PZ: Congratulations on your recent win last month. You haven’t dropped a round in your three pro fights to date and manage to score a knockout against Matt Seawright back in February. Are you ready for some tougher opponents or are you still looking to gain some more ring experience before you step up?
GC: I want to step up to some tougher competition. I want people to be throwing more shots and harder shots at me so I can be tested. Also – if my opponents throw more shots, they will walk into me and that means they will have to take my shots, which is much better for me! I also want to step up to six rounds for my next fight to move up a level.
PZ: You had a very successful career in the amateurs. Tell us about the achievements you gained as an amateur.
GC: I won the Haringey Cup Twice, I won two Golden Gloves and in two ABA’s I reached the final and semi finals.
PZ: Who do you think are England’s best prospects for gold at the Olympics within boxing?
GC: I would probably say (Anthony) Joshua and Luke Campbell will get gold.
PZ: I believe you come from a boxing family. Tell us a bit about your brothers.
GC: When I was about nine I started to follow my brothers to the boxing gym. There are nine of us (brothers), and I remember seeing my older brothers winning competition after competition. Before I knew it the younger brothers started doing the same! One of my brothers got to the ABA’s last year and he’s only 19. He’s not too bad at all. You might see him at the next Olympics as he’s still young.
PZ: I interviewed future world champion and your stablemate Billy Joe Saunders recently, and between himself, Tyson Fury and yourself, it seems that there are some outstanding fighters from the travelling communities. Do you have any explanation as to why travelling communities seem to produce such great boxers?
GC: I don’t really have an answer to be honest. It comes down to how you are brought up. Some travellers like to drink, and some travellers love to train hard. As with everybody in life (travellers or not), it’s how you are guided in life that makes you who you are.
PZ: You are trained by Team Tibbs. Did they choose you or did you choose them to train you?
GC: I wanted them to train me. I wanted Mark especially. I heard they were good, and so I decided to find out where they were, came down to their gym, and that was it. I started training with Mark and I’ve never looked back. A simply brilliant trainer.
PZ: What aspects of your boxing are they (Team Tibbs) currently trying to improve on?
GC: Letting my shots go neatly. Whether it be head or body shots, they are trying to keep them clean and strong, and trying to get my head moving more. They are also working on me being far more relaxed in the ring and more fluid.
PZ: Name one boxer in the TKO gym who really inspires you?
GC: Kevin Mitchell. He loves boxing, he wants to go all the way to the top and become a world champion, which is what I want to do.
PZ: Toughest person to spar with in the TKO gym?
GC: Billy Joe (Saunders). He’s a middleweight and I’m a light welter. I never step back with anybody, but with him I needed to step back because he’s way heavier, and he keeps coming at you with all kinds of shots and all kinds of angles. If you don’t keep moving you get hit, and trust me Billy Joe hits hard!
PZ: How do you think Kevin Mitchell will do against Ricky Burns?
GC: I think he’s the type of fighter who has the style and technique to beat Burns.
PZ: I believe we share an all time favourite fight – Barrera v Morales 1. If you could spar with either one of them during their heyday, who would you choose?
GC: Barrera. Simply a great fighter.
PZ: You have an outstanding body punch. Some are comparing it to Ricky Hatton’s. Are we going to expect more knockouts into the future or are you working on your overall boxing skills?
GC: I’m working on my overall boxing skills, but if the stoppage comes along the way, then so be it! If I land a punch correctly, any punch, it will stop my opponent. I’m working on combinations of body, head, body, head, more jabs and side to side movement. Even though I see myself stopping more people into the future I still need to work on my boxing skills.
PZ: Ambitions for the future. How long before you go for your first title?
GC: I really don’t know yet. It will depend on how many fights I can get. Hopefully I will have another fight in September and then by the time I get to about 10 fights I will be ready for a Sothern Area or English title. That’s the plan!
PZ: Take us through a typical training camp before a fight.
GC: Lot of shadow boxing, working on technique, pad work, ground work and bag work. Loads of skipping, running and sprints to keep the stamina up and of course sparring. I will get into heavy training about 10 – 12 weeks before. For my next fight I will be doing a lot of sparring with Kevin Mitchell and Colin Lynes. They tend to be the ones I spar with most of the time.
PZ: So you like to spar with guys who have little experience then? (PZ joking).
GC: (Gary laughs). That’s right!
PZ: Tell the readers one thing about yourself that not many people know….
GC: I’m a Newcastle United FC supporter.