|In depth interview with Jonathon Slowley|
Unbeaten Scottish super-bantamweight prospect features next on the huge Ricky Burns-Kevin Mitchell world title undercard on Saturday 22nd September at the SECC in a four round contest.
Burns v Mitchell will be televised live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). Join now at www.boxnation.com
Name: Jon Slowey
Family background: I’ve three brothers. Myself and my twin Christopher are the youngest. My older brother Stephen was a five time Scottish champion who boxed in the ABAs and went to a few international tournaments.
I live with my parents in Mount Vernon, in Glasgow’s East End.
Trade: Previously I was a community football coach for Celtic Football Club. I was a sh** player but a great coach! Now I’m a full time boxing pro.
Nickname: ‘The Pride of Scotland’
What age did you become interested in boxing and why? I followed our Stephen to the Dennistoun boxing gym from when I was just six. Stephen, who’s 10 years older, would scream: ‘Get him out of here!’
But the coach John McNair told my mum I had a gift for it and I’ve never been away.
What do you recall of your amateur career? I stayed at Dennistoun ABC my entire amateur career. Initially, I was coached by John McNair and James Cunningham but John passed away in 2007 and that was a big loss to me. He was like a grandfather to me; a great coach and a really good friend.
All told, I had 98 amateur bouts and won 81. I won five or six Scottish titles including two at Senior level and won two silvers and one bronze at the Four Nations tournaments. I must have boxed for Scotland over 30 times and it was always a great honour. England’s Iain Weaver beat me twice. He was a good boy.
In 2006, I became the first Scot to medal at the European Cadets tournament when I got a bronze at 52KG in Hungary. That was probably the highlight of my amateur career. I got beat in the semi finals by Fred Evans who did very well for Team GB at the Olympics recently. I also won gold at multi-nations junior tournaments in Macedonia and Finland plus a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games in India in 2008. Unfortunately, in 2009 I tested positive for cannabis and was banned for a while; a stupid mistake and my own fault. I carried on training for seven or eight months then turned pro in February 2009.
I loved the amateurs and wanted to go the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi but failing the drug test put paid to that.
Why did you decide to turn pro when you did? A new governing body took over in Scotland and they didn’t know there arse from their elbow and I didn’t want to be involved with them.
Tell us about your back up team: I spoke to a few managers and promoters but John McNair had always recommended Alex Morrison and he’s proved a real gentleman. Alex manages and promotes me. He promised me four fights in my first year and delivered me seven! He’s treated me really well. Alex has got a reputation as a real tough guy but it’s his wee wife Annie who’s the real boss!
I’m co trained by Danny Vaughan and Paul Weir at Morrison’s Gym. Both are very experienced and they bounce off each other. Danny helped bring a lot of champions through like Paul and Stephen Smith and Derry Mathews. He’s especially strong on the power and fitness side.
Paul, of course, is the former two weight world champion (WBO straw and light-fly) and he’s still living in the past! He’s only got size five feet, most girls have bigger. Paul’s a very technical coach. Danny and Paul don’t always see eye to eye on everything but that’s healthy.
Gary Tarleton does my strength and conditioning and nutrition. I’m sponsored by Bodybuild Complete who sort out my supplements and stuff.
What’s your training schedule? Which parts do you most and least enjoy? I train six days a week and take Sundays off. I’m always in pretty decent shape.
I get up at six o’clock to go for my run. Monday, Wednesday and Friday it’s sprints, Tuesday and Thursday it’s a long run. I hit the gym about midday. In the first four weeks of my preparation, I’ll focus more on fitness, burning fat and getting the legs, heart and lungs strong. I’ll do a lot of running and weights.
Then, the four weeks before the fight, I’ll focus more on technique and the gameplan. That’s when I’ll do most of my sparring and explosive stuff. The last week, I like to do nothing at all, maybe a few long walks to monitor my weight, while my body recovers.
I really enjoy all aspects of training. I’m a pretty good runner and there’s nothing better than steaming through a tough circuit when you’re really fit. I always look forward to going the gym and having the craic with the boys. The only thing I don’t enjoy is losing weight. I suppose every boxer says that.
Describe your style? What are your best qualities? I try to emulate Mayweather, with a touch of Pacquiao! I’m a 5ft 6in southpaw counterpuncher but I also like to go on the front foot. My strengths are my speed, footwork and agility. I’m also quite accurate. My best punches are probably my left uppercut and a nice right hook.
What specifically do you need to work on to fully optimise your potential as a fighter? I need to improve my inside fighting and develop a bit more power. I’m not the biggest hitter at my weight. I’m working at gradually taking opponents out over a number of rounds. I took a few out in the amateurs by wearing them down.
What have you found to be the biggest difference between the pro and amateur codes? No vest or headguard!
You’ve a lot more time to think and pick your shots as a pro. It definitely suits me better. The amateurs is a bit of a rush whereas in the pros you can settle down a bit. That said, I expect the pace to get a lot faster as I move up in class.
Who is the best opponent that you’ve shared a ring with?
That would probably be Alex Besputin, the Russian European and World Cadet champion. I boxed him in Tirana, Albania at the 2005 European Cadets. First round, he was a come forward southpaw with a tight defence. Second round, he came out all relaxed with his hands down. Totally different.
As a pro, I’ve sparred the likes of Derry Mathews, Craig Doherty and John Simpson. Derry was particularly clever and awkward. He read everything I did and showed me a lot of stuff.
All time favourite fighter: Muhammed Ali; as much for his personality as his talent. I like the way he sold himself to the public and predicted his fights. He was cocky but didn’t rub people up like Mayweather does.
All time favourite fight: Hagler-Hearns; a ferocious war between two truly great fighters.
Which current match would you most like to see made? Mayweather-Pacquiao is never going to happen so I’d like to see a super-bantam unification between Nonito Donaire and Toshiaki Nishioka. Donaire’s so fast and ferocious. I think he’s better technically than Pacquiao.
What is your routine on fight day? I’m up early and I’ll have a couple of sachets of porridge and some bacon and egg for breakfast. Then I’ll go for a walk. I have to stay active. If you lounge about you start to feel lethargic. All through the day, I’ll be having small portions of pasta and stuff, little and often.
In the afternoon I might watch a bit of TV then I’ll head to the venue at about six. In the changing rooms, I like a chat. I can’t sit quietly. I don’t really get nervous until about an hour before. Then I’ll chill with my iPod, have some quiet time to get my mind right.
Entrance music: I’ve had a few but my favourite was probably ‘Juicy’ by Biggie Smalls.
What are your ambitions as a boxer? Over the next 12 months I’d like to fight for a British title. I can’t be too far away because I’m 10-0 now. I’ve just got to keep winning. I’m desperate to get among the likes of Frampton, Quigg, Munroe and Galahad. Ultimately, I’d love a chance at a world title.
How do you relax? I like to spend time chilling with my girlfriend. We go out to eat; curries and Chinese. I also enjoy a few beers but I’m trying to stop cos it makes you feel shit in training the next day. Boxing’s a short career and I want to put everything into it. I also do a bit of fishing and camping.
Read: I like the gangster stuff and True Crime. I’ve read a few sports biographies like Ali, Benny Lynch and Alex Ferguson.
Music: Anything. I love a bit of Frank Sinatra.
Films/TV: I like comedy films. Tonight, I’m going to see ‘Ted’. I watch quite a lot of sport, Sky Sports News. Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of the Olympics.
Aspiration in life: Just to find happiness and to have a nice family. Make a decent living from the boxing.
Motto: If you go swimming, you get wet!
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 August 2012 15:46 )|