19-year-old Brooklyn Tilley, from Rainham, Kent, spoke to BBN ahead of his September 14 debut.
The 5ft 9” super-lightweight, Brooklyn O’Connor Tilley, named after his Irish great grandad Bill, told BBN all about the road toward his pro bow on the same day in history that Jack Dempsey KO’d Luis Firpo in two rounds to win the world heavyweight title, 96 years prior.
What made you want to start boxing?
“I think I was about 15 when I first started at MMA. I started training at Combat Sports Academy in Strood with Lee Page. There was literally no reason for it, I don’t really know why I started, I just wanted to do something for fitness.
I got quite good at the MMA and was sparring all the pro boxers so my trainer Lee said why don’t I try boxing, so I tried it and went into the amateurs with Snodland ABC.
I also competed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and won gold at the NAGA in Germany. I also became English champion at 64kg when I won gold in the English Open in Dartford.”
Who was your boxing hero growing up and why?
“Probably Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders.”
How old were you when you had your first fight and how did you do?
“I had my first boxing fight when I was 16 for Snodland ABC. I lost on a split decision over three rounds; it was local to me in Strood and it was just a skills bout.”
How well did you do in the amateurs?
“I had over half-a-dozen amateur boxing fights, two MMA bouts, and well over 50 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fights.”
What made you decide to turn pro?
“My trainer Lee Page was pushing me to turn over, so after I had bit of time out after the amateurs, I came back and just felt ready for it.”
What team do you have around you?
“Lee Page is my trainer; Joe Elfidh my manager; Tony Withams my pad man; Chris Lamongtagne does pad work and fitness with me.
I spar with Lenny Fuller, who’s about to go into Ultimate Boxxer; Luke Gibb; Martin Hillman; Zeki Hussein; Jimmy Peckham; and Jordan Smith.”
Are you full-time as a pro?
“I have to work, but I got two weeks off before my debut fight to train three times a day.
I do flooring with my dad, there’s lots of family and friends in the firm, so they’re flexible for me to fit in my boxing. We’ve just got our busy period out the way during the summer holidays with all the schools needing flooring work, there was so much work, but I’m free to focus on my boxing until my fight now.”
What sort of fighting style do you have?
“I’m quite patient, I prefer to sit back and let them do the hard work, and I don’t mind having a fight if they want it. I’m quite fit so I’ve got a good work rate.”
What ambitions do you have for your pro career?
“I signed a three-year contract with Joe [Elfidh], I’d like to have a Southern Area title by the end of that. I would like to get to Archie Sharp’s level and fight for European honours.”
When is your first fight and who will be there in support?
“September 14 at Mote Park in Maidstone, sold a few tickets but still got some to go. All my close mates and family will be there supporting me.”
For tickets to the debut fight please call: 07904 578 848
To follow Brooklyn on Twitter, click here @BrooklynTilley1