“Legends in the making”
The Legends boxing gym is one of the fastest growing professional boxing gym in Essex currently home to 9 pro fighters including Billy Long, Joe Mullender, Charlie Duffield, Adam Hart and Kris Agei-Dua. Run by experienced coach Jamie Williams, the buzzing little gym is full of talent and laughter as they have many boxers preparing for upcoming fights in 2016.
After a hard training session where the boys put me through my paces, I caught up with a few of them to talk about preparations for their upcoming fights, how they got into boxing and some things you didn’t know about the boys.
I want to say a massive thank you to all of the lovely Legends Boys who made me feel at home and like part of the team from the minute I walked through the doors. The hard work never stops at Legends but I always find myself walking out with a smile!
Next Fight: Copperbox Arena January 30th 2016
Opponent: Richard Harrison
It’s only your second fight, how do you feel about it being on such a big stage at the Copperbox?
This is a big step for me and I am well excited. The bigger the stage the better for me, it gets me more excited to fight. I just want to put a good performance on because the first fight even though I got the stoppage I rushed it and he was a tough opponent who had been around the block. This time will be better.
For people that don’t know about you can you tell me about your career before you were a pro?
I had an amateur career at West Ham, I was much smaller back then though – I was around 51kgs and 5 years later I ended up at 81kgs. I got to the NABC finals twice and won the schoolboys – I had about 70 fights in all. I always wondered how I would be doing if I never gave up when I was younger but I did give up and thankfully it’s made me the man I am today. I always overthink it but I am happy where I am now and am injury free.
How has the training gone in the build up to your fight?
Training has gone really well, I am working on new things with Jamie in the gym like being relaxed and moving more. I’ve got the power so everything else is being worked on in the build up.
What do you aim to achieve in your career?
I always aim to be the best in my division so as long as i am fit and healthy I want to go all of the way. If i get stopped in the process then fair play but it’s not worth being in the sport if you ain’t aiming high.
What inspires you?
As a kid I used to watch a lot of boxing – my dad used to always mess about with me on the pads – when i was 11 he said to me you would be good at that and I just loved it from there.
My misses inspires me – she is another person who knows I have potential if I put my mind to it. I used to watch Ali and Tyson and be inspired by them as well like most boxers I imagine.
Best person you have sparred?
Billy Joe Saunders – he is so awkward and tricky. He is a fighter I look at and envy he is mustard!
Thank you to: I want to thank Jamie, my coach, for all of the hard work. Peter Sims – my manager – for looking after me and getting me the right fights.
Do you have any dates for your next fight?
No there are no dates set in stone for my next fight, it is looking like March time.
A lot of people are talking about the boxing board making Lee Markham mandatory to challenge you in a final eliminator, tell me about it.
It is a fight that a lot of people want to see, I’ve known Lee a while and never had a problem with him and I never will. With him it is just business and I’m sure we will be mates after. On my side there is no spite whatsoever it’s just going to be a great fight!
Who is the best person you have sparred?
Conrad Cummings – He is a great fighter!
Best and worst thing about training for you?
Diet and making weight is the hardest I think, other than that I love everything about fighting.
What inspires you to box?
Money and being a champion
Tell me one interesting fact about you that nobody knows?
I didn’t start boxing til i was 22
Thank you to: Elmac Electricals and Nandos Brentwood who sponsor me and my people who are closest to me and help me to achieve and do what I do.
Tell me how you first got involved with boxing?
I used to do K1 which is kickboxing. I was also a professional footballer but I got let go at 20 and fell out of love with football so I decided to go kickboxing with my mate. In K1 I was ranked number 1 in the country at 4 different weights – British and European champion at cruiserweight and British champion at 95kg. I was successful in K1 but then got into a bit of trouble and when I left prison I got back to number 2 in the country. I always knew Jamie (Williams) so I went to him and done some rounds, I went sparring with him and then it all just went from there really.
Best and worst thing about training?
Getting fit is the worst part and not eating – I love sparring – I just spar all day long if i could.
What promoter are you with?
MGM (Macklin’s Gym Marbella) I was speaking to them and they have heard of me through kickboxing so they knew me from that. Goodwin is an amazing small hall promoter but I haven’t got time to work through the ranks but people like Billy (Long) have got time to build themselves up and create a career. Listen, I’ll have it with anyone – I am ranked 21 in the country just behind Wadi Camacho – I think a fit Adam Hart would beat anyone!
