Burton on Trents 32 year old Jonjo Finnegan has been a professional boxer from the age of 24, during his career Jonjo has taken in 25 fights of which the 6ft 1´´ super middleweight has been victorious in 14 of them and had 3 draws. He intends on notching another win onto his respectable record when he challenges for the international masters belt against defending champion Ryan Clark of Lincoln. The pair first met in April of this year and the fight was acknowledged by observers as a small hall classic with Clark winning by TKO in the eighth round. A rematch was agreed and both fighters meet in a much anticipated rematch that is expected to attract a full house. Having interviewed Ryan I saw it only fitting that I should return the compliment and interview Jonjo.
After contacting Jonjo on several occasions we both finally got the opportunity inbetween a busy schedule for Jonjo to go for it and have a chat about his career and life.
ringnews24.com: When was your first ever interest in boxing?
Jonjo: I've been boxing since I was nine. My dad took me down to the gym where he was a heavyweight himself, he didn't turn pro but fought as an amateur. I had my first fight at eleven, I saw my father's trophies up there and I fancied a few of my own.
ringnews24.com: How many fights did you have as an amateur, Jonjo ?
Jonjo: I had 72 amateur fights, I boxed all the way from schoolboy level to the seniors mate. I won the schoolboy Midlands title and boxed for Midlands counties. When I was a senior I got to the quarter finals of the ABA's. I boxed Terry Salem, he was known as a big puncher and I lost to him. Terry won the ABA title and that was my last fight as an amateur. He turned professional with Frank Maloney, he was a big prospect and he was in the commonwealth games. I think I won about 48 or 49 of my fights, I always did ok in the amateurs but I felt I stayed fighting with the vest for too long. I was boxing good kids all the time and I thought I'm getting no money for it and my father told me that if I'm fighting good talented boxers all the time I should turn pro and get paid for it.
ringnews24.com: A trophy doesn't put food on the table does it?
Jonjo: Exactly that's right.
ringnews24.com: Have you got any idols in boxing?
Jonjo: Yes, my idol is Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez. I like box fighters.
ringnews24.com: In your fight against Jim rock your footwork reminded me of the great Puerto Rican boxer Miguel Cotto.
Jonjo: I watch Cotto and I like him as well, a bit more close to home I like Ricky Hatton. I went to the Mayweather fight and I never missed a Hatton contest when he was in action. It was a cracking performance against Castillo and a great shot to the body that ended the fight.
ringnews24.com: Have you any influences away from boxing?
Jonjo: Yes, my two daughters Courtney and Keeley are everything to me. I already have the British Masters so I have one belt and I want to win the International Masters so both my daughters have a belt each, then I will be happy. The International Masters belt was vacant when I fought Ryan and he won it but now I have a chance to settle the score and even things up with a win. I am not putting my British Masters belt on the line as there was a technical issue involved that avoided this happening, but I wanted to. We are only fighting for Ryan's title now, I need to take it off him and my daughters will have one each then.
ringnews24.com: Who was your toughest opponent?
Jonjo: I have had two hard opponents, one was early on in my career and he was called Nick Okoth. He was a Nigerian boxer and I put him down in the second round with a hook styled uppercut with the left hand. This fight ended in a draw over 6 rounds. Jim Rock was a tough opponent also and he had a wealth of experience on me but i took the fight and had nothing to lose. Jim has been in the ring at the top level and was five times Irish champion. It was a big step up in class for me when I fought him.
ringnews24.com: You have got a good shot there Jonjo, with the left hook.
Jonjo: I have, I have dropped no end in the gym with it. I dropped Ryan with a left hook and I know he will be looking for that shot however i'm fast with it and I will whip it in every now and then and he won't avoid it all night.
ringnews24.com: I asked Ryan if he had a game plan and he said it was a secret.
Jonjo: I know they will be working on it.
ringnews24.com: You're not a full time boxer are you?
Jonjo: No, I work in construction and it its hard graft. However my employers allow me to take 3 weeks off before my fights to allow me to go into training camp and concentrate solely on my boxing. This means less pressure on me and no worrying about having to get up the next day to earn a living. I have to work as I have the kids to think about. When I'm in training camp I can focus and rest properly, you can soon burn out when you have running in the mornings then a full day at work then training again.
ringnews24.com: How often do you train?
Jonjo: I train 3 times a day, my diet is clean and I eat healthily. I'm bringing my weight down gradually for this fight and I also use a lot of CNP supplements. I always eat clean and I don't drink alcohol. I struggled a bit last time with the weight but I'm doing better this time. I'm not the most natural at 12 stone.
ringnews24.com: Ryan seems to be more comfortable fighting at 12 stone and he walks around at 12 stone 4lbs.
Jonjo: It is a push to make the weight as there is not a lot of body fat on me anyway. My favourite part of training is sparring and running, basically I just like being in the gym. I'm one of those people who would train even if I was not boxing and enjoy staying in shape.
ringnews24.com: What is your biggest achievement in boxing?
Jonjo: Winning the Midlands title in the senior ABA's. The competition was good, also getting into the top ten in the country was a good achievement. I didn't box for England but I came close to it, I wanted to train pro and earn some money.
ringnews24.com: Have you any hobbies?
Jonjo: I spend a lot of time with the kids and I like watching the cage fighting and UFC. I'm a big sports fan and like it a lot, I like athletics and stuff like that.
ringnews24.com: Now you have the fight approaching with Ryan how are you feeling?
jonjo I'm feeling good and feeling confident. I feel a lot of people are thinking I'm already beat to be honest but as a pro I have never lost to the same man twice. When I come back I have always won the return.
ringnews24.com: That is really interesting.
Jonjo: Yes, that is a big factor in this fight.
ringnews24.com: Have you got anything to say to Ryan before the fight?
Jonjo: If Ryan is looking past me he is making a big mistake, don't look past me and other opponents. He needs to be thinking of Jonjo Finnegan as he has got a fight on his hands in my opinion. It's a fight he is not going to win, tickets are selling well and I'd like to give my fans a big mention as since I turned pro they have always stood by me and are very loyal no matter what. They have always believed in me and always attend my fights.
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