When we first started British Boxing Blog in October 2015, one of the first fighters we interviewed was light heavyweight contender, Miles Shinkwin.
We now catch up with Miles three years later to discuss his career to date, his recent struggles, his chance of English title redemption and how linking up with Steve Goodwin may be the best move of his career.
BBB – 1) Before we look ahead to your next fight in December Miles, take us back to the Liam Conroy English title fight please. For those that don’t know, please tell people your version of events that night and what are your thoughts on that now when you look back?
MS: If I’m honest the whole Liam Conroy thing is becoming a little boring for me now and I’m sure everyone reading about it would say the same. He hit me illegally, round the back of the head, a dozen times, wasn’t pulled by the ref and stopped me on my feet. My manager asked the board to review it, they did and ordered a rematch. As far as I’m concerned that answers an questions that need answering about that outcome.
BBB -2) Liam Conroy has since vacated the English Light Heavyweight title, and you will get a chance to box for it again in December, in your trilogy fight with Joel Mcintyre. How pleased are you to get an immediate English title chance again? In some way does it seem that justice has been done considering the events in March?
MS: Of course I feel like justice has been done, we are vindicated in our beliefs that the stoppage was caused by illegal blows and not only did almost everyone watching agree but also the most important people, the British boxing board of control. With the McIntyre fight, it was the only fight to be made, it’s a natural fight and the first two were both in the conversation for fights of the year so in my opinion the third can’t fail to be just as good with even more on the line.
BBB – 3) You’re currently 1-1 with Joel, how do you look back on the previous two fights and how do you see December’s fight playing out?
MS: I could sit and tell you how I’ve changed and that I’m expecting McIntyre to fix all his faults but that would be a lie. We are both what we are and by this point not much is going to change. I will, as always, be in the best shape possible but not only that, I’m now mentally right. The last fight I wasn’t and that was evident for everyone to see, not just on fight night but in the build up too. Ultimately I see a re focused me turning up for once and putting on a dominant display and take a step in the right direction to fulfilling my potential. I’m fully aware that if anything other than the best me turns up, I’m in for a tough night with Joel.
BBB – 4) Speaking of Joel Mcintyre, he’s scheduled to fight in the second installment of the Ultimate Boxxer on the 2nd November, basically a month before your fight with him? Do you worry about this – the potential of not coming through unscathed? Are you surprised he’s signed up for this competition considering the English title fight is only a month later?
MS: I can’t worry, it won’t help me at all. We was first scheduled to fight in September but I unfortunately picked up an injury to my hand and we had to postpone until December 1st. By this point he had already to committed to the Ultimate Fighter I’m guessing as a back up plan after losing in his English title fight. I’m told that he’s contractually obligated to fight in the tournament and wasn’t able to pull out.
BBB – 5) Were you offered the chance to participate in Ultimate Boxxer tournament? Is this type of tournament something you’d consider?
MS: I was offered, I believe I was one of the first fighter offered a place. I’m a championship fighter, a 10/12 round fighter. I don’t see any value in a 3 round tournament at this stage of my career so politely declined.
BBB – 6) How have you been preparing for this fight with Joel, an opponent you know very well. Have you watched the two previous fights back? How is your camp going?
MS: If I’m totally honest I remember both fights like they was yesterday so haven’t watched them back, if you share 20 hard rounds with a fighter and don’t know them by then, you never will.
BBB – 7) You’ve always came across as someone who has a real love for boxing and seem to be a real student of the game. Has that love been tested in recent years or are you still as fully committed as ever? How do you assess your career since the Burton fight? Has it been a testing few years?
MS: Testing isn’t the word, promotionally it couldn’t of gone any worse. I think the foreign imports you see a lot of fighters face were treated better than me but I’m tough enough mentally to not let that get to me. At times I felt like packing it in but have never wanted to be the 40 year old man in the pub saying “I could of done something” I see a lot of “world class” fighters now who have had it so easy and there isn’t an opponent on their record who I couldn’t beat but that’s just the way it is. You’ve got to make the best of the hand you’re dealt and that’s what I’m trying to do.
BBB – 8) In relation to the above question, how important has Steve Goodwin been to you recently? Is the link-up with Steve something you wish you’d maybe done earlier? From the outside looking in, he always comes across as a true boxing man who has his fighters best interests at heart.
MS: I honestly haven’t got the words for the kind of man Steve is. I wish I could of started with him earlier for sure but it is what it is and we are here now. His affection for his fighters is unrivalled and I have him to thank for the opportunities that are coming my way. I completely changed team. I brought Steve in as manager, Don Charles, Tony Pill and Ian Duberry kindly took me into their gym and Thibo David gives me endless hours of his time working on strength and conditioning. Combined it all works like a well oiled cog and I believe you’ll start to see that on December 1st.
BBB – 9) The Light Heavyweight division is buzzing in the UK right now, is mixing it with the likes of Buatsi, Yarde, Johnson, Burton again etc something you wish to be back doing when the time is right?
MS: I’ve slowly, or maybe quite quickly, seen my name plummet from the rankings, I believe I was rated 2/3 once behind maybe Ajisafe and maybe Dickinson but he retired and went another way. Now I don’t think I’m in the top 20. I’m using that as fuel to get me back to where my team and I feel I belong. It’s been a frustrating few years not having the rub of the green but it’s down to me to change that now I’ve been given the opportunity to do so.
BBB – 10) And finally, what can fans expect from Miles Shinkwin at York Hall on December 1st? Is this the time for you to become the new English Light Heavyweight champion?
MS: I think that at long last, people can expect to see me perform to the best of my ability. If a rubber match isn’t enough to bring it out in me. If an English title isn’t and if a defeat leaves me facing the end of my career doesn’t then I don’t know what will. I fully expect to be triumphant and to silence a few people who said I couldn’t
We thank Miles for once again giving us his time and speaking to us and we wish him all the best in his career going forward.