El Tornado Goodjohn Plots comeback “Two Warm ups then I want Connor Benn & titles”
By Michael J Jones
FOR WELTERWEIGHT Tyler Goodjohn, boxing has been something of a roller-coaster ride in the last seven years or so since he made his pro debut aged 18. There’s clearly been some moments of magic from the Ely contender throughout his seventeen-bout career, though nearly always followed by some sort of derailing catastrophe.
Never has the 25 year old been lacking in the talent or heart department through his career but, as many fighters who are reading this will surely know, sometimes skill and graft alone doesn’t bring the promised glory many expect to be able to bask in.
“To be honest, my whole career has been up and down and the last year or so even more so” Goodjohn tells Livefight this week. “My last fight against Johnny Garton, I nearly retired for good when I injured my hand and the fight got cancelled. When I eventually fought him I was boxing for the first time in almost a year and coming off injury so it was far from ideal.”
Thankfully, “El Tornado” has decided to resume his promising career in 2017. Now 12-5 (4), the Cambridgeshire fighter has only lost to good boxers in his pro campaign and has also taken some decent scalps such as Danny Cassius Conner (twice) and the big-punching Ricky Boylan.
The latter win came in October 2014 and saw Goodjohn crowned as the new English light-welterweight champion at the O2 Arena with a gritty display of box-fighting. The slight underdog going in, Goodjohn withstood some hard body-shots to out-box and out-think the previously-unbeaten Boylan to claim a deserved majority decision.
Unfortunately the two subsequent years after arguably his finest victory would be less successful…
“Go back a couple of years and I felt I was on top of the world as the English champion and scoring one of my biggest wins over Ricky Boylan” reflects Tyler. “I’m also proud of my fights with Danny Connor but, in terms of how I boxed, the Boylan one was probably my best fight.”
“The truth is I had always struggled with getting down to 10 stone. I had to lose half a stone (7lbs) for Boylan the day before the weigh in. I kept (crashing the weight) and thought I could keep getting away with it but people kept looking at what I was doing and saying ‘there’s only so many times you can go to the well’…and that’s exactly what happened in the John Wayne Hibbert fight.”
Three months after his fight-of-the year candidate with Boylan, Goodjohn squared off against the Essex contender for the WBC International title back at the O2 Arena. From the start of the contest though, something wasn’t quite right with Goodjohn…
“It was a WBC title fight so they did check-weigh-ins before the fight. I was 23 and eager to impress and I just thought I needed to do what I had to do. Two days before the weigh-in I had to lose eight pounds to make the check-weight, then another eight for the actual weigh-in so I ended up losing 18lbs in only two days.”
“Looking back, I feel really lucky to still be here after taking those kinds of risks.”
The match quickly turned one-sided, with Hibbert boxing sharply and Goodjohn catching almost everything as he waded in repeatedly. The Ely man gamely hung in there but it came as no surprise when the fight was halted in the eighth with Goodjohn tired, marked up and way behind on the cards.
“My camp had been superb for the fight; the sparring and everything had been brilliant” comments the 25 year old. “I got in the ring and I was just there plodding forward like a walking punch-bag. It just wasn’t me and obviously the weight problem had caught up with me big-time.”
Following only the second inside-schedule loss of his career, the humbled contender immediately moved up to the welterweight ranks to continue his career. Ten long months after the Hibbert defeat, Goodjohn made his 147lb bow with a decision over journeyman Ivica Gogosevic to pave the way for a fight with English champion Johnny Garton.
With the fight set for early 2016, “El Tornado” would suffer a hand injury to scupper the clash. Not wanting to waste any time, on his return, he thus went straight in with the dangerous Garton having to fight ring-rust as well as an in-form opponent.
“There’s no excuses from me, Johnny Garton was the better fighter on the night and beat me fair and square. It was so frustrating getting injured I just wanted to walk away from boxing. Then people were saying I needed a couple of six-rounders beforehand to sharpen up but I just said I didn’t want to fight someone I know I can beat. So I just went straight into the title fight.”
While Goodjohn entered the fight in far from ideal conditions, the 17-1-1 Garton had hit the form of his life after resounding knock-out victories over Martin Welsh and Ryan Fields. The self-styled “Pexican” recorded a wide unanimous decision after a hugely entertaining bout to retain his English belt though Goodjohn was far from disgraced and played his part in a thriller.
“The first few rounds there was absolutely nothing in it but he caught me with a great shot in the fourth and it just changed the whole course of the fight. My whole camp I’d practised over and over to avoid that looping right-hand he’s got but I stupidly dropped my hands, got rocked and never came back into it until about the seventh.”
“He was clever, when he saw me recovering he just got on his bike as he knew he had it in the bag. I always said I wanted to fight the good guys in the best fights so it’s all good experience. With my career now I’m just starting over again but I’m not going to rush myself like I have done I’ll take a couple of six-rounders, maybe aim for the Southern Area title and go from there.”
Are there any boxers out there at present the come-backing contender would like to face in the near future?
“Yeah I’d like to fight Connor Benn. I’ve sparred him before and he’s a good, aggressive fighter but I just think I’ve got the beating of him. The way he’s going, he’s going to have to step up and face someone like me at some point and I think it’d be a really good, entertaining fight.”
“My plan is to return about June or July with a six-rounder, then have another after that and hopefully go for a title. Me against Connor Benn for the English title would be a logical fight for both of us.”
Benn, the son of the legendary "Dark Destroyer" Nigel Benn, is currently 6-0 (4) after turning pro last year. He came in for heavy criticism recently when appearing to mock Robin Deakin in a video clip posted online.
“That was a bit naughty but really, why is he targeting a fight with Robin Deakin? I know Robin but I can’t understand why that fight has even been mooted as it’s a nothing contest and won’t gain Connor anything.”
I have to ask, after sharing a ring with Danny Connor on three occasions to date, will there possibly be a fourth fight at some point in the future?
“Well at the moment I seem to be going up in weight and