Debutants reflect on their debuts as they begin training camp for second professional fight
It was back in September 2019 when 19-year-old Brooklyn Tilley (1-0) and 23-year-old Jimmy Peckham (1-0), now 24, both made their professional debuts at Mote Park in Maidstone on a Boxing Connected Promotions event.
Both boxers from Kent, managed by Joe Elfidh, did themselves proud with points victories over four-rounds. Rainham’s Tilley defeated Carl ‘Tiger’ Turney (0-6) 40-38 and Maidstone’s Peckham prevailed at 40-37 against Langold’s Luke Middleton (2-5).
Tilley, a former English champion in Brazilian Ju Jitsu, trains with Lee Page at Evolution Gym with teammate Lenny Fuller, who was an Ultimate Boxxer finalist last year.
He revealed what key things he learnt from his professional boxing debut, “It’s a lot different to amateur boxing because it’s only two minute rounds, so that’s a key difference, the longer rounds, but I prepared well for it, I had a six-week fight camp. I quit work to train full time in the weeks leading up to my debut, so I trained three times per day. I went for a run in the morning, gym at lunchtime, then trained at the gym with Pagey [trainer Lee Page] in the evenings.”
Teammate Jimmy Peckham was quick to highlight the exact same thing, as he refreshingly acknowledged, “Definitely had to be fitter for those longer rounds, that was one of the main things.
“To tell the truth, I had bad camp and I definitely needed to be a lot fitter. I needed the next level up from the unlicensed and amateurs. Unlicensed was four two-minute rounds, so I never actually done a three-minute round before and that’s where I needed it more. The whole side was fitness for me, my boxing was ok.”
The extended duration of rounds from amateur to professional is quite a notable change to adapt to, but there’s also a higher level of focus and intensity to prepare for too, Tilley revealed, “My trainer Lee’s on me now all the time now. Everything’s more intense, your trainers are on you so much more, and that’s outside of the gym as well; they’re checking on your weight and what you’re eating and keeping you in check all the time.
“It’s the same inside the gym too. The intensity is much higher than before. They’re pressuring you to do well, to push yourself, that sort of thing.”
Peckham claims to have already learnt from his mistakes and made the necessary tweaks in his second training camp, which has already started.
He said, “Not a lot is really gonna’ be changing, just more running and more fitness to get the wind in so that I’m not gassing. I’ll be boxing lighter in my next fight.”
Another big learning curve for many debutants turning over is the business side of the sport, where you have to sell a large quantity of tickets, but for Brooklyn, this wasn’t a problem, thankfully.
He explained further, “I done about 70 tickets but I thought I weren’t gonna’ do that many so it wasn’t stressful because I did better than I expected.”
There was one other big learning curve for the fledgling pro however, which he revealed was making weight.
“I left my diet quite late and had to cut a lot shortly before my fight,” he said. “I was 69kg three weeks before and had to cut down to 65kg. I was still alright in training, it didn’t affect me in any way, but I had to cut a lot of foods out and it’s a stress I didn’t really need. I’m better at that part already, just started my second training camp for February 29 and I’m gonna’ be 63kg for this one.”
Brook then clarified that he didn’t struggle with nerves during his pro bow, which clearly showed throughout his calm, composed performance; instead it was excitement that he felt, “Adrenalin rush was quite mad for my pro debut!”
Draped in an oversized poncho with the Mexican colours, Peckham is a colourful character with plenty of confidence, however, the dreaded nerves did get to him, he readily admitted, “I was nervous on my debut, yeah. You can control the nerves but can’t get over them, especially when there’s a crowd there coming to watch.”
Both boxers are now a few days into their second training camp as professionals and looking forward to the next show on February 29 at Mote Park, Maidstone, titled ‘Back with a Bang’.
The stacked card full of local talent from the county of Kent features Ultimate Boxxer finalists Lenny Fuller (9-1) and Grant Dennis (10-2) as they each look to build on their success during 2020.
Both Brooklyn Tilley and Jimmy Peckham will be looking to double their win tallies with everything they’ve learnt from their first fight pushing them onwards.
Peckham said, “February 29 ‘El Chapo’ is back with a bang! They call me ‘El Chapo’ because I’m short, fat and dangerous!”
Tilley concluded, “I’m getting better in the gym and can’t wait to showcase that on February 29.”
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