(On signing with MGM)I’m over the moon about it, it’s massive for me – I get the piss ripped out of me but it’s a massive thing! Really proud. I can’t wait – just gotta go out and do the business now!
When are you next out, any date set?
5th March on the MGM show – they want me to fight every 6-8 weeks so I can stay fit. If i keep knocking people out i know i can do things.
What’s the ultimate goal in boxing for you?
Winning a British title is like a world title to me as it stands. Realistically world titles are a long way off, but a British title is the goal i’m going for! I’ve got nothing to fear from anyone I am here to make up time and make memories, I have got nothing to prove and i just want a tear up. I want to make up for lost time as well, I missed the best years of my life being in prison but I can’t cry over spilled milk – i’m just going to make the best of it.
Tell me one interesting fact about you that nobody knows?
I won a chess competition – I never played it in my life and i was in a competition on the weekend so i bought chess for dummies and ended up winning it.
Thank you to: Jamie Williams, Daniel at MGM and Kieran Keddle – my Thai boxing coach
Age: 35 years old
Opponent: Defending his super welterweight southern area title vs Ben Hall – 30th January at the Copperbox Arena
You won the southern area title against Freddie Turner, the night looked, emotional how did it feel?
Very emotional especially after the first round. Let’s be honest i was getting battered in the first round and had a bit of luck so it was very emotional.
You are now defending it against Ben Hall on a big bill at the copperbox, tell me about it and how you feel leading up to the fight?
Very confident to be honest, for me Freddie Turner is in a different league to Ben, the time to beat him is now. Personally I think he lost to Ryan Thoms so in my eyes I can do it. I am very confident! It s a bit surreal on a big show, I never got into boxing for fame but as a young boy and dreaming, being on a Sky bill in a massive deal for me and I am not going to give it up easy. I am here to stay!
What do you say to people that say your age is a problem?
It’s not a problem for me – once it gets into my head that it is a problem then it becomes one – tell me how many 22 year olds can train how i train!
How’s training/sparring going in the build up to the 30th?
I am working a lot on movement, one of Ben’s weakness is that he is a big puncher and has relatively fast hands but one thing I know is his feet are not the best. I have got rhythm and movement which I think can throw him off his work.
What inspires you?
In terms of boxing fulfilling my potential. I played football to a good level but in boxing I want to fulfill my dreams. I see Bernard Hopkins because of his age and the way he trains – that inspires me. I am also inspired by day to day people like Jamie Williams, my coach, he has 3 kids, runs a household and he is still out here living his dream here in the gym.
Quick Fire Question Round:
Charlie Duffield – Sunday Roast
Joe Mullender – Lasagne
Kris Agei-Dua – Fish
Adam Hart – Spaghetti Meatballs
Charlie Duffield – Water because that’s all I drink
Joe Mullender – Red Bull
Kris Agei-Dua – Coconut Water
Adam Hart – Soda water and lime
Charlie Duffield – I’m easy I listen to it all
Joe Mullender – Nothing
Kris Agei-Dua – Hip Hop
Adam Hart – Maverick Sabre
Something you hate:
Charlie Duffield – Bullies
Joe Mullender – Slow drivers
Kris Agei-Dua – Politicians
Adam Hart – know it all people
One thing you never want to regret:
Charlie Duffield – Not trying my best in boxing
Joe Mullender – Looking back and thinking I could have done any better
Kris Agei-Dua – Not fulfilling my potential
Adam Hart – That I didn’t give it a good go
3 words to describe you:
Charlie Duffield – Powerful, humble and funny
Joe Mullender – Quick Tempered + Nice Geezer
Kris Agei-Dua – determined, HAPPY, confident
Adam Hart – powerful, ugly, joker
How would you celebrate winning a world title:
Charlie Duffield – I’d probably collapse
Joe Mullender – Taking my best mates to Vegas and treating them!
Kris Agei-Dua – Party for a year
Adam Hart – Take Jamie Nandos – you can come as well
Charlie Duffield –
Twitter – @CharlieDuff87
Instagram – CHARLIEDUFFIELD_LEGENDSGYM
Joe Mullender –
Twitter – @Joe_Mullender
Instagram – JOE_MULLENDER_OFFICIAL
Kris Agei-Dua –
Twitter – @KrisDua
Instagram – KRISAGY
Adam Hart –
Twitter – @adamhart1111
Instagram – ADAMHARTKKGYM