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When There's No "0"

Sam Jones & Ty Browne talk to Adam Thorn

"After years of constantly preparing myself up for victory, this is a completely new experience. I now understand that success does not necessarily mean achieving a set goal." Wladimir Klitschko

At the outset of a boxing career, the ambition for most fighters is belts, big fights and big money. There are surely very few people, if any, who aspire to travel around the country as an opponent: however often that becomes the reality. Over the last few decades having a zero in your losses column has become vital to attracting the big television and management deals. Young boxers are packaged, advertised, media savvy, social media icons before they’ve even had a professional fight. Everyone wants to talk about being the next big thing. While they’re winning.

But what happens when the “0” goes? Many fighters would go into media lockdown; reconcile and rebuild behind closed doors. Sam Jones was 3-0 (1) heading into his fight against Chris Adaway on May 27th at York Hall, and despite seemingly leading in an engaging and close scrap, got wobbled and then stopped in the final round. Hellraiser wanted to see how the Assassins Promotions man was coping, and what his plans were after this setback.

Sam and trainer Ty Browne admirably agreed to talk, as Ty explained, it’s part of a mindset, “I’ve always said whether we win or lose we talk to the same amount of press and people. Because there’s insight there. People pay their money to see the fight they deserve to know what went on. It’s a double edge sword, if you want the love and adoration then the other edge is you’ve gotta die by that by going out and facing people.” Elaborating on his man’s mood, “he’s a bit down but no more down than I’d want him to be.”

Part of the beauty of boxing is one punch can change a fight, but a disappointed Sam was on the wrong end of that, while ahead on the cards. “The officials had me up, but it didn’t feel like I was up. That’s why I went out like I did in the last round. Ty was telling me I was up. He wanted me to take the first thirty seconds off, have an easy round. But I didn’t. I didn’t believe him. My head wasn’t in the right place, it was weird.” Although both men were unhappy with the result, there was no excuse making, “I can’t really make up any excuses, I just didn’t perform how I should of”, said Sam.

Being stopped on their feet can often cause a boxer to cite a premature stoppage by way of blame. Jones doesn’t believe in that, “I’m not one for questioning the referee, to be honest. Obviously I would have wanted to stay in there, but the referee is there for a reason.” A refreshing attitude from a fighter. While trainer Browne was surprised to see Sam even hurt, “I’ve been with Sam four years, I’ve never even seen him shook let alone stopped like that.” Instead Sam felt his not boxing to orders was his downfall, “Ty wanted me to go first and third in the exchanges rather than an all out assault... I didn’t listen at all.”

There was plenty of respect shown for their conqueror, Plymouth’s Adaway, “I know that he’s not bad, I just thought I could beat him.” While Ty accepts Adaway was a test for Sam, “Chris Adaway, I’ve really got a lot of respect for him, tough kid. We knew he was a step up in quality, but Sam’s a good boxer himself.” Both are looking forward to the rematch on July 1st in their hometown of Bournemouth. If for slightly different reasons,  “If this guy’s better than us, I want to know now.” said Browne, adding, “Between us we need to be getting past this. That’s why we’ve gone straight back in. Why shy away from it? If Adaway is better than us, let’s find out now.” Where Jones wants to prove his ability, “I’m really looking forward to the rematch to show that I’m better than what I showed on the night.”

If the rematch is anything like the first fight, it’ll be very exciting, but the impression the team give off is that Sam will be boxing rather than gunning to prove a point. Unsurprisingly much of the talk was about mentality, facing defeat full on and learning from it. Browne clearly has a strong idea of how he wants to instil mental toughness; he and his fighter seem to have a good understanding. In Jones’s words, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Twitter

Adam Thorn: @LaudusHimself

Sam Jones: @SamJonesBoxer

Pictures courtesy of 528 Wear.

Posted: 2nd Jun 2017

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