Updated: May 12, 2020
One of the most exciting prospects in British Boxing, welterweight Liam Wells spoke to ESBR last week to discuss staying in shape during the lockdown, ongoing communication with his Trainer as well as the future.
“I’m quite lucky, at home we’ve turned the garage into a bit of a gym. We’ve got everything that a gym has so training hasn’t been a problem at all. The only thing is I’d like to be learning a little bit more, I wish I was with Jamie (Liam’s Coach). But as far as fitness and strength I’m feeling really good and I’ve been using this time wisely to try and get ahead of the game”.
For many, uncertainty would have led to a lack of motivation with no clear path or answer in sight. However, Liam believes it is his responsibility to keep working hard as a way of showing appreciation for his team as well as putting himself in a good position for titles when Boxing resumes.
“I have no problem with training every day. I’m so addicted to training, I don’t know how I’ll ever stop. Having such good sponsors makes me think that I’m so fortunate to do what I am doing that I don’t want to let them down and they think he’s just taking his money and sitting at home, having a few months off.”
A coach is a fighter’s right-hand man, and arguably the most important member of the team. This means that it is important for them to keep in touch, even if this is not face to face.
“I’m speaking to Jamie quite a bit. He’s told me that the goal hasn’t changed in what we want to do. He wants me to work on my strength at the moment, so we’ve been speaking every couple of days and I’m really improving. I think he’s going to be happy when we start again and definitely notice an improvement in my strength”.
Liam’s last win came in March against Zygimantas Butkevicius, going the full distance. As this was only a matter of weeks before a lockdown was put in place there was not much time to properly analyze every aspect of it.
“The lockdown was coming close after the fight, but I was straight back in the gym doing little bits with Jamie. He was quite happy with the fight, but it would have been nice to get some momentum and in May we could have progressed and worked on a few other bits. But that’s not meant to be, and we can’t dwell on things. I’ve just got to keep working hard and stay ready.”
Time away from boxing has given the Essex based fighter a chance to reconsider and analyze some aspects of his game, identifying the weight cut as a potential issue. As he moves up to super-welterweight, he hopes this can give him the edge due to no longer needing a tough weight cut.
“I’m moving up in weight, so Jamie wants me to be stronger at the weight and I’m really filling into it. I’ve been trying to stay only a few kilos over the limit and really trying to get the most out of my weight now, filling my muscles out a lot more.”
Like many fighters, a weight cut can be one of the most dangerous and toughest aspects of their career. Therefore it is sometimes sensible to assess the costs that it is putting you through, with the clear benefits of fighting at a heavier weight.
“I don’t think I could naturally make welterweight in a healthy way. It takes a lot out of your mind, not knowing if you can make it properly and you feel a bit drained. At super-welterweight, I think I can make the weight comfortably and feel strong and have loads of energy. I’ve always had my best performances at that weight, and I think it’s the most natural for me to fight at. I’m treating this as a training camp, I want to get the best out of this. I’m ready to fight as soon as the next available date is”.
Wells’ is managed by MTK Global, who have already been in touch regarding fighting after the Boxing Board of Control announced this week that fighting may resume in July. For fans of Liam it would come as no surprise that he put his name straight into the hat.
“Lee (Eaton) messaged the other day and asked who’s up for fighting. I was the first person to reply and say yes, against anyone as well because the way I look at it when I’ve finished boxing, I’m not going to look back and wish I’d had more fights. I’ve put my life into this, and I’ll take an opportunity when it comes up.”
Boxing may have to be behind closed doors although this is something that Liam does not fear and in fact relishes.
“I’ve never been one to think about the attendance, I just love to fight. I’m not bothered how many people are there, it really doesn’t affect me. I think it be an amazing experience to look back and know I was one of the people that fought behind closed doors. It’s another box ticked.”
There may still be six months of fighting left in this calendar year, with Wells having his eye on a title in the not too distant future.
“Perfect scenario is I’d love one more fight then a big title fight. Id love to fight for a Southern Area title. When I’m in the real fights it makes me realise, I’ve not just beaten seven easy fighters. It makes me realise where I am as have beaten some good names and that I do have some hope in the sport.”
What was apparent is the need for Liam to set himself goals although unlike many fighters in his position he sees the need to keep your feet firmly on the ground.
“I’m a realist in boxing and we have our goals that we’ve set. There’s no point lying to myself and saying I’m going to be world champion because I’m probably not so you can’t lie to yourself. Maybe if I win a British title, we can review it from there. Winning that title right now is my ultimate goal and now I’ve had these fights I know where I’m at.”
Achieving this would be even more impressive considering his background before his first professional fight.
“I had no amateur boxing background and to win a British title would be such as achievement as it’s a real prestigious belt. It would show that I’m the best in Britain. I couldn’t beat Paddy who is maybe fringe British level so there’s no point me saying I’m going to be a world champion. But at the same time, I am still young and it’s my motivation that one day I will get to the British belt.
A previous kickboxing world champion, Liam believes that this gave him the foundations for a successful boxing career as well as teaching him how to take a loss.
“Kickboxing gave me good fitness and a good strong attitude that you just fight anyone. I lost my professional kickboxing title but still went onto win a title. Fighters like Charlie Peters go to Thailand to fight and he may lose, but people think no less of him as you’re still one of the best fighters in the world. It’s not like you’re fighting somebody who is there to lose, so no one think any less of you. I want to give boxing my life and I don’t think of kick boxing much anymore, I still have so much to learn.”