This edition of Debutant Watch heads to Northampton to feature Joe Daly. After fighting some of the top amateur boxers in the UK, Joe now feels he has what it takes to transition into the professional side of the sport. Joe, 28, will be fighting under the tutelage of former WBO middleweight champion Chris Pyatt, and will make his debut on Sunday afternoon in Whitwick, nr Coalville in a four round light-middleweight contest against Bheki Moyo.
What made you want to start boxing?
“I used to play football when I was a kid but I just didnt have the temperament for it so I started at the local boxing gym when I was 15. I started at the Kingsthorpe ABC gym in Northampton fighting under coach Arthur Daley. My best mate Jamie Spence was also fighting out of the gym and he encouraged me to getting into boxing.”
Did you have a boxing idol when you were younger?
“At my Nan’s house there is a picture of my Granddad with Jack Dempsey so I have always been interested in him. I love all the old boxers but my favourite has to be Tommy Hearns.”
Did you do much amateur boxing?
“I had my first bout at 19 years old and had 38 in total. I won the midlands title in the Novices. I moved to London to go to university and met up with Mick Delaney from Dale Youth ABC and started fighting out of that gym with the like of George Groves, James DeGale and Steve O’Meara. When I walked through the doors at Dale Youth I was a ten fight novice but training and sparring with those guys brought me on loads.”
How do you know the time is right to turn pro?
“My brother was a professional boxer for a while under Chris Pyatt in Leicester. I got married last year while living in Crawley and my wife passed away shortly after so I moved back to Northampton. Then my brother took me back to Chris who asked me to turn pro under him. I told him I wanted a few months to get my head together then we would go for it.
“In my last year as a pro I fought a lot of the top kids like Felix Cash and held my own so that made me realise I am ready.”
Do you see a difference in the pro and amateur codes?
“I think the amateur sport is too much in and out trying to score points. I prefer the three minute rounds and the longer fights. When you are fighting two minute rounds you can blink and the fight will be over. People have always told me my style is more suited to the professional game.”
Do you work full-time alongside boxing?
“I am a scaffolder during the day. I finish at four or five o’clock every day and go straight to the gym after work.”
What sort of fighting style do you have?
“My trainer always tells me I am a box -fighter. I like to box, I wont stand there and get my head knocked off but if I need to fight I will.”
What ambitions/expectations do you have for your pro career?
“The board asked me that question when I applied for my licence. I have fought guys like Erick Ochieng and Kevin Hooper who are both fighting for domestic honours, so that is my aim. I want a shot at a British title.”