When they are preparing for a fight, boxers become creatures of habit. When they pick up the phone for a pre-fight chat, you might sometimes hear the sound of punchbags being hit in the background, occasionally you will catch them out on a run but more often than not they will be at home in between sessions. Ring unbeaten super lightweight Henry Turner and there’s a very good chance he’ll be in his car.
“I’m just on my way to training,” Turner told 32Red. “I drive 75 miles to the gym a few times a week. There and back. Especially with the M25 the way it is at the moment, it isn’t easy. Three hours to get there and three hours to get back. I seem to spend most of my time in the car.” For all the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.
The daily commute to the iBox Gym in Bromley is paying rich dividends. Turner was an outstanding amateur and has settled into life as a professional seamlessly. He is unbeaten in ten fights, has stopped his last two opponents and is the proud owner of a shiny belt, his first as a professional. ‘The Showman’ is reaping the benefits of training at the thriving gym. He might be tired after those 150 mile round trips but when his head hits the pillow at night, he can be satisfied that he is learning his trade in the perfect place.
This is an ideal step up
“It’s unbelievable. We’re all bouncing off each other. We’ve got me, Pierce O’Leary and Sam Noakes all roughly the same weight so you couldn’t ask for better sparring. We don’t need to go out for sparring because it’s all there,” the 22 year old said.
“As soon as a couple of us started winning belts it made us all want to get our own. By the end of last year we pretty much all had titles. Now we just wanna get more and more. We push each other. There isn’t competition but you learn off each other. Obviously I’m very skilful so they’ll learn that from me but I learn a lot of the rough and ready stuff from them because they’re strong come forward fighters. It’s brilliant.”
Turner gets to put the lessons he has learned in sparring into practice this weekend against the talented Tom Farrell in one of the more eye-catching bouts on Friday night’s BT Sport show. Farrell is an accomplished former champion who still has plenty of ambition despite posting a patchy record over the past few years. He will be Turner’s biggest test to date and his first meaningful all-British clash which always adds a little more spice.
“This is an ideal step up for me. Instead of having foreigners to box, more people know who Tom is and that makes for a better fight. More people will watch. I think it’s a good fight and perfect timing. I’m looking forward to it.
Tom’s been about a bit
“People know Tom, he’s been about a bit, he’s a good boxer and boxed for a few titles and so for me they can see it’s a step up instead of me boxing somebody from Spain.
“It brings the best out in you. When you’re fighting somebody who you know is coming to win, you know you have to raise your game. You get more ambitious for it. You’re really up for it when you’ve got somebody who you know is coming to take your title. I know I’ve gotta be on my game and he’ll know he has to be on his game. It should be a good little tear up for York Hall.”
As Turner says, this looks like the ideal next step in his career. He has boxed his way through the mandatory rounds against journeymen and found his power when faced with what looked like – on paper at least – his stiffest challenges. He has even overcome a mini crisis. Last November, Turner found himself trapped – literally trapped – between the ropes while Jorge Bermudez unloaded on him and a hapless referee stood and watched. He managed to escape and flattened Bermudez seconds later. He is beginning to see openings and is instinctively capitalising on them.
“It’s about ticking the boxes off one by one. It helps you get to where you need to go. I think on BoxRec I’m in the top 10 or 11. By beating Tom, I’ll move up another couple of spots. Before you know it I should be boxing for the Commonwealth title by the end of the year and that’ll put me in line for the British title.
I’m carrying the name for the Showman community
“I’ve stepped up perfectly every time. Even the fight in Dubai – although it was very controversial – I overcame a situation. He was a good fighter. We didn’t know much about him really except that he was a puncher but that he’d been knocked out before so he was vulnerable. I was gonna box him for the first four or five rounds and let him tire himself out but obviously it all went off quick, I ended up catching him and it was all over.
The stage is once again set for ‘The Showman’ to entertain. Don’t expect Turner to be dancing his way from the dressing room or vaulting over the top rope though. The only fireworks on display will take place inside the ring.
“I think a lot of people don’t really understand the nickname,” he said. “I’m not a flash boy but people probably see the name ‘Showman’ and think I showboat and stuff. It comes from my family being funfair people and they call us Showmen. We run fun fairs. I’m carrying the name for the Showman community.
“I walked the waltzers when I was a kid. I had my own little sweet stall and I’d run the shooter games where they try and shoot things off the shelf. I used to have one of them. My dad’s had a few arcades. We’ve pretty much done it all.
“Some people don’t know what a Showman is. Hopefully in the future they will.”