News April 2019

John Thain is ready to go title hunting in 2014

07.03.14

By @shaun_brown

This Saturday night at the Aintree Equestrian Centre in Liverpool, John Thain (11-0, 1 KO) faces the biggest test of his domestic title credentials when he faces Ronnie Heffron (14-1, 5 KOs) over ten rounds in a fascinating clash of styles on the 'Thoroughbreds' card which will be shown live on Boxnation.

For Scotlandís Thain, this is the chance to show the public what he is really all about and that heís not another likeable fellow from north of the border that will remain on the fringes. For Englandís Heffron, this is the chance to make it four wins in a row since his sixth round stoppage defeat to Denton Vassell in a fight that failed to live up to its potential of being a British boxing cracker.

Before the Heffron-Thain contest was rearranged for this Saturday (Thain had sustained a cut in sparring originally), Livefight caught up with the 26-year-old from Edinburgh about that injury, his fellow contenders as well as his own progress and development.

LF: How do you look back on last year, John?

JT: It wasnít what I thought it would be coming in but to be honest the best way to see it is I came out stronger when I came in. Iíve made progress and I feel Iím even hungrier and more determined than before. Itís not always been great, itís shown me a bit more about myself. I know Iíll dig deeper. Iím more dedicated now and Iím going to have to be because the fights are going to get harder. Iím glad itís done but Iíve made the best of it. Itís not the end of the world but its progress.

LF: You said youíve come out stronger, is that because of the injury you suffered?

JT: Just things like that but the fight with [Ryan] Toms was a good experience because it was away, as was my other fight (against Max Maxwell). Itís taking me out of my comfort zone. Itís made me a better fighter. Itís made me a better boxer for this year because of the injuries and disappointments. One of the good things is my team have stuck by me and theyíve always been there. If Iíve been down or just not myself, they were always there to listen and to help me.

LF: What positives did you take from your win (PTS 6) against someone as durable as Max Maxwell?

JT: I felt like I wasnít taking too many punches. Once I got into it and got the first couple of rounds out the way I felt quite comfortable because I was quite nervous before it actually. I hadnít boxed since the April which is quite a long time out. I was pleased to get the win, get back in the ring and throwing punches because Iíd missed it. Iíd almost forgot what it was like. It was good to get moving about and itís helped get all the rust off. That was the longest time out I had as a pro.

LF: The injury that you had, can you explain what actually happened?

JT: I had the fight arranged with Ronnie Heffron (last August). I went down to Sheffield for sparring. The first spar I had (against Anthony Fowler) I took a shot that caught me funny, not particularly hard but it went right over my left eye. Anthonyís a quality boxer, weíd been enjoying some good rounds beforehand. It was quite competitive and I think people enjoyed watching it. But towards the end I caught a slicing sort of punch. We hoped we could still make the (Heffron) fight but it just wasnít to be.

LF: Is there any set plan for 2014 for you?

JT: I want to be fighting for titles this year. I want to be a champion this year. If it was up to me Iíd want to fight for championships. Itís not completely up to me but I feel more ready for it now after last year. Itís made me want it more. I do really want it this year, this is the one for me.

LF: Whatís your views on things in the light middleweight division?

JT: If you look at the top ten, weíre all quite strong. Thereís a lot of good fights to be made. Liam Smith and Brian Rose are the main guys at the top but Iíd honestly love to go in there with them. Iím not afraid to do that and thatís how you have to be. Itís not like thereís one guy who is dominating. Thereís a good few fights that could be made. Would you agree?

LF: I think Liam caught everyoneís eye with his performance against Mark Thompson and I expect him to step up even more this year. Brian Rose has a world title fight looming but when you remove those two there are a lot of guys who are closely matched.

JT: Yeah. Thereís myself, Ronnie Heffron, Joe Selkirk, Liam, BrianÖ thereís a good top ten there. Itís a good division so this year Iíd like to be challenging these guys for titles because itís exciting times. Light middleweight is a good weight class for me, I know I can do the rounds well at the weight because I keep myself at the weight all year round.

LF: Speaking of Liam Smith, what did you make of the performance against Thompson?

JT: Yeah it was very good. Heís coming into his own. Heís a good champion. A lot of people ask me if Iíd like to box him and of course I would. Iíd love to take that fight but I think itíd be good to watch too. Iíve met all the Smiths and theyíre good guys. Itís definitely a fight Iíd like to take but I know itís one Iíd have to be in tip-top shape for.

LF: Kris Carslaw, a fellow Scot and light middleweight has had some up and down results but would a fight against him make sense to you or do you see yourself moving on to better things?

JT: I forgot to mention Kris. Kris is a tough guy, takes some tough fights and doesnít mind being the away fighter. I actually sparred with him for his fight with Rose. We did some good rounds together. I wouldnít avoid him. If the fight made sense Iíd definitely take it. The funny thing is itís not like Iíve got anything against these fighters. Iíve got no problems with any of the guys in the division, itís just about us fighting. Iíd love to fight Kris though. Heís tough, always comes to fight and heís been in some good fights over the years against Rose, Matty Hall and had a win over Ryan Toms too. If we could get TV for it then it could be made. Definitely a good fight.

LF: In regards to your own progress and development is there anything that youíre working on more than anything else?

JT: Becoming more flexible, better movement, I try to work on everything all the time. Iím trying to become a more complete boxer so I can compete in every type of fight. I know I need to work on my right hand which I am doing. If I need to get stronger, for example, I am going to do the work. Iím always pushing to get better, youíve got to look to improve yourself. Sometimes people can stop and admire their work but not at the things that got you there. I do accept Iím not the complete fighter.

LF: A lot of Scottish fighters donít seem to have a particularly high record of stopping opponents or knocking them out. Is that something that plays on your mind? Is it something youíre conscious of?

JT: I always try to work on my power and improve it. But last time I fought Max Maxwell and heís only been stopped a couple of times. I do consciously work on it to be honest. But as long as Iím getting the win and working on it in the gym thatís all that matters. If I was 11 fights and 11 KOs people would say Ďwhen are you gonna get the rounds?í or that I was depending too much on my power. As long as Iím in good fights and getting the right result then itís okay. Iíd love to have early nights and win in the first or second round. I know Iím getting stronger I just hope I get more fights this year so I can show the improvement in my punching.

LF: And this time next yearÖ.?

JT: I want to be British champion and Iím gonna give it 100% to be that. Iíve always wanted to win that title. I remember a few years ago, Alex Arthur bringing his titles to the gym and Iíve seen Ken Buchananís too and it just makes you want it so much. Plus if I did win it, I could bring a big fight to Edinburgh and give more identity to Scottish fighters because we donít have many shows up here. British title, Commonwealth titleÖ those are the ones Iím after and hopefully theyíre just the beginning.

Remaining tickets for 'Thoroughbreds' are available from Eventim on 0844 842 5005 or www.eventim.co.uk

Watch the show live and exclusive in the UK on BoxNation, the Channel of Champions, Sky Ch.437/HD 449 and Virgin Ch.546. Join at www.boxnation.com

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