12 Rounds with James Todd
1. You recently made the move from your home town in Wales to California, how did that come about, and how's it going?
The opportunity came through a good friend of mine, Kerry Hope, who made the move to Lake Arrowhead, California to join Talon Boxing. A spot became available in the camp and Kerry told me to get in touch with John on Facebook. Kerry also showed him one of my fights and then I had an offer for a two week trail and I jumped at the opportunity.
2. You have now joined Talon Boxing over in L.A. How are they treating you and how do you rate John Tandy as a coach? as you have previously worked with Enzo Calzaghe who is regarded as one of the best trainers in the world?
Talon boxing are treating me really well. I feel right at home with the dietitian Michele who is also the camp manager and it helps make my life easier. By taking the job of getting me to the right weight out of my hands leaves me to concentrate fully on my training and I still get 3 meals a day! Training at the Calzaghe camp I had nice experiences, especially being around one of the best boxers in the world Joe Calzaghe, but I felt I was not learning everything I could there. Just being with John for a week I learnt more than I did in two years, so I would say John is the best trainer I have worked with and he knows so much about the game.
3. You didn't get off to the start you wanted dropping a points loss on your American debut to the highly rated amateur Dean Peters Jr. Having read many reports on the fight a lot of people say you should have got the decision. How did the fight go in your eyes, and do you think this was the wrong fight for you?
It was a disappointing start to my American career, but I'll give you my round by round report on the fight:
Round 1 - Dean Peters came out fast in the first minute and a half, I then started to come into the fight. A close first round but I would of given it to him.
Round 2 - John told me to close the gap and push him back and it worked, but then I got caught with a head butt and sustained a bad cut under my right eye but it didn't stop me. I still made one or two mistakes but I was starting to take the fight over.
Round 3 - Dean Peters was tired and I was pushing him back and felt happy that I was in control of the fight. At the end of round 3 I went back to the corner and John was telling me I needed to win the last round to show the judges I was in control.
Round 4 - I came out strongly and I thought I was winning the round. In the last 30 seconds I felt I could've done more but that I had done enough to win the fight. The fight ended with a split decision with two judges giving it to Dean by a round and the other judge giving a draw, so over all it was a disappointing night for me and Talon boxing.
4. What's planned next? Would you like an easy fight, or are you confident in taking on all comers, and if so why?
The last fight was disappointing but in myself I haven't lost confidence. It's going to make me a better fighter now I have tasted defeat. I did not like it so it's just going to give me the drive to work harder so I don't have to taste defeat again. If John had a phone call tomorrow to fight Dean Peters again or anyone in my weight class I'd happy too.
5. Your background is in Soccer, what made you switch to boxing?
Soccer is my family sport. I've got three brothers and all of them play soccer, with one of them being a professional. I always wanted to follow in his foot steps and was going down the right road, playing for some high level teams back in the UK, but aged 17 I walked in to a boxing gym back home and I haven't looked back.
6. For those who don't know much about you, how would you describe your style of boxing?
In myself I believe I am an entertainment fighter with an action packed, aggressive style who gives 100% in everything I do.
7. What has been the highlight of your career so far?
The highlight of my career? [Pauses to think] Well I've not been boxing for long, but in this time I have started to make a name for myself back in the UK and being from a big family the highlight has got to be making them proud.
8. What are your ambitions in the sport?
My ambitions in the sport is to make it to the top. I have the will to be the best and to get to the top of the pile. I want to go as far as I can and with Talon boxing I believe they can help me get there.
9. If you could go back to the beginning of your career, would you do anything differently?
In life I don't regret anything. Everyone has their ups and downs, but I believe if you keep yourself focused and continue to work hard you will make something out of yourself.
10. If you could fight one round with any boxer in history, who would it be?
Well my favorite all time fighter was Arturo Gatti and it was disappointing to see him pass away this year. I would of loved to have met him. What a warrior!
11. What are the differences you are finding between boxing in the UK and boxing in the US?
The difference is the US has got a lot of boxers from around the world who have moved to America to try and make a name for themselves, so you got a lot of competition. In the UK you have a lot of upcoming kids who get an easy road until they get to world class level. They then find out you just have more competition in the US.
12. You are surrounded by your fellow countryman with Kerry Hope, Matthew Edmonds and Ricky Owen alongside you over there. How are they finding it and does it make it easier for you with them there? Also, are you seeing any improvements in the guys as a group?
Obviously having a friend alongside me makes it a lot easier, but if you want to make something of yourself in this game you’ve got to sacrifice a lot. If I was out here on my own I would still be determined to make it. I would do anything to make it (so watch out the next guy I fight). I can see a lot of improvement in Kerry, especially with his sparring. It was a shock to see how much he had improved when I first arrived.