An interview with welterweight Philip Bowes:
By Brooke Streatfield
Leytonstone welterweight Philip ‘Quicksilver’ Bowes will step into the Lion’s den on November 25th as he challenges unbeaten Norwich fighter Nathan Dale. Dale puts his unbeaten 20-0 record on the line as he challenges Londoner Bowes in an English title eliminator, Bowes has two blemishes on his career record to date against Johnny Coyle and Joe Hughes but vows that Dale will not win despite being on home soil.
Bowes, originally from Jamaica, is coming off the back of a 5-fight winning streak and has really stepped up fight by fight increasing his sharpness and stepping up his fitness in a vow to clinch a belt in 2017. The slick style boxer expects Nathan to box in their clash this week but says he is prepared for anything that the Norwich man has to throw at him.
Brooke Streatfield visited the West Ham gym in East London to catch up with Philip on one of his final training sessions with trainer Barry Smith before the big night on Friday to speak about his nickname, his amateur experience and his exact thoughts on the Dale fight and ‘stepping into the lion’s den’. Thank you to Philip Bowes, Barry Smith and everyone down the West Ham amateur club for making me feel welcome and giving me their time in the gym – a huge good luck to Phil on Friday night!
When did you get into boxing and why?
I loved boxing from the age of 4 because of the likes of Mike Tyson but I started boxing competitively from age of 19 – I was at Broadstreet and then at 23 I went to Repton where I stayed until I turned professional at 28.
Where does the nickname ‘Quicksilver’ come from?
A guy that saw me boxing one day said that I was really slippery, that I was like grease with my slick boxing, lightening seemed to cliche so they used to call me Quicksilver and it stuck.
Do you have any amateur experience?
I had 40 amateur fights and lost 5 but I lost 3 of those in international competitions. My amateur experience helps me in the ring because you are constantly fighting different styles and get experience that you may not get in the professional ranks as quickly.
Do you think you will be underestimated and what do you think of his unbeaten record?
I think I am underestimated in this fight because I have had two losses to good fighters, they are kind of looking past me and they think because he is unbeaten that he has the upper hand, I don’t know why they have taken the fight if I am honest but each to their own. His unbeaten record doesn’t scare me, it should worry him because he is putting everything on the line and I have nothing to lose.
Respond to Nathan’s comments he made in his previous interview?
He said he thinks he is going to stop me, there is nothing really to respond to, I’ll say let’s see on fight night, we will see what’s going on, I am not one to speak disrespectfully like that.
How have you been preparing in the gym?
I have been mixing it with the boys in the gym, Larry Ekundayo and the Upton brothers, getting some good sparring in and everything is going well. We are so ready for this fight, I am mentally and physically prepared, I already know the progress I have made and I am going to do what I am going to do on Friday night. Everything has gone well in camp, all I want is for a fair shake in Norwich.
What inspires you?
My family inspire me, the ones that are here and the ones I have lost.
Seeing as it is fight week already for you, talk me through the routine/schedule?
I don’t get nervous at all to be honest, all I do now is relax, study boxing and the great fighters like Floyd and just chill out. I will do a couple of light sessions until Wednesday maybe, I am on weight so everything’s gone fine and the way I wanted it to go. I try and stay relaxed, just go there do what I have to do. Thinking of it, it is the first time I have fought away from home, I will be the first one to get called out and go into the ring first – I have never had that before, everything else will be the same though.
I know it has been spoken about a lot but you are going into the lions den, does it bother you?
I have said it 3 or 4 times, I am a religious man and compare it to the Daniel and the lion story from the bible, I will be victorious in the end. I feel like back in my amateur days when I had to travel and fight, the crowd would end up loving me because of my style. On my side everything is going to be the same, I am not changing – I will fight my fight and he can come for me.
Describe your boxing style for people that don’t know you too well and how do you think the fight will play out?
Slick, fast, awkward – defensive and slippery. I see the fight playing out that I will be victorious, he will probably try and rush me but he will walk onto some heavy shots.
Do you think he will come at you on the front foot because of your style?
You know what I expect him to box and try to be slick, live up to his name but it depends, the crowd might get to him and he might want to rush………Whatever he comes with I will be ready.
Kovalev vs Ward – talk to me about it and your opinion as it has been pretty mixed since the fight?
Ward done the right thing in my opinion, he lost the first 4 rounds and he adapted to Kovalev’s style after that, that is what great fighters do. I knew he would get up from the knockdown as well.
Coach Barry Smith’s comment:
We are looking very good in the gym, he is sharp and on point with a high fitness level. He has had some great sparring with some top lads in the gym as well. Phil has been displaying all sorts of levels of fitness in the gym and put in the hard roadwork. We are ready to go in Norwich – People are saying about the Lions Den but he is more than capable of handling his own with almost anybody and we know Nathan is a good fighter but I honestly believe that he is a level above. Let’s do it!!
Photo credit Brooke Streatfield