Earlier this week, I spoke to undefeated WBO European champion Darren Tetley (16-0, 7 KO’s) about his forthcoming fight at the Hilton Hotel in Bradford on July 21st, his first professional fight in his hometown.
You can read my 350-word piece for the Bradford Telegraph and Argus here: http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/sport/16306786.tetley-buzzing-for-first-pro-fight-in-bradford/
But, considering they only wanted 350 words, I thought I’d put the rest of the interview online.
Here, Darren sets the record straight on the Mason Cartwright rematch situation, talks sparring Jack Catterall and discusses the prospects of gym mate Dave Allen who fights Tony Yoka in Paris this weekend.
How many rounds would like the fight to be on July 21st?
“I’ve no idea how rounds the fight will be, but I would have thought it would be a six or eight-rounder.”
“This fight will keep me busy and keep me in the gym, because I find it hard to be in the gym if I don’t have a confirmed fight coming up, like any boxer really. I need to stay in the gym and I thought that this fight would keep me in the gym and keep me sharp.
“For the last few years, I’ve not been busy enough and I want to sort that out this year.”
Are you headlining the show?
“I’m not sure who is headlining the show but I hope I am! It’s my first professional fight in Bradford and I’m WBO European champion and, if it is an eight-rounder, then I’m not sure anyone else will be doing as many rounds as that.”
“I’m not too sure to be honest but it’s not really something that I’ve thought about too much.”
“It’s a bit of a ‘welcome home’ type fight. Obviously, not to the scale of Mick Conlan in Dublin! But, it’s in Bradford, where I’ve not boxed before, I’m coming off a win for the WBO European title and what better time to do it then now.”
You were scheduled to box in Barnsley in March, which didn’t happen. Were you keen to avoid a repeat with the inactivity?
“With the Barnsley show, I already knew that I had a title fight (in May) and I didn’t want to risk that.”
“Mason Cartwright did an interview at the weigh in before our fight and the interviewer said ‘Do you think that the inactivity will affect Darren?’ and, being out for six months, maybe it did affect me in the early rounds of the Cartwright fight.
“I don’t want to have that problem again. I’d rather fight in July and then again in either September or October. I want to keep busy, keep in shape and, most importantly, keep sharp.”
What have you been up to since the Cartwright fight?
“I’ve sparred Jack Catterall (undefeated former British 140lbs champion) a few times and have done a good few rounds with him. I’ve been back in the gym and originally, I was just ticking over but now I’m going to up the tempo of the training and get myself in shape for July 21st.”
How did the sparring with Catterall go?
“The spars with Jack were brilliant and he’s a world-class fighter in my eyes. He’s far better than he comes across on TV and his intelligence with his jab is something else.”
There’s been a lot of talk about the Cartwright rematch. What’s the situation with that from your perspective?
“At the end of the day, people are always going to ask questions about it and that’s fine.”
“I saw an interview with Mason the other day and he said that he’s got a month until he even starts sparring again. If you give it another month after that, then we’re into September already.”
“Then by the time he’s finished his training and he’s fight-ready then it’s going to be November. Like I said to Mason on Twitter, ‘got yourself healed up and once you are then talk to me about making it happen’. Until then, I’m not going to give it much thought.”
“I’ve got a fight on July 21st to come through first and then maybe a big fight in September, which I don’t think Mason will be ready for.
“I’m going to see what offers I get, hopefully have a big fight in September and win that. Then we can discuss with Mason what happens from there. I’m a fighter and I will fight anyone. I fought him the first time and I’ll fight him again.”
Is the Cartwright rematch something that you’re actively pursing?
“For me, it’s the same situation as it has been for the whole of my professional career, I will fight anyone. Whoever I get told that I’m fighting then that’s who I am fighting, I won’t chase any fights.”
“I’ve got to make the right move for my family and if that’s the best move for them, then the rematch will happen. If I get offered a bigger fight, then that will happen.”
There’s been speculation that Josh Warrington may fight in Leeds in September. Have you heard anything about that as a potential fight date after July 21st?
“I think there’s a possibility that Josh will fight in September. I can’t imagine that he’ll want to be out the ring for too long.”
“Carl Frampton’s fighting in August, so it’s not going to be Warrington-Frampton (in September). By the time Frampton’s ready again, it’ll be November, December and I can’t imagine that Josh will want to wait that long. I’m hoping that there’s a big show that I can be on in September.”
Moving away from yourself, your gym mate Dave Allen fights Tony Yoka this weekend in Paris. How’s Dave looked in the gym ahead of this fight?
“A lot of boxers talk about fighting on short notice but Dave likes that. From speaking to him, he’s confident that the later the fight goes, the better chance he’s got.
“Obviously, Tony Yoka is a world champion and Olympic gold medalist, but professional and amateur boxing are completely different. Tom Stalker was a Team GB captain but a lot of people say that he wasn’t that great as a professional.
“Mentally, Dave seems in a very good place and I really hope that he goes out there and pulls it off.”
Just finally Darren, how can fans get tickets for July 21st?
“I’m hoping to have tickets on Monday. They can ring me at 07564 210960 or message me either on Twitter (@daztetleyboxing) or on Facebook (Darren Tetley Boxer).