Only a fraction of professional fighters manage to win a professional title. Even fewer manage to become double champions and fewer still then build a long title reign.
The 23-year-old Brad Foster is the reigning and defending British and Commonwealth super bantamweight champion and even though he has accomplished the feat within 16 fights, the most impressive thing about Foster may just be the fact that he is still learning.
“Yeah, of course you can never stop learning in this game and the moment you do, that’s when you’re gonna come unstuck,” Foster told 32Red. “It’s not even a case of just learning with each training camp. I’m always in the gym and always in training so I’m learning and picking things up all the time.”
“I’m obviously working very hard to make sure that I’m at 100% come fight night. I will be 100% and I’m looking forward to it.”
Foster (14-0-2, 5 KO’s) seems to pick things up extremely quickly. He already has a Lonsdale belt to keep and can add the European crown to his trophy cabinet by beating Jason Cunningham this weekend. For all the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.
Foster was an accomplished kick boxer before taking up boxing and whilst accolades and titles can come quickly in that sport, it is rare for a fighter with such little amateur boxing experience to reach such heights so quickly. His promoter, Frank Warren, told 32Red this week that he feels Foster is one of the most underrated fighters in the country.
“I don’t really stop to think about it if I’m honest. I think the time for that will be when I get to the end of my career and I’ve achieved everything I set out to, that’s when I can look back at what I’ve done and take it all in,” Foster said.
“That’s a very nice of Frank to say but, if I’m honest, it doesn’t matter whatever other people think. The only thing that matters is that I concentrate on myself and carry on working hard.”
Foster has made such quick progress that any plans he and his team might have had when he turned professional have probably been drawn and redrawn so many times that they have settled on a different strategy of concentrating on the fight at hand, seeing how the land lies after each success and then setting new targets.
“Full steam ahead, no brakes as far as I’m concerned,” Foster said. “But I’m fighting Jason Cunningham this weekend and I’m not gonna let myself think any further ahead than that.”
Foster and Cunningham have found their way to Birmingham via vastly different routes. Unbeaten in 16 fights Foster has improved with every outing, taking advantage of each and every opportunity. 10 year pro Cunningham has suffered a few ups and downs along the way, fighting hard against quality operators and dragging himself back into title contention after each of his five defeats.
Last time out, he looked better than ever when beating Galal Yafai for the European title. Considering where both fighters are in their careers, it is somewhat surprising that the pair have never sparred or even met before.
“No, I’ve never sparred him. I think the only time I’ve ever come across him is because I beat Josh Wale for the British title and I’m sure they probably trained together at some point. Jason is a good fighter. He looked good last time and beating Gamal Yafai was a really good result because Gamal is a good fighter. I’m not gonna spend too much of my time talking about that fight though. He’s fighting me this weekend and I’m sure things will be different.”
Whilst the heavyweights will inevitably grab much of the attention this week, Foster is heading up the charge of the lower weight classes on BT Sport. He headlines this weekend’s card whilst the surging Liam Davies features on the undercard in a super bantamweight title fight of his own and Dennis ‘The Menace’ McCann returns to action next month. These are exciting times for the sometimes overlooked lower weight classes and Foster is proud to be leading the way.
“We’re all doing our own thing aren’t we? I’m the one with all the belts though and they’re setting their sights on me,” he said. “It’s a good thing. They’ve just gotta carry on and they’ll get opportunities. I’m not thinking about them though. I’ve got my chance to fight for the European title this weekend and I’ll take it.”
Boxing will be big news this weekend and those casual fans usually only drawn in by a big heavyweight fight might just happen upon Foster’s triple title bout. So, just why should those fans stay tuned in for the smaller fighters?
“We’re faster and we throw more punches. That’s it!” laughed Foster. “Simple as that.”