By Mark Dormer

“At the moment, I’m young, still learning, still growing and still a prospect in boxing”

Prospect Billy Morgan sits down to talk to and gives an in-depth view about his career so far, what’s next for him and his opinions on all things boxing:

MD: Hi Billy, thanks for talking to today, how are you?

BM: Hi Mark, I'm great thank you, and it’s a pleasure to do this interview today with you.

MD: What was it that inspired you to don the gloves and enter the ring in the first place? Was there a certain person you wanted to emulate?

BM: Before I started Boxing, I had no interest in the sport what so ever. I couldn't even stand Boxing, nor had I even sat and watched a Boxing match. From as young as I can remember till I was ten I was football crazy. Then one day at school, my best mate at the time said to me that he was going to start Boxing as he wanted to lose weight. I went along just to be a friend, and be there for support but it turned out I was really good and I loved it. That was the day it all changed. I fell in love with the sweet science”

MD: Can you tell us a bit about your journey through the amateurs, any particular fights that stick in your memory or certain achievements that you are proud of?

BM: Looking back over my amateur career it all seems like it went so fast. I was always told when I was young to enjoy my youth as much as possible because time goes so fast, looking back now and it feels like it was so long ago. I boxed over 60/70 amateur fights, winning 4national championships and the Four Nations. I boxed for England many times, captaining England Numerous times. A fight that will stick with me throughout my life would be my first national title. It was at Barnsley Metro dome, and was revenge over a rival that had beaten me in a normal bout a few months before. I was written off from the start but improved lots since that defeat and having the chance to avenge that defeat spurred me on even more. The proudest part of my amateur career would have to be being involved in such a special club, The West Ham Boys club. That was like my family growing up, 7 days a week we trained, we were all best mates, travelled the country supporting each other and to be part of the West Ham Boy's role of honour board. Feels such a privilege to have been involved in such a gym that already had so much history in the boxing world.

MD: What would you say, apart from the obvious, are the main differences between fighting in the amateurs and the pro game? Are the skill sets needed the same? Do you need something extra to make it in the pro’s?

BM: For me, the biggest difference is the strength and condition that the pro game needs. I myself am a late developer physically, and physically the strength aspect of professional boxing is a big difference. As an amateur you can pick your punches and move, score the shots and run around the ring if you have a nice lead on the score cards. In the professional side of boxing, you can’t do that. You’re there to fight, not run or nick a fight behind a computer score. And this is where the difference in the strength and conditioning comes in, one punch can change or end the whole fight and make or break a fighters career.

MD: What attributes do you feel a boxer needs to make it to the very top and become World Champion?

BM: I think to be a World Champion, you got to live the life of a professional athlete. So many great fighters have all the technical ability to be a world champion, but choose to live the life of a celebrity and constantly fall at the last hurdle. I believe in hard work, dedication, and heart will always over-come skill in the long run. Look at Ricky Burns, he was never the best prospect when he started out, and through hard work and lots of heart in big fights, his made himself the champion he is today”

MD: You’ve now had seven pro fights, and remain unbeaten. What skills do you have that you believe make you stand out from the rest and how do you utilise them to your advantage throughout training and in the ring?

BM: I think that I have very good movement, a nice jab, can read a fight well and most of all I want to win. I train so hard, I dedicate my life to live, train and fight, and I think that will to win is what will make me a champion. I always say it, no matter how hard people think they train, trust me I train harder. I always push myself further as I think if a boxer is training hard, I’ve got to train harder. No one remembers a loser and that’s what spurs me on.

MD: Is there a fight out there that you really fancy at the minute?

BM: At the moment, I’m young, still learning, still growing and still a prospect in boxing. Until I’ve got a title and I am in a position where there’s big fights and fans want to see them, then I’ll just continue my rise and development and wait for that day to come”

MD: Can you talk us through what a normal day would look like for you whilst in the middle of training camp? Any special routines etc..?

BM: A normal day for me, very tiring let’s just say that! I get up and off to work for 7.30, I would work from 7.30 till 11/12oclock, Id then head to the TKO gym on my lunch hour, where Id train for a 1-2 hours depending on the day Mark Tibbs has planned out for me. I would then head back to work up until 5.30-6.30pm before heading back home to get ready for my evening run. That would be another day in the office for me, unless it’s a week before the fight where I’d take a week off work out of my paid leave, so I can prepare and fully focus on the fight ahead.

