And the new. Just say it one more time. And the new.
I’m trying to take it all in. There’s a lot going on and everybody wants a piece of me at the moment.
I said 2018 would be my year. On February 14th I didn’t think things could get any better when my two baby girls were born. That changed my outlook on life and becoming a dad has changed me as a person. I haven’t had time to enjoy it yet because of the pressure of the fight but what a night. What a night.
I was saying to my dad in between rounds: ‘Shall I pick this up? Do I need to do more?’ and he was telling me that I was boxing nicely but not to be reckless and stop jumping in. I was and wasn’t surprised by how easily I could catch him. He is a slick boxer but we’ve studied him for so long. I said prior that we’d worked on a game plan. He thought that I was gonna come in in straight lines. There were times when I’d come in on an angle and pop him with a little right hand and he was complaining that I’d hit him on the back of the head but I was hitting him on the side of his head. He was complaining about that from round three. When two fighters are coming in, heads do clash too. I’ve got bumps and bruises from head clashes, he got cut. It’s one of those things. It’s boxing.
One thing I am surprised is that I thought he might have been a bit stronger. I know he doesn’t have many knockouts on his record but I was expecting him to have a little bit more ‘Oomph’ on his punches. He caught with with a clean uppercut and he caught me with a couple of body shots but I’ve got quite a decent chin. Sometimes in sparring I stop punches with my face. He caught me clean and I never felt anything really.
A couple of times I got carried away with myself and during sparring I’d worked on body shots but the body work pretty much went out of the window. It was short right hands over the top. I did what I had to do. It wasn’t the prettiest but I did what I had to do. It’s about winning.
My friends played at Elland Road in a cup final a few weeks ago and I came down and got involved. It was only a small thing but I got the feeling for the vibes and everything else on the night. I was used to it and tonight was nothing new. If I’d got carried away with things I’d have been done after three rounds. It’s all in your mind.
I always pictured myself winning but I had no idea how I’d feel. I could imagine the scene but had no idea how it would actually feel. When I dropped to the canvas, I’d done it hadn’t I? It’s the end of one chapter and the start of another one. I’ve become Steve Wood’s second world champion and I’m chuffed to bits for him too.
My team is an odd bunch but we do the business. My dad has done it every time. He comes up with the game plans and he’s got it right every time.
Say it one more time. And the new!