Irishman Ian Tims ready to rumble in 2014 “nobody knows how good I am”
By Michael J Jones
Anyone who witnessed Tony Conquest’s dominant seven-round retirement win over Irish hardman Ian Tims in September 2012 would be forgiven for thinking that might have spelled the end for “Timsey”.
Looking to put the nightmare of that last fight firmly behind him, Tims spoke to Livefight this week as he looks to resume his career in 2014. Currently 9-2 (3), the 34-year-old was a superb amateur who won many titles and was a three-time Senior heavyweight champion but hasn’t had anything easy in the pros so far.
After turning professional late at 28-years-old nearly six years ago, Tims built an unbeaten record but, following a points win over fellow Irishman and bitter rival Michael Sweeney to lift the Irish cruiserweight title, has boxed just twice in nearly three years since as injuries and outside-the-ring problems have threatened to scupper his promising career.
Now injury-free and training hard for the latest phase of his career, the 6’1” Dublin fighter is promising a busy 2014 and has even set his sights on avenging the defeat to Conquest later in the year.
Here’s what the tough former amateur star had to say-
LF) You’ve not fought for over a year what kind of shape are you in at the moment?
IT) I’m in good shape at the moment, I’ve always kept in shape even when I haven’t been boxing. Obviously I’ve had an injury-ravished pro career so far and I’m pleased to say I’m injury free for the first time in three years.
LF) What kind of injuries have you been troubled with in recent years?
IT) I had some trouble with the cartilage in my left elbow and over the years it was just getting worse and worse. I depend on my jab as one my best punches but it got so bad I couldn’t even extend my arm properly. I saw a doctor and was told I couldn’t have an operation so eventually I saw the specialist who gave me an injection into the bone. That was three months ago and it’s been like new ever since.
I also had a few hairline fractures in my knuckles but (the elbow injury) was the only really bad one I’d ever had. I’ve been sparring Steve Collins Jr who’s a strong lad and everything’s been working fine.
LF) Going back to the start of your career you turned pro quite late on at 28, was it a difficult decision to turn over at the age you did?
IT) Well what happened was I’d come back from the World championships where it was also to qualify for the (2008) Olympic Games and I was disappointed so I completely stopped boxing. I’d always wanted to eventually turn pro but I lacked the maturity needed when I was younger. A few different people told me I should give the pros a try so it felt the right time when I did turn over.
People say about age but it’s the mentality of a man that’s more important than age.
LF) You built up an unbeaten record of eight before your first title fight against rival Michael Sweeney for the Irish cruiserweight title in Dublin?
IT) Yes the fight got cancelled because of an injury I had so when it eventually happened I’d been out a while. I was still carrying the injury going into the fight and I felt like I didn’t get out of first gear but I still won the fight clearly. He’d said all sorts about me beforehand but it was a good fight for the crowd on the night and I’m happy with the way it went.
They were talking about a rematch but the money (Sweeney’s team) were offering was insulting. Maybe the rematch may happen at some point.
LF) You were inactive for ten months following that win but ended up facing Finland’s Juho Haapoja in Seinajoki for the EBU belt in January 2012?
IT) That was a great fight from start to finish. We cracked heads in the first and then I thought I did enough to win but that’s the way it goes. I couldn’t say anything or complain over there…nobody would have understood me anyway!
LF) You lost a close disputed decision in that one but eight months later would get stopped by Tony Conquest in a disappointing performance; what happened?
IT) I’ve got no excuse for either of my losses; Tony Conquest executed his game-plan to perfection and I just didn’t ‘show up’ on the night. My training had gone so well but I just didn’t click on the night I had some personal problems which I think affected me. I did get cut from a head-clash (in the third) even Tony came up to me after the fight and said he was able to hit me on the left side a lot as I couldn’t see.
I’m hoping to get a rematch with Conquest if that can be made.
LF) You competed as a heavyweight in the amateurs; are you still comfortable at the cruiserweight limit?
IT) Right now I’m only 10lbs over the light-heavyweight limit (185lbs) so I’m at my lightest for about 13 or 14 years. I think I may be able to make the light-heavyweight limit with a little more work. If you look at Tony Bellew (who Tims beat in a Four Nations tournament several years ago), he was an amateur heavyweight who came down to light-heavyweight and also Enzo Maccarinelli.
If you look at Enzo he’s a big man at about 6’5” but he’s done well to drop weight and put a bad run of form behind him to look strong in his last two fights. He’s boxing very well under his new trainer (Gary Lockett). That would be a nice fight me against Enzo.
LF) You’ve had eleven fights and won nine so far. Do you feel we’ve still not seen the best of Ian Tims yet as a pro?
IT) I don’t think anyone has seen any where near the best of me so far. I think the personal side of things took some of the focus away and also the injuries took a toll. The trouble with having injuries is that they play on your mind and you sometimes box cautiously because you’re overly conscience of them.
I feel I’m a lot better than people think and I really want to give (my career) a good go this year, stay busy and make a good impression.
LF) How would you ideally like this year to go?
IT) I’d like to be out the end of January or early February though nothing is confirmed yet. A fighter I’d like to face is Stephen Reynolds. He’s unbeaten (at 3-0) and won by knock-out in two of those. Me and Reynolds for the Irish title would be a great fight.
After that I’d want one or two more fights before going for Shane McPhilbin or maybe Tony Conquest again. I thought Shane was unlucky against Maccarinelli and I’ve spoken to him I think that would be a good fight. It’s been proven time and again in boxing that one good win can turn a career around so I’m looking for a big year next year.
Irish boxing is on a high after Stephen Ormond’s win over Derry Mathews so it’d be great if there was a big show over in Dublin with me on the bill.