DAILY SPORT catches up with a very promising rising welterweight boxing talent, and complete gentleman - Freddie ‘Luke’ Turner
PZ: You are currently 6 and 0 in your pro career, and have not lost a single round in all your fights. Is this down to luck, or hunger to succeed?
FLT: More the hunger. I always prepare really hard for my fights and never cut corners, as Jimmy and Mark (Tibbs) will tell you. I trained hard for all 6 fights and although I had good opposition I felt comfortable with every single one and feel the need to move on to something more testing.
PZ: You boxed on the undercard when Kevin Mitchell fought Katsidis at
West Ham. This was a big night for British boxing. Will you be fighting on the
undercard on the 14th July? Surely this is a natural progression for you and
Team Tibbs to step up and challenge a tougher opponent to make a dent in
your perfect record?
FLT: If I could be on the show, yes, I’d jump at the chance under normal circumstances. As it stands with all the drama around it, it’s not worth me upsetting the BBBC as I want to move on with my boxing in this country and win a British title. So for one show I will sit this one out, so as not to get caught up in the mess.
PZ: Are you ready for some tougher opposition? If you could choose any welterweight in the UK to call out, who would it be?
FLT: I’d go right to the top and go for Junior Witter. I don’t think I’m ready for him straight away, but I’m not a million miles away. I feel confident in my ability. I’m sparring with the right guys. I spar with Colin (Lynes) regularly and feel that level is round the corner. In the short term though, I feel confident enough to fight British Champion Lee Purdy tomorrow.
PZ: What’s your short term ambition? Are there any titles out there you have your eyes on within the next 12 months?
FLT: I’d like to go the traditional route. Southern Area, English then British.
PZ: You have some great fighters who train in the same gym (TKO). Name a fighter you look up to in your gym and why?
FLT: As an inspirational character, it would have to be Colin Lynes. The guy is unreal. Every aspect of his life is dedicated to boxing – the way he lives, the way he trains. Everything is done down to perfection.
PZ: Your work keeps you very fit. Tell us a little bit more about this…
FLT: I’m a utilities engineer within civil construction. I’m involved with helping to install everything that goes into the ground including water mains, gas mains and communications ducts. Between that and repairing and maintain these I keep pretty fit. I’m usually at work around 7am and you get cracking straight away. It’s a real manual and physical job, and my bosses drive me hard and make sure we all work all day! Keeps me fit. The other thing is you have to work in any weather, and you need to be mentally strong to cope with that, which also makes you that little bit tougher.
PZ: Mark Tibbs tells me you are already a very promising talent. What is it like to train with ‘Team Tibbs’ knowing the level of fighters they train and have trained in the past?
FLT: When you look at the history of fighters Jimmy and Mark have trained; to be named as part of that team and stable is an amazing achievement for me. Jimmy has trained some all time British greats and his training techniques and work ethics are brilliant. Mark is very similar to Jimmy with his level of effort, style of training and way of life. They are both great men in this sport and they deserve a lot more praise than what they currently get.
PZ: If I was to ask Mark or Jimmy (Tibbs) to name two things you need to work on – what would they be?
FLT: The main ones would be relaxation and control. I’m a very good counter puncher, similar to Billy Joe (Saunders), but I do like to get involved in a tear up from time to time. I don’t lose my rag, but I do get a little over eager sometimes and get in a brawl. Jimmy will then remind me that I can box really well and don’t need to get in a brawl and get messy. Mark will remind me of exactly the same.
PZ: If Pacquiao and Mayweather ever fight how do you see the fight going?
FLT: I see Mayweather winning as a clear winner. Over the last 3 – 4 years Floyd seems to have pulled away from Manny in terms of performance, whereas Manny seems to have shown a few signs of weakness. Either way it’s a great fight which the public really need to see, but I personally think will never happen.
PZ: Your toughest fight so far in the pros?
FLT: A guy called Kevin McCauley. He’s a higher end of journeyman and he really came to win against me. He came off the back off a good win and straight away I knew it was going to be a tough fight. I picked up a nasty cut in the third round, and although I felt I could have put him away, Mark and Jimmy gave me good advice and told me to keep my face out of his way and just box. If I hadn’t of done this, the cut could have easily opened and spread further which has implications not just for that fight but for all future fights.
PZ: You had an extensive amateur career. Any aspect of your game you’ve had to change since turning pro?
FLT: I’ve always had fast hands, and this worked well for me as an amateur. As a pro, I am now spending more time slowing my pace down and placing my shots with more power. I used to train with Jimmy and Mark when I was an amateur which made the change to pro far easier, because they were able to make small changes because they knew my game so well.
PZ: For the kids out there reading this article, explain the benefits of taking up boxing.
FLT: I believe boxing should be back in schools. I personally had too much aggression and energy as a kid, and there are not many activities out there to burn up that extra energy and get that discipline. Boxing was an amazing outlet for me and gave me self control, kept me fit and educated me on health. There’s a great social side to boxing also. You don’t need to take up boxing to be a world champion or to be a great amateur. By being part of a training group, you will meet some great people. If I was to stop boxing tomorrow I would be very happy just with the fact that I’ve met some amazing people along the way.
PZ: Your biggest hate about professional boxers when they get to the top?
FLT: Many boxers when they get to the top become less humble. They also forget about the fact that they are a bad role model and sending out the wrong message to the kids out there looking to become boxers themselves. Don’t get me wrong, most of it is for show, but when you have kids idolising you, you shouldn’t be too flashy and flaunting money. As a true professional you should be showing the next generation how hard it is to get to the top and what you need to do along the way. Most pros don’t start off that way, they tend to lose their way when the big money comes in.
Colin Lynes is a great example to everybody out there. He has achieved so much in his career and if you were to stop him on the street, and not know he was a successful boxer, you would just think he’s a very humble lovely guy. Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe are also great examples of how to be humble and conduct yourself as a boxer.
PZ: Tell the readers one thing about yourself that not many people know….
FLT: I’m learning to play the piano.