By Sylvana Ambrosanio caught up with 20 year old rising star Tony "the snake" Pace to find out what makes him tick and what he believes he can achieve in the big world of professional boxing!

“I get up and I’m a boxer and go to sleep a boxer, it is my life” - Tony Pace

SA: Hey Tony, thanks for talking to today, what are you up to these days?

TP: Hi Sylvana, I’m just training hard and keeping fit as I always do ready for any fights that may come my way.

SA: How about you start by introducing yourself to our readers and telling us a little about yourself, both in and out of the ring?

TP: I’m Tony “the snake” Pace current lightweight British Masters Champ, I live and breathe boxing 24/7, I always train like I have a fight coming, that way I’m always ready for the next test, I have a good bunch of mates who I chill with and relax on the hours I have away from the gym by going to movies and rugby or football matches, I also like to watch the amateur fights and support them anyway I can, but I don’t drink alcohol or go to night clubs I keep a clean body, clean mind and always stay focussed or you lose in this game.

SA: What about your favourite food, music, movies, just all about you that people should know?

TP: My food favourites are everything healthy, if my body isn’t in tip top condition I feel I’ve let myself down but I do have the odd Indian meal on my rare days off (laughs) I’m a massive bob Marley fan, I can always relax and unwind after a hard session to his music. I like a variety of films but comedies are my favourite, laughter is a great tonic.

SA: What is the story behind your nickname “The Snake”?

TP: It came from my amateur days where people would say I was a slippery, sharp boxer in the ring and packed a punch so it stuck and I agreed with it.

SA: When will we see you back in action?

TP: Well I won my masters in December 2012 at 19yrs old and fought in February and I’ve just turned 20 so I decided to up my game and step up my fitness to the next level, so I’m waiting until I feel stronger/faster/sharper (which is coming nicely and won’t be long) then I’ll soon let all boxingheads know what’s next for The Snake.

SA: Tell us a bit about your training – what do you do, what is your favourite part and why?

TP: I go for a run early in the morning before everyone else even thinks of getting out of bed and when no one’s around  so  I can concentrate, I do some hill work and about a 6 mile run then get home and have a snack and chill before going into the gym to do some cardio/strength training. In the evening I go to my gym and as many others to get some sparring in or pad work etc  it’s the best part of my regime as it really makes me feel like I’ve put in a good session when I’m done, I’m only happy when I know I’ve given it my all and pushed myself to my limits.

I train at Gelligaer ABC with Dai Gardiner who trained  the awesome  Johnny Owen “MATCHSTICK MAN”, he also trained Former WBO FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD and European Champion Stephen Robinson, and many more so  were all cut from the same cloth WELSH WARROIOR’S,  I couldn’t get a more experienced guy in my corner.

SA: Who or what inspired you to don the gloves and enter the ring in the first place?

TP: I’ve always loved the sport from watching on TV as a kid, I mentioned to my dad that I wanted to box when I was 10 I then started at Gilfach Goch Gym with ken McCann. My dad Darren is behind me all the way and as a team we never look back, always moving forward, he’s my greatest motivator.

SA: You seem to have been matched very hard in your first few fights as a pro. Has this been a deliberate decision?

TP: Everyone who knows me knows early in my career I would take on any fighter, I don’t get nervous, never have done and don’t worry about a 0 record, I wanted to be known for this and get my name out there, if I know I have a great fighter as an opponent I up my game and always go in it to win it, the fights were close but always away so the home boxer got the decision that’s part of the game but that has just spurred me on to keep digging deep and making fights go my way which they now have, my British Masters Title win was the best fight and round in Wales and was 2nd best fight in Britain 2012 voted by boxing fans in the largest boxing magazine Boxing News, so not bad I don’t think for a then 19 yr old.

SA: You fought on the undercard of Tony Bellew vs. Nathan Cleverly at the Echo Arena, Liverpool. This must have been a great experience, can you tell us about it?

TP: It was a great experience from the weigh in the day before to the packed arena on the night of the fight, it gave me a wealth of experience of what it takes to get to that level, having the Welsh fans there for Nathan and TeamPace was a taste of bigger and better things to come, I know Nathan from sparring at his dad Vincent Cleverly’s gym and seeing what he’s achieved and work that’s put in to make it I take it all on board and put it into my own training regime, can’t wait to headline my own big arena fight nights and hope I can inspire others like all Welsh Warriors have for me,

SA: In your opinion, what attributes do you think a boxer needs to make it to the top of the pro game?

TP: You  need to be 100 percent dedicated to this game, eat/breath/sleep it and achieve your goals you set yourself without slacking, never take the easy road, I drive myself everyday to make myself better than the day before, you have to love it or go home.

SA: How does boxing affect your life?

TP: I get up and I’m a boxer and go to sleep a boxer, it is my life.

SA: Out of all the current boxers, who would you most liken your style to?

TP: I have my very own style I’m lucky enough to have natural talent but work hard at making myself a better more educated boxer every day.

SA: Who are your favourite current and all-time boxers and why?

TP: Miguel Cotto. Do I need to say more, come forward fighter with that puerto rican style, love it.

SA: When you look at the current state of boxing – what are your thoughts on it?

TP: Well I think there’s alot of this 0 record going on and some fighter not actually fighting good boxers and putting on a great show because of this, as I’ve said I’ll fight anyone that’s put in front of me, British boxing is at the top at the moment and looks good for the future which I intend to be part of.

SA: What is it that you would like to achieve in the Pro game that would make you consider your career a success?

TP: World Champion, nothing else matters in this game, it’s always been my ambition since day one otherwise I wouldn’t of started, I aim high but I know I will succeed. Tony “the snake” Pace is a name I want all fans to know, I give my all in my fights, 110 percent and get spurned on by all my fans I’ll do this for them as much as for me.

SA: You’re very young. Do you still go to school or do you do boxing fulltime?

TP: Since winning my .asters title I box full time and take on work when I can. It’s the only way I can keep my level of training up..fulltime and on my a game.

SA: What is next for Tony Pace in 2013, and what would you like to have achieved by the year end?

TP: I’m travelling the UK getting in all the experience I can with some of the top boys in this game, I plan to take a few fights this year then defend my masters at the end of 2013

SA: Is there anything else that you would like to add to the interview or would like to say to your fans?

TP: Thanks for interviewing me, I really appreciate the support and from a well respected lady of the boxing world. TeamPace fans are some of the best in Wales/Britain, the support I have at fights really makes this journey I’m on an awesome one. I have a great team around me with one ambition taking The Snake all the way to the top… See you there very soon!  Feel Free to follow me on twitter @tonytobysuz   and visit me at I would also like to thank all the sponsors. For any public relations you can contact @Rachelm3dutty.