BBN spoke with a determined and focused Jerome ‘Stay Ready’ Campbell this week. Between training and selling tickets all over London he took the time to tell us a little bit more about himself,
during our conversation it became apparent Jerome has developed a great approach to the sport, being backed by a good team, coupled with a dynamic fighting style, he is definitely one to watch.
What made you want to start boxing?
“I started boxing when I was 21, so I started late, I just went to the gym with a friend, I had always watched boxing but never took that much of an interest in it.
After I went to the gym once I got a feel for it, everything about it, the environment, the smell of the gym and from there it has catapulted, it became an obsession, it went from a hobby to a lifestyle.
I have always been a natural athlete so any sport I’ve tried I have been good at, I never really loved a sport enough to dedicate myself to it, but boxing has got hold of me.”
Who was your boxing hero growing up and why?
“I wouldn’t say so, I started to really get crazy about boxing when I was about 21 so when you’re that age you don’t really have heroes as such but I suppose I admire people like Mayweather, Roy Jones Jr, those type of styles. I also enjoy watching Terrance Crawford, I appreciate the talent and when you are boxing yourself you see things and you know how difficult it is, so it builds an appreciation of what some professionals do.”
How old were you when you had your first fight and how did you do?
“Ok yeah, so my first fight, I was 21 and I lost my first fight, I didn’t get hit, I just didn’t throw anything! It was quite a frustrating fight for my coach and people that came to watch because, like I say, I had good movement and defence but I didn’t hit my opponent so I’ve come a long way since then.”
How well did you do in the amateurs?
“I had 35 fights, I won the Haringey box cup, I reached the national finals in 2016, I won London titles twice, so yeah, in the last two years I’ve seen my amateur career take off.
I’ve started getting some recognition and social media is having a huge impact which is great.”
What made you decide to turn pro?
“You know what it is, I am a strong believer in timing, and at the age of 26 I wasn’t going to gain much more from the amateurs, as in it might take me away from what I want to do as a pro.
The style in the amateurs is obviously about the work rate and scoring shots, but in the pros your sitting, controlling and thinking, the more time I spent in the amateurs it would have taken me away from my goal of turning pro so it was time to take the step.”
What team do you have around you?
“So, I’ve got guys at the IQ Boxing Gym in Neasden, North West London, my main coach is Xavier Miller, and my promoter is Steve Goodwin. Me and Xavier get along like a house on fire, as much as I like him as a coach, I also do as a person. We have a good understanding and it’s a great relationship.
He had seen me a lot as an amateur so when we started working together he already had a plan, he knew what I needed to work on. He’s a real fan of the science behind boxing, very knowledgeable and when you have someone that is so enthusiastic about the sport in your corner, it’s a refreshing feeling!”
Are you full-time as a pro?
“I have a day time job as well, but I train everyday so hopefully in a year or two I can really just take it on, get hold of some sponsors, and build some real support, I train near enough full time at the moment but the bills have still got to be paid.”
What sort of fighting style do you have?
“So, like I said, as an amateur I was relying a lot on reflex, movement, counter punching, but not as a pro, I’m going to focus on sitting my weight down, catching shots, returning shots and working the body.
I would love to say I can adapt to any shape or style but I have to be realistic, I would say that I’m a thinking fighter, I can work out people’s fight quite quickly so I can entertain different styles.
I’m a thinking fighter with a solid shot, good conditioning, a lot of tools that I can channel into the paid ranks.”
What ambitions do you have for your pro career?
“Without trying to sound arrogant or cocky I feel like I’ve got the makings to go all the way, I feel like I’m destined for great things and it’s a matter of time until everyone else starts to believe it.
In 2018 I’m just looking to get the whole experience, and I think if I could get 4 fights this year I would be happy with that, I’m looking to soak up the experience and fight in front of a big hyped up crowd. I’m also sparring 6-8 rounds at the moment so 4 rounds shouldn’t be too bad.
I want to progress at a rate that suits me, a lot of boxers get rushed into fights with too much pressure, for me, I feel like I should be in control and if I’m ready I will take the opportunity and if I’m not I will wait until I am.”
When is your first fight and who will be there in support?
“Saturday 3rd March, at the York Hall, Bethnel Green, it’s my debut so I have a lot of family and friends coming, also social media is doing amazing things, its reached out to people from all over London and wider areas so I’ve got people coming that I haven’t even met which is great. They want to come and support me, it’s an amazing feeling and I’m going to embrace it.”
Jerome Campbell makes his debut tonight on Goodwin Boxing’s ‘Venom’ show at the infamous York Hall. Featuring on a strong card, Jerome is bout #6 of the evening. 4 x 3 minute rounds in the lightweight division, sharing the ring with Luke Fash.
Keep up to date with Jerome on Instagram @stayready_campbell