25-year-old middleweight talent Harry Woods (4-0, 1KOs), trained by Paul Stevenson at the talent-laden Everton Red Triangle Gym, has continued to work and train during lockdown.
“When lockdown first started, I had a week off training,” the unbeaten pro said. “Since then, I’ve just been going on a few runs and got kettle bells at home I use, and I’ve done little bit of shadow boxing in the back yard.”
Although the restrictions in place have been difficult for the former England amateur he admitted, “It has been hard though, I haven’t seen much of my grandad, but I speak to him on the phone, but it’s not the same, is it?”
Luckily, he has the support and continued guidance of his trainer, Paul Stevenson. “Paul has been checking in to see how we all are, gave us a fight to watch this week – Vitali Klitschko vs Lennox Lewis. Paul’s got really good boxing knowledge and tells us what to look for and implement in our fights. So, yeah, I can’t wait to get back in there again!”
Most boxers find training without a fight date to aim towards very difficult, not knowing exactly what intensity to train at, so this current lockdown with no end in sight must be almost impossible for the young prospect.
“I think you just got to try and stay focused,” Woods offered. “Everyone is in the same boat aren’t they, just got to stay ready because anything can happen. It’s just how you deal with it, everyone has been dealt with the same hand, just got to play with the cards you’re dealt, you can’t really get disappointed about it.”
Woods has come through all four assignments successfully in the pro ranks so far, only giving away one round on his pro debut in March 2019 against then unbeaten Spencer Thomas. He has defeated three very experienced opponents in Lewis van Poetsch, the awkward Victor Edagha and 234-fight veteran Kevin McCauley.
“When I turned pro I knew it’s an unpredictable sport and anything can happen,” he continued. “You can’t predict a thing, it’s madness isn’t it, but it just goes to show that you got to be prepared for anything.”
Woods was one of very few fighters that actually managed to get a fight in this year, when he defeated Kevin McCauley on points at the Grand Central Hall on February 28.
“I’m glad I got one in this year, obviously had five dates scheduled for us so the plan has been affected, but I got one in at least, I suppose.”
Everton Red Triangle Gym, in association with Black Flash Promotions, plan their entire year’s boxing events ahead. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic and subsequent ban on all boxing events under the jurisdiction of the BBBofC, May and July’s shows were cancelled. The remaining planned dates are September 5 and November 14, but each of those are unlikely to proceed.
Despite the uncertainty, Woods is carrying on as best he can. “I just want be as busy as possible to get my record up and push towards titles – being active was a big part of that, I just wanna get straight back in there and carry on where I left off.
“I plan to get my record up and get towards titles as soon as Paul [Stevenson] thinks I’m ready. I don’t feel like I’m in a rush because I’m still learning in the gym. I’ve got a long career ahead for me, but as soon as Paul thinks I’m ready for title shots then I’ll happily take them.”
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