British cruiserweight champion Matty Askin, the Blackpool puncher, explains why he is finding his best form aged 29.
The biggest thing was when my little boy, Lincoln, was born in 2014. I’d been with my trainers, Mike and Dave Jennings, for a couple of months when my partner Sammy found out she was pregnant. Now I’ve got something to provide for here, so my dedication has stepped up a level in the sense that I’m in the gym every day, twice a day, dieting properly, things I probably weren’t doing before. The run of form I’ve been on, it just works for me and if somethings working you don’t change it.
Go Your Own Way
We are very fortunate that we’ve got good families on either side that help out massively, but when I’m training and Lincoln’s getting up at 4 or 5am, breaking my sleep before I go to the gym, I was becoming a right mard-arse. It was like, I’d give Lincoln a bag of crisps and think, ‘They look alright to me, I’ll get a bag,’ it was making it a little bit harder. For my last fight, the two-round win over Stephen Simmons, I asked my missus to do it without me Monday-Friday for six weeks. I took my dad’s caravan away with me for six weeks, to the remote Charity Farms near where we train. It showed in the stoppage of Simmons it worked so I’ll do it again, at least till he stops getting up so early! I’d gone away for sparring camps for two weeks before, but never done anything that long; I was getting cabin fever towards the end, but it just worked.
We Are Family
I have a younger brother, who lives in New Zealand – he got me into boxing through him doing kickboxing, he was a double world champion – and an older sister. My mum and dad are still together, we’re very close as a family and our parents helped us pursue our dreams really. They come and support me, when I still lived there they tried to give me advice about which path to choose but not now; they are just supporters. My grandad ‘Tegga’, Terry Halpin, was a boxer in the ‘60s, but my dad’s side all did judo, wrestling, etc. Dad made sure all of us were born in Barnsley before he moved the family to Blackpool.
Don’t Stop Moving
I’ve sparred lots of top fighters, including former world champions Krzsztof Wlodarczyk and Krzsztof Glowacki; it’s just something to do I guess. For me, Wlodarczyk is someone I learned off in how professional he is and their setup. He was coming to the back-end of his career so the spars were favouring me but he was still showing glimpses of what it takes at that level; I’d make a little mistake and he’d capitalise on it. I could talk to him as well, there were little things he helped me with. I just enjoyed being around him. I need to be sparring good people, where you’re thinking, ‘I need to be switched on here.’ You need someone to challenge you physically and mentally.
Someone To Watch Over Me
My trainers, Dave and Michael Jennings, have instilled self-belief and improved me massively as a fighter, but I could definitely use a good promoter. I’m not gonna pull in any big fights on my own, it needs the experience of a promoter who’s been there and done it; and that needs to come with exposure. With a top promoter, me being British champ, I’ve won my defences convincingly, I think we will get a big fight.
Follow “The Assassin” on Twitter @mattyaskin