Get to Know...Paul Hilz

Published On Wednesday, March 2, 2016By Tim Rickson
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Get to Know... International Challenge belt champion Paul Hilz

This latest edition in the 'Get to Know...' series features 40 quick-fire questions aimed at International Challenge belt champion Paul Hilz.


Name: Paul Hilz

Record: (3-2)

Weight: Super-middleweight

Born: Rochford, Essex

Residence: Basildon, Essex

DOB: 21/05/1981

Nickname? “‘Relentless’ because I don’t stop, and my teammates call me ‘The Dog’ as well because I’ve got some fight in me.”

Favourite current boxer? “Terence Crawford, I’ve been singing his praises for ages, I think he’s class.” 

Favourite all-time boxer? “Rocky Marciano, someone who’s a bit gritty because I like the throwback boxers, I haven’t got a lot of knowledge in the boxing game because I came into it so late. Jack Dempsey is another one – legend.”

Favourite fight? “Probably Hagler v Hearns, that’s the one that sticks in my mind the most.”

Boxing clubs? “Only ever been one when I was eight-years-old Boston ABC in Lincolnshire. I got punched in the nose and it bleed and never went back until I was 28 when I went to Southend Boxing Club. Also Eurofitness in Basildon, although that wasn’t really a boxing gym, I just met my trainer there, and then Fight Farm, which is where I am now.”

Amateur honours? “I won the British cruiserweight belt and fought a top fella from Malta for the European cruiserweight title and won, and was unbeaten for three years and about 16 fights.”

Biggest achievement in boxing? “Winning the International Challenge belt. Also, to have fought for the British challenge title over eight rounds after experiencing just three pro fights. Turning pro was an achievement in itself as I was only meant to have one unlicensed fight and here I am!”

Toughest ever opponent? “My toughest ever opponent wouldn’t be on a fight night because we train harder than we fight. When I first sparred John Ryder, he schooled me, he’s a southpaw and very skilful. I ended up doing an 11-rounder with Ben Hall – the current Southern Area super-welterweight champion – and although I wouldn’t say it was the toughest one ever but it was very physical. He’s a very clean puncher with a high work-rate so for those rounds, I really had to dig deep and find what’s in me. I also sparred Terry Dunstan once - the former English, British and European champion. He hit me with an uppercut and made me feel like water was coming out of my ears!”

Goals in boxing? “If a Prizefighter came up then I’d love to do that. As a 35-year-old man, I couldn’t say too much but the biggest goal would be fighting for a title, which I did in December.”

Retirement age? “Just as long as I know that I’m still mixing it well. If you go out there and they stop asking you back, then you know you’re not at the level anymore. Honestly, it could be tomorrow or it could be when I’m 45 but I couldn’t see myself boxing for much longer than two years. I accept that I got into the game late and won’t be in it for loads more years to come.” 

Team? “My main coach is Kevin Lilley, he’s trained me now for a good few years from the unlicensed to the pros and introduced me to Carl Greaves - my manager. I train with Joe Jackson Brown and Mickey Steeds. Darcy Delaney does the corner on fight nights, Jim Head as well - he does the cornering. We all travel to Tony Simms' gym which is the Matchroom gym to spar often, and hats off to them because they really involve us and we’re always welcome up there. Training with the likes of triple world champion - Ricky Burns, John Ryder, Conor Benn, and top Sky Sports stars is unbelievable, and Tony is a gentleman himself, always very open and welcoming, so a big thank you to all of them. Commonwealth gold medallist decathlon athlete - Dean Macey is a good friend of mine and helps massively with my fitness.”

Best friends in boxing? “It’s Kevin Lilley, he’s involved in my life because he’s a friend and we’re in boxing together as well.”


 

Boxing style? “It’s sort of hands up, chin down and let them go! Sometimes I ride shots to give a shot, I’ve got a tight guard and rather not give them a chance to knock me out. People say I’m a better boxer than what I believe but I don’t go in for any of that hype. Cotto is a similar style, actually; he’s not too elusive and it’s that sort of style that I adopt.”

Ring walk song? “My main one would be War Ready by Rick Ross.”

Pre-fight rituals? “I had a little old dog called Frank that I had since my 20’s and I religiously, every fight day, took him to my mums and took him out for a nice walk to clear my head, he's since been passed away at the age of 13. I’ll see my kids and spend time with them, if anything ever did happen, you know.”

Favourite brand of gloves? “It was Grants but now it’s Winning.”

Best venue? “The City Pavilion in Romford. The set up was very professional with chandeliers and dinner tables, and the atmosphere was naughty! It was a big fight for me so that added to it and I had a great win via first round KO!” 

Favourite football team? “Southend United FC.”

Other sports? “I watch a bit of UFC if there’s a big fight. Because of my friendship with Dean Macey, I always look out for the athletics that he’s involved in.”

Favourite holiday destination? “I don’t have enough them! Last place I visited was Greece and it was beautiful! I got some good runs in out there in the heat.”

Favourite TV programme? “I don’t have time to watch anything, I record the boxing when it’s on and I like Kugan’s show on BoxNation TV, he’s a friend of mine so I like to see that he’s doing well and it’s a good show.”

Favourite film? “Back in the day it was Basketball Diaries which is with Leonardo DiCaprio, it’s a powerful film.”

What actor would play you in a film of your life? “Probably the geezer out of Southpaw film – Jake Gyllenhaal.”

Favourite music? “I suppose it would be hip-hop.”

Favourite food? “Sweets – I love my sweets.”

Favourite brands? “Givenchy.”

Favourite superhero? “The Incredible Hulk.”


 

Phobias? “Drowning.”

Motto? “I like to live by the saying, 'War Ready' because you need to be ready for anything in life whether it's fighting or something else, I always make sure I’m ready for anything like that. I also like the saying, ‘The greater the odds, the greater the glory.”

Next fight? “Friday 12th May against unbeaten Tom Stokes for the British Challenge middleweight belt at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham.”

What fight do you want to see happen this year? “I'm looking forward to watching Terence Crawford against Felix Diaz.”

If you could fight anyone, past or present, who would it be? “It would have to Marvin Hagler, not that I think I could win but what a great experience it would be!”

Tell us something that not many people know about you? “The BBBofC initially refused my license but I’m living proof that hard work can get you anywhere.”

Sponsors: Fountain Fotos, Juice Kitchen Chelmsford, Ripped Gym, Jai Box Well

Facebook? Paul Hilz

Official Team Hilz Fight Fan Tees available from KO Clothing at just £15!