Lightning Lloyd Ellett, 27-years-old from Brighton, currently holds the British Masters light middleweight title and will be defending his honours in his hometown on October 31st.
The Micky Helliet-managed fighter will be looking to come through the scariest night of the year with a well deserved win and to avoid giving his fans any more frights. On winning the title back in March this year with a points win over a much heavier opponent in Gary Cooper, Ellett found himself on the canvas in the second round much to the horror of his home supporters.
He immediately picked himself up, dusted himself off and punched his way back to 97-95 points victory.
BBN pay the unbeaten prospect a visit to discuss his career so far, his trip to Mayweather's gym in Vegas and what could be in store for 2015.
You have reached 15 fights undefeated in your career so far and collected two British Masters titles along the way, tell us how pleased you are with how it's all going? “I’m really pleased, I’ve been very active since turning over in 2011 and Mickey Helliet has kept me busy. I feel like I’m in a good position right now.”
Your pro debut was in November 2011 against Bheki Moyo, almost exactly three years on and 15 fights later, what differences are there between that debutant then and the unbeaten Lloyd Ellett we're going to see on October 31st? “I’ve learnt a hell of a lot. Back then, I hadn’t sparred the likes of those people that I’ve been sparring until recently. All of the sparring has brought out the confidence in me, I’m maturing more, I’m feeling stronger and fitter and I feel that I’ve really grown into the weight. You do actually feel your body getting tougher and fitter and you can just keep it going for longer. You start to feel almost like a machine built for war after a while.”
Who has been your hardest opponent in your professional career to date? “Gary Cooper. He didn’t actually make the weight and the next day, after the weigh in, he was very big so I knew that he would be strong.”
Gary Cooper is the only opponent to put you on the canvas so far, what was the experience of that unchartered territory like for you? Does panic set in straight away or have you trained for such a situation? “Instincts just got me up and straight back into it. I thought that I’d actually got back in it enough to win that round. We were all surprised at the scoring of that fight, we all thought that I’d won every round.”
You benefit from some great sparring at the Brighton and Hove ABC with Chris Eubank Jr. and also with Johnny Garton at the iBox Gym in Bromley. How important is having good sparring partners for your education and fight preparation? “It never used to be to me but now it’s my number one priority; the most important thing to me now. All of the iBox Gym lads are great at sparring and it’s very competitive up there. We’re all very close in our careers and journeys and we really push each other hard. It’s great because we’re all close and we all learn from each other.”
Talking of important sparring sessions, tell us about your recent trips abroad to experience sparring in Barcelona and Las Vegas? “I sparred with Isaac Real in Barcelona and the likes of Ashley Theophane, DeMarcus Corley and Thomas Hill over in Vegas. DeMarcus Corley fights at a lower weight than me but you can tell that he commands a lot of respect in the ring and in the gym. I learnt a lot from him, those subtle little moves and tricks that you pick up and take away with you. Ashley Theophane was great, we spent a lot of time together. I have a lot of respect for him as he went out to America on his own and got that big money deal and fights on the biggest shows in the world so he done well, very inspiring.” October 31st you will be headlining the show in your hometown for the third time in under 12 months.
What is that like for you? “Not many boxers get that opportunity so it means the world to me. To headline the show in front of my supporters in my hometown, it doesn’t get much better than that really.”
Do you expect to fight again this year? “I’d like to, there’s possibly another show being talked about in Brighton. If not, then I’ll be looking to get on another show before the year is out.”
2015 is going to be a big year for you, where would you like to be by end of that year? “It’s got to be my year where everything happens, I need to be making some moves now and I’ll be going for whatever titles are there for the taking. WBC International light middleweight title could be a possibility for me, that sounds good. Ideally I want to be fighting someone in the top 10 and to be going for the English title soon or something like that.”
Did you expect to be in this position when you first started out in your career or have you surpassed your expectations? “I struggle to think about what I expected when I first set out in my career. I wanted to be in this position but I’m not sure that I truly believed it. I’ve got that confidence in me now that has grown with each fight and each win.”
How far do you think that you can go in this sport? “I wouldn’t put a limit on it, I want to go as far as I possibly can. If you get the British then you’re in the mix to move on and fight for a world title. So the British title is my goal at the moment and then anything from there and upwards. It helps with the team that I have around me as they have been brilliant – Alan and Eddie at iBox and the likes of Scott Welch and Micky Helliet for getting me out there regularly. If it wasn’t for Scott Welch then I wouldn’t be fighting these shows in Brighton so I have a lot to owe to him.”
I know this will be a biased answer but then your views will be well respected as you have first-hand experience on being on the wrong end of his punches – will Eubank Jr. beat Billy Joe on November 29th? “Ooh, haha! Styles make fights and it’s so hard to call because no one has seen what Chris can do yet because he looks good against boxers that he should look good against. I expect he’s getting very well paid for it so it’s in his best interest to take the fight anyway. He and his dad are very shrewd so they wouldn’t be taking it if it wasn’t right for them.”
Tickets for the October 31st show at The Metropole Hotel are priced at £35, £60 and £100 and are available directly from the Lightning Bolt Team on 07896 748688