Heavyweight fighters always grab the attention of boxing fans and this weekend we see a new addition to the domestic scene. Vauxhall’s AJ Carter makes his professional bow in Brentwood in a four round contest against Janis Ginters.
Carter has been in and around boxing all has life as his dad was a professional boxer during the 1980’s. AJ is turning pro under the tutelage of manager Derek Williams who of course is a former Commonwealth and European Heavyweight champion.
What made you want to start boxing?
“I was getting into trouble and fighting a lot when I was younger. My friends used to tell me to take up boxing because my dad was a boxer. My dad did try and force the boxing on me and that sort of pushed me away from the sport at first. Then I thought to myself in this world it's not about what you know, it's about who you know. So I thought as I was good at fighting, I liked fighting and the connections I have in the sport I would give it a go. It's better to do a job you enjoy than a job you don’t like.”
Did you have a boxing idol when you were younger?
“My hero growing up was Mike Tyson, even if you weren’t a boxing fan you knew exactly who Mike Tyson was. He was always in the papers and on the TV. I remember when he came to Brixton and he shut the place down as he was so popular and everyone wanted to go to see him.”
Did you do much amateur boxing?
“I never had that much of an amateur career. I probably spent around 1 ½ years in the amateurs and had five fights.”
How do you know the time is right to turn pro?
“Derek Williams thought the best thing for me to do would be to turn pro. Even though they say heavyweights don’t mature until their early 30’s we thought the earlier I turn pro the better. I want to gain experience up to the age of 29 or 30 and then start to take part in the big fights.”
Do you see a difference in the pro and amateur codes?
“Because my dad coaches me I think I have always trained like a professional anyway. So there wont be much difference for me now. In the amateurs you can get away with slap punches but in the pros you punch to hurt people. When you watch both codes on TV you can really see the difference.”
Do you work full-time alongside boxing?
“I train six days a week and four of those days I train twice a day. On a Monday and Friday I work on the doors at night to maintain some money.”
What sort of fighting style do you have?
“Some people compare me to Mike Tyson’s style in the way that I throw my punches. I study a lot of the great fighters like Joe Louis and Marvin Hagler. But to be a great fighter you must have your own style and not copy anyone else’s. “
What ambitions/expectations do you have for your pro career?
“I don’t think there’s any point in getting involved in boxing if your not looking to reach the top. My goal is to try and become a world champion, I don’t want to set my sights any lower than that. I don’t want to limit my goals so I look to the very top.”