes I’ll go during the day, other times I have to go evenings. I’ll begin with four or five rounds shadow boxing, followed by four on the pads and a 10 minute skip. As I’m focussing on improving my speed at the minute I’ll try and slip in a couple on the speed ball. I’ll finish with 20-30 minutes ground work.
Dad likes me to spar at least twice a week, more so if I’ve a fight pending. There’s plenty around my weight at the TKO and I work with guys like Billy Morgan, Ben Murphy and Georgie Jupp. That’s my favourite part of training. Nothing prepares you better. Practise makes perfect. I like ground work least. Dad makes it go on and on forever, always trying to break ya.
Describe your style? What are your best qualities? I view myself as a box fighter who likes to go forward and put pressure on. My strength is probably my biggest attribute. I like to dig the body and I’ve got quite heavy hands so I like to force opponents into the trenches if I can.
What specifically do you need to work on to fully optimise your potential as a fighter? I’ve got to throw more punches and up my workrate. I’m also working on my speed, doing a lot on the maize and the ‘top’n’ bottom’ balls. I ain’t slow but there’s definitely more speed to come from me.
What have you found to be the biggest differences between the pro and amateur codes? I haven’t had to change too much because, as I say, my style was always better suited to the pros. The pros are a lot rougher, there’s a lot of heads and elbows going astray but I don’t mind that. Also the top journeymen, like Marc Callaghan who I fought last time, are incredibly tough and very clever defensively.
Who is the best opponent that you’ve shared a ring with? I’d give that to Colin Lynes who I spar with at the TKO, sometimes. He’s a few weights above me and likes to apply the pressure but never takes a liberty. He’s a good clever boxer plus a lovely fella and I’ve learned a lot from him. I used to spar me Dad when I was a kid but he never hit me back. He was far too heavy handed.
All time favourite fighter: Roberto Duran. Never in a bad fight and I loved his attitude and personality.
All time favourite fight: The first Ward-Gatti fight; so much heart and willpower from the pair of ‘em.
Which current match would you most like to see made? Mayweather-Pacquiao like the rest of the planet! Can’t see it happening, personally, but it’d be good for all the fans if it did. I’d love to see Pacman win but I think you’ve got to go with Mayweather cos of his defence.
What is your routine on fight day? My main objective is to conserve my energy. I’m always up early, 7 or 8ish, to get my mind alert. I’ll have a bowl of porridge for breakfast, a bit of fish and veg for lunch and a bowl of pasta a couple of hours before I leave.
During the day, I’ll be very anxious to get in there so to try to relax a bit, I’ll play with my daughter, perhaps take her for a walk up the park. I might watch a few old fight DVDs to pick up a few last minute tips and get me properly in the mood.
I like to arrive at the venue early to pick up the atmosphere. I’ll take a bit of chocolate to give me some last minute energy then I’ll do a bit of pads with Dad. I’ll have a healthy amount of nerves but that helps keep the reflexes sharp.
Entrance music: ‘Earthquake’ by Labyrinth
What are your ambitions as a boxer? Right now, just to get as many fights as I can under my belt. It’s been a bit slow for me at the moment, just two bouts. I’m a long way off even a Southern Area title fight.
How do you relax? Just watch films and listen to music. I don’t really bother with any other sports.
Football team: I’m not really interested but I look out for the local teams, West Ham plus Dagenham and Redbridge.
Read: Not much! I glance at newspapers and the Boxing News but I never read a big book. I read stories to my little girl at bedtime…..well, we point at the pictures!
Music: Mainly R’n’B and dance. I like Tinie Tempah and Labyrinth
Films/TV: I like the old classics, Scarface, Raging Bull, the Rocky films. Number three’s my favourite….. Mr T! On tele, I tune into Eastenders and try to watch BoxNation when I can.
Aspiration in life: To get the most out of everything I do and to be successful so that I can give a good life to my kids.
Motto: No Regrets.