Wayne Adeniyi is possibly the most intriguing boxer that BBN have interviewed to date. The likeable cruiserweight enjoyed a stellar amateur career boxing for England winning many accolades and is extremely well-known by all in the boxing fraternity. December 6 will see the domestic dust-up between Wayne Adeniyi and Carl Dilks for the Central Area cruiserweight crown. The Rock Ferry Apostle took time out to talk to us about his recent inactivity of 14 months out of the ring, his faith in God, and boxing being his sole vocation in life.
How far back does boxing go back in your life? “It was the Tyson-Bruno fight in 1989 that first got my interest. Tyson was hitting the scene in the late 80’s – early 90’s and watching him started to get me interested. My dad would take us to the Oval Sports Centre on the Wirral to teach us shadow boxing. I was a little fat kid so my dad taught me about shadow boxing for a bit of exercise. He did a bit of boxing in his early teens in Nigeria and his dad boxed as well. He did a lot of training, both my dad and grandfather but I don’t think that they ever competed.”
You had an illustrious amateur career, talk us through your finest moments? “I didn’t actually have my first amateur fight until 2005 when I was 22-years-old. I would say the best fight was the fourth time I boxed and beat Darryl Cullerton – he was Four Nations champion. We boxed each other four times, I beat him the first time just as I was breaking into the Intermediates stage just after my Novices stint in the amateurs and then again at a club show. About four or five months later and I boxed him at his gym in Sunderland and he beat me and then I beat him in the ABA quarter-finals. He had beaten Matty Askin and a few other decent cruiserweights and was the number one. Everyone thought that he had too much experience for me. It was after that when people started saying let’s throw him in there now so it was after that fight that it all took off for me. I ended up boxing for England on just my 12th amateur fight, I went straight from Novice to International level in the amateurs.”
At what age did you start to think about turning pro? “I was thinking about being a pro when I was 18. I got sparring from pros over Merseyside and top quality coaching from Teddy Quinn and I did a lot of sparring with Courtney Fry who was a top amateur. I only started boxing at 17 and almost immediately thought about a career in it.”
Your pro debut was 19th November 2011 and you had your opponent, Matt Inman down in the first round, what do you remember of that special night? “My dad came down from London with a few of his mates and that was great. It was in a nightclub on a Johnny Roye show and half of Rock Ferry came down to Preston that night. I only had my last amateur fight in April that year, just six months before and I lost to Jamie Hughes in the ABA semi-final. I got down to light-heavyweight for my debut so I was in great shape.”
Tell us who exactly makes up Team Adeniyi? “My trainer is George Schofield, Carl Barry is a coach, Steve Wood is my manager, sparring partner and gym-mate is Louis Cuddy, Alan McCullough is the pad-man and TR Sports Marketing is my PR company.”
Your career was in full flow with four outings in 2012 and again in 2013 but we have not seen you at all this year, what’s the reason for that? “How can I put it, I had a lot happen last year in terms of a few different things going on with managerial and promotional aspects and one or two opportunities missed which really made me reconsider boxing full-time. So I started working on the railways with a few friends and started thinking of life after boxing and being financially secure so I was putting a few things in place for after boxing and a well-paid job came along which was better for me financially. After a while of working on the railways, I started missing boxing and really thought that I was not fulfilling my potential. Boxing, to me, is like a vocation and it’s something that I have to do. I was actually due to box in May, June and July this year but I picked up an injury that kept on. I got picked up by the Golden Gloves promotional company, somebody contacted to say they wanted to manage me and they paid me my wages and put me up in an accommodation in Preston and I was meant to box in September but the fight got cancelled. The opportunity was there but it wasn’t right for me, at the time, to move my family from Merseyside to Preston. It was too much of a disruption to my family but they will be at my next fight keeping an eye on me so it’s still a possibility for me, it’s an ongoing thing at the moment.”
You are next out on December 6 against Carl Dilks, straight into a title fight for the vacant Central Area cruiserweight strap after 14 months out – are you worried about your inactivity at all? “I think that the last four weeks leading up to the fight is all about intensifying my training now and the step up in terms of more rounds in sparring and longer runs and being in better condition is what gives you the confidence, so I don’t worry about inactivity at all. I always put God first and that enables me to dig deep. With that training and my faith, then come fight night, I’ll be in peak condition to do the championship rounds.”
What do you know of Carl Dilks and have your paths crossed before? “We have sparred a lot, yeah, last time was probably about a year ago; I always handle him in sparring. Everyone around Merseyside knows each other and we all spar each other or work in the gym together at all different weights. We get on well and we’ve always had a good bit of banter, there’s been a few cross words here and there but I actually made this fight last year, I phoned Dilksy and said let’s make the fight and he agreed so the fight has been brewing for a while.”
How do you see the fight going? “I’m looking to outbox him, hopefully, I’ll stop him in the mid to late rounds. He boxed for a massive title at light-heavyweight, he’s always strong at cruiser but I know what to expect, and I can outmanoeuvre Dilksy, no problem. The reaction from the local area has just been decent and the next couple of weeks it’s really going to start kicking off. In general, the feedback has been brilliant, everyone wants tickets and there’s a lot of excitement. It’ a purist’s fight.”
What will winning this title mean for your career? “It takes my career to the next level, I’m 14 months out and to win will make a statement. It’s going to open a lot of doors domestically. I may stay at cruiser but could go down to light-heavy but it’s going to open doors for me either way."
How would you like to start 2015 and where do you plan to be by the end of the year? “I would like to box on the Jolly Boy show in December, it’s like a lad’s night out with entertainment and I’m hoping to come down and do a six-rounder. I’d like to defend the title in February or March but let’s win it first, just one step at a time.”
When can you envisage having that British title around your waist? “In the next 12 months. I’d like to have that by Christmas, I don’t mind whether it’s light heavy or cruiser.”
Any message for the fans? “I’d just say that this is a cracking fight and if you can get out to watch it then come and support the show and it’s got John Quiggly fighting for a title which will be great to watch. I advise any boxing fans to come and watch the show and Steve Woods has got the live stream on VIP TV. Me and Dilksy is a boss fight, it’s a working class, domestic dust-up. It’s a great fight at cruiserweight and the winner could go on to fight a Bellew or a Cleverly in the future, and I really do believe that the winner is going to me."
Tickets are priced at £30 for standard and £60 for ringside and are available directly from the Team Adeniyi on 07894 016927. The fight will be streamed live on vipboxing.tv To follow Wayne Adeniyi on Twitter click here @WayneAdeniyi