In a recent interview with Switchbox TV, British boxer John Harding Jr. (8-2-1, 2KOs) discusses how he plans for a huge post-pandemic comeback, how he gets his motivation, that ‘ring-side adrenaline’ feeling, his views on coaching the next generation and how he manages his contrasting career paths of making music and boxing.
The 36-year-old was last in action on the Joshua Buatsi vs Marko Calic undercard in October 2020, losing to defending English middleweight champion Linus Udofia (16-0, 8KOs) in the ninth round. It was his second crack at the English title, having lost to Jack Cullen in round eight in 2019.
However, the Brixton boxer is not finished yet, he reveals in his latest interview:
The boxer turned music artist revealed he is currently resting up until he is able to fight again – “I’m recovering from a slight injury so as soon as I’m back I’ll announce that to the world”, adding he will be going back to Portugal “shortly as soon as everything’s been lifted.”
When asked about his musical dreams and the potential for more material being released, Harding Jr explained: “Always…I like to stay active I love entertaining the people, I come up with all the ideas for the videos.” The Brixton artist added, “I always have an idea and I have to have a look at a video person who would make it come to life, I have to select the right person…It’s like a passionate love I have.”
Discussing his current hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Harding disclosed that “Times like these would be when I would record a lot, I can record so much even during times when I’m not training, in a week off, I can record so much that it makes it look like I’m recording non-stop.”
The star also chatted about turning his hand to acting in addition to making music material and boxing, revealing “I do have a passion for acting, after boxing that’s something I’ll get into. When I do my videos it was a way to show my directing skills and acting skills.”
Discussing his diverse skillset, Harding noted: “Funnily enough it’s never clashed with boxing…there’s something about the boxing world, they appreciate it so much…it’s such a thing through music as well I can be a light to so many people.”
When asked about the motivation behind his boxing career, Harding explained “Sometimes I look back and realise, I am doing well”, adding “there’s a lot more to come, it’s all about being comfortable.”
He also explained, “From my experience after a certain amount of rounds the energy just comes back…you need to learn from your body, other times it just doesn’t happen…going through that is a very tough thing.” Discussing the adrenaline when he enters the ring, Harding said - “on the night, you can never predict what can actually happen, that nervous adrenaline can tire you…everything outside can affect the inside.”
Moving on to his manager Dillian Whyte, Harding Jr. shared, “He’s so important to me, he is someone who I see as more than a manager, I see him as family.”
The boxing legend also talked about the potential to coach his younger peers, stating that “Even young boxers, I tell them you wanna be fast and learn from experience, the experience is so valuable and that’s something I’m learning, my lack of experience has been a touch on my downfall but at the same time I’m learning it and I can’t wait to get back into the ring.”
Touching upon his stints in prison and since finding boxing, he said starkly, “Sometimes there’s one thing you learn in life, what’s your calling...If I can show people and direct them to stay on this road consistently. The way these kids mess with me and look at me they think I’ve made it but I’m not there yet, I feel like they’ll listen to me a lot more when I’ve been down that road.”
The interview concluded with Harding being asked which one he would prefer – a music star or boxing world champion – there was no hesitation for Harding Jr. to admit “I’d be the world champion”, adding when you see prominent boxing players - “It’s ingrained in them, and they can’t run from it.”