MD: How much time do you dedicate to study an opponent, is it even something that you think about, or are you happy to just meet him on the night?

BM: At the moment, as I’m fighting so called journey man, I don't really pay too much attention to who I am fighting and am more than happy to meet them on fight night. However, when I start to get notice of who I am fighting, and fighting for titles etc… I will start paying more attention to detail of the boxers I will be competing against, just so I can pick up their good and bad habits and look to expose them in the ring.

MD: How important is it to you to find a sparring partner that can simulate (to a certain degree) what you can expect to face when fighting your next opponent?

BM: Myself, personally, I prefer a different variety of sparring partners, this will help in long fights as the average fighter will come to the ring with different game plans, if your prepared for only the one type of opponent, and when you meet in the middle of the ring and your opponent catches you by surprise and does something out of the ordinary you need to be prepared for that. You might go in against a puncher and in his last few fights his sat on his opponents chest but against you he tries to out box you before he goes in for the kill, you need to be prepared for that.

MD: What does your diet look like during camp? What kind of foods do you eat?

BM: I like to stay as healthy all year round rather than just for training camps. I’d hate to keep blowing up in weight, or keep losing fitness. I love to train and remain as healthy as I possibly can, so when a fight comes up I can fully train for the fight rather than worry about getting fit and then train for the fight. But going back to foods I basically just eat very clean food. White meat, vegetables, rice, plenty of water. Just the usual healthy lifestyle you would expect an athlete to live by. Although when the week of the fight comes I live on fish as I find its light and helps an awful lot when trying to get down to a specific weight.

MD: Who would you say are your favourite all-time, and current boxers and why?

BM: My favourite all time would be Sugar Ray Robinson. I loved his ring craft, speed and to have that ability to end a fight with one punch. He had it all. His a true great in the sport.

MD: We’ve chatted about the Billy Morgan inside the ring, why don’t you tell us about your life outside of it? Any other interests?

BM: Outside of the ring I’m just your average working guy. I go to work and spend time with loved ones, friends and family. I’m not one to go out partying all weekend, I much prefer going for meals and relaxing, just living as clean a life as I can to help fuel my body for when it’s time to head back into training. The human body is like a car, and a car that isn’t fuelled correctly will go no-where.

MD: How do your family and friends feel about you having a career in Professional boxing?

BM: My Family and Friends are very very supportive about me boxing, they all help keep me level headed. I see how much they want to see me do well, they come to every fight and I just like to work hard to repay their faith they show in me. They are there for me through the thick and thin and it’s great to have such supportive people like that so close to me. They all understand how hard it is being a boxer and they show nothing but support, they could easily become very critical but they don't, they help lift me up when I'm feeling down and that’s great to have that 12th man in your life spurring you on. There is one person that hates the fact I’m a boxer, and that’s my mum which is understandable as to me I’m her son and it must be hard for a parent to have to watch a son or daughter fighting. But she says it’s my choice and she will stand by that no matter what happens.

MD: How does having a career in the pro’s affect your life on the outside of the ring?

BM: To be honest I still feel the same, I would never change who I am because of what I do. I am still the same boy that grew up in Canning Town. Since I have been boxing as a pro more and more of the area I grew up in has become more interested in my boxing which is great for the sport and obviously me. However I still look at myself as a normal working class person, just I have boxing as my hobby.

MD: What’s next for you?

BM: For me, I’m just going to keep training hard, learning in the fights I will be having, and if everything goes according to plan then I'm sure a title fight is just a stone’s throw away, but there’s still a long way to go and a lot to learn, so just to stay active would be great and then just see how this year progresses.

MD: Is there anything that you would like to add to this interview or anything you would like to say to your fans?

BM: Firstly Mark, I would like to thank yourself for spending your time to interview me, I appreciate that, and a massive thank you to all my fans, you have helped me progress this far and hopefully with all your support we can continue to build on the foundations we have so far and who knows what will be will be.

MD: Thanks Billy, we wish you all the luck there is for your career and look forward to seeing you in the ring soon!