Daily Sport catches up with Light Middleweight boxer Frankie Monkhouse

PZ:       How did you get into boxing?   

 

FM:       I’m from a boxing family. My dad was a good professional and both my granddads boxed also, so from an early age I used to hang around the gym. My dad won the Scottish title as an amateur and had over 150 amateur fights, so growing up in that environment inspired me to want to be involved with the sport. However, my dad tried to put me off and never really wanted me to get into boxing, so it was not until I was about 16 that I started fighting.

 

PZ:       Tell us about your amateur career.

 

FM:       I boxed for Scotland twice. Both times against England. When you get an international call, you would hope it was be to some far flung exotic country, but no, both times were based in Scotland and both against England! However, that aside, it was a good achievement for a Scotsman to beat an Englishman twice.  I was boxing for Greenock Boxing Club run by Danny Lee, which was a good club and had produced some good fighters such as John Simpson who was British Champion. John stayed up there to turn pro, whilst I moved to London as a result of getting a sports scholarship. I started training at the Peacock Gym, had a few fights for them and then struggled to do my university studies and the training and stopped the boxing for a while.  Once I finished my degree I got a job then about a year ago started boxing professionally and am back at the Peacock again.

 

PZ:      You turned pro relatively late. Was this due to studying at university.  

 

FM:       Pretty much. I looked around and saw so many fighters broke without a penny and wanted to have something major to fall back on outside of boxing, especially after retiring from the sport. The intention was to get a job and a trade under my belt and then progress with the boxing when all that was set up.

 

If I have to be honest, I thought I was finished and left it too late, until one day I went to the gym with a friend, did a bit of sparring and caught the bug again and the rest is history.

 

PZ:      What are your boxing ambitions over the next two years?

 

FM:     I’m very level headed and realistic. This is an adventure for me at the moment, and am taking it one fight at a time. I’m loving it and every fight for me is like a Cup Final, and I’m putting my heart and soul into it.

 

I’d like to win a British title but for the moment am taking it fight by fight.

 

 

PZ:     Your opponent has been changed at the last minute. What do you know about your opponent Vasil Vasilev who you fight at Brentwood on the 8th December?

 

FM:       The first two fights I’ve had have been against opponents who were also changed at the last moment, so I’m used to that side of things now. I think it’s pretty standard at this level. The other lad I was supposed to fight up to a few days ago, I’d done a lot of research on, whom I’d been able to speak to his past opponents and find a fair bit out about him. However, this new guy is from Bulgaria and I can’t find out much about him. He’s a pro fighter, so I’m not taking him for granted and will be giving my best performance on the 8th December.

 

PZ:       How’s the training been going for this fight?

 

FM:      Very very good. I have eight weeks training under my belt, and treat each fight as if I were fighting for a title. I’ve been doing some good sparring with Danny Connor and Freddie Turner at the TKO in Canning Town, and have also been getting some sparring at the Scottish gym. I’m fitter than ever before and have been beating all my fitness records in fact. I feel myself getting stronger for every fight.

 

PZ:       Tell us a bit more about the team around you…..

 

FM:       I have Spencer Fearon who manages me and was also a great fighter. I’m a quiet kind of guy whereas he’s a bit livelier! I struggle to promote myself, so having Spencer around is a good mix between us. I have my trainer Ben Doughty who’s bringing me along bundles. He’s got me in great shape, has my confidence at an all time high, and has made me believe in the sport again and got me my two wins so far.

 

PZ:      What have your team being doing to adjust you from the amateurs to the pro game? 

 

FM:       I’m a hard hitter who likes to stand and trade, but Ben has got me moving my head far more and selecting my punches. When he used to fight he was more of a Sugar Ray Leonard type of character, so he’s trying to rub some of that style off on me, and it seems to be working!

 

PZ:      Do you have a day job?

 

FM:       I studied Journalism at Uni and consequently write articles for the Coral Bookmakers website. I have decided to go part time now to dedicate more time to the boxing. Coral have been very understanding and supportive of my decision.

 

Paul Garbett from Coral said: “We’re really proud to be supporting Frank and fancy him to do the business on Saturday night. The smart money is on a victory for the Mad Monk and Coral punters across the country will be celebrating alongside him if he records a third-straight win”.

 

PZ:       Who’s the best light middleweight in the world in your opinion?

 

FM:       I’m probably more in tune with the welterweight division, as although I’ve been classified as a light middle, welter is where I belong. So in that class it would have to be Floyd Mayweather Jr. If he ever meets Manny, he will wipe the floor with him.

 

I also have a big soft spot for Ricky Hatton. He’s been a boxing idol of mine for many years and at welterweight was outstanding. He was one of the only British fighters I would stay up to watch in the early hours. His aggression and body punches were something else, and his following was always immense wherever he went. A legend.

 

PZ:      What would you describe your strengths and weaknesses as a boxer?

 

FM:     My power is my strength and punching power. Head movement is where my opportunities lie to improve.

 

PZ:      Tell us one thing about yourself that not many people know.

 

FM:     I went to a Katy Perry concert last year!

 

PZ:     If you could spar three rounds with any past boxing legend, who would it be?

 

FM:     Ricky Hatton. It would be a dream to share a ring with him. A big reason why I returned to the ring to get into because was the inspiration I picked up from watching Ricky over the years. I still think he has a lot to offer to the sport and if the opportunity came up to spar it would be a dream. Not sure if I would entertain taking any of his body shots, but would certainly take any advice he had to give as he has a great boxing brain.

 

 

 

 

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