Interview – Jeff Ofori
By Oliver McManus: Jeff Ofori is a man on a mission – for now it’s merely to get the Southern Area strap around his waist before the end of 2018 but, in time, it will be to get to the top of the super-featherweight division. A highly touted prospect promoted by Mo Prior and British Warriors, the destructive boxer has won all six of his bouts in the first 12 months of pro-life and will next be out on June 30th as he seeks to go one step closer to that Southern Area belt.
Jeff, great to speak to you, you got a good win last week, how do you think the fight went?
Nice to catch up with you Ollie, mate. Yeah another win. I thought him before so I upped the tempo from the off. Caught him with good uppercuts both hands in the later stages but he weathered the storm. Real durable guy. Was a comfortable win and I managed to work on the skills I practiced in training to good effect.
Naheem was a late replacement opponent, does that ever affect how you go about the fight?
I wasn’t affected because my mind is always already made up before I get in the ring matter of fact the venue. That’s win no matter what. The king stays the king.
You’ve fought the guy before, as well, did you notice improvements from yourself the second time out?
Yeah for sure the first time we fought he was a boxer so he made it difficult for me to close him down being the shorter man. This time I stayed on him like clothes, he was definitely uncomfortable. That’s when the head-butting began.
And you’re next in action on June 30th, how many more outings do you want before the end of the year?
For me it’s not about the amount of times I box this year I just want the southern area title and I am going to box as many times as I have to, to win that title.
We’ve spoken about the fact you want the Southern Area title around your waist in 2018, is that still the goal?
Damn right Ollie mate. That’s the target and I’ve got it in sight with a firm grip on the trigger. #KINGTEAM #THEWORLD’SOURS
Would that be at super-feather, then, or would you go back up a weight to challenge for it?
Super featherweight. But I’m heavy though.
You’re working closely with Mo Prior and British Warriors, how important is it to know you’re going to get regular fight dates?
To be honest Mo Prior and British Warriors I have to give a big shout out to. 6 pro fights in my first year thanks to them. I’m a relentless soul so the busier I am the better it is for me. Would also like to give a big shout out to Bevis Allen my coach who believes and gives me the training is need to be perform at this level.
How did that relationship with Mo come about, then?
After 36 amateur bouts with Islington boxing club, 2 years as club captain I had lost the passion plus working night shift then having to travel to far locations to box was taking its toll on me. I had decided to call it a day when my work colleagues suggested I should give the pro ranks a go as my job will always be there but boxing won’t. They introduced me to Mo who also worked nearby and the rest is history.
I believe you work from 7.30 in the morning and then train in the evenings, is it easy to motivate you to train when sometimes you’ve had some rough days?
The motivation to train is no problem as the amount of support and love it receive keeps me focused. However after work sometimes my body does feel rough but I remember what the great Muhammed Ali once said ‘don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion’.
Looking through your career so far, what’s the best performance for you?
I’d say my 4th bout against Jamie Quinn. Was my first 6 rounder and his defence was virtually impenetrable. He definitely had a game plan and turned on the pressure in the 4th round. This fight forced me to think more about my work and be more clever with my attacks. I learned the most from this bout I’d say.
Do you think your amateur experience really helped make the adjustment to professional boxing a lot easier?
Yeah for sure. On the amateur scene especially in tournaments you could fight 3 times in 3 days. So mentally and physically you had to be prepared. You could walk into the gym Monday and be told you have a bout on Thursday, you had to stay ready. It was serious business. So early on in boxing i learned like one of my amateur trainer’s jerry would always say ‘you don’t play boxing’.
Finally then, from me, what sort of a statement can we expect from you on June 30th?
Well June 30th I’m going back to my roots. York Hall. Expect to see more power and more vim.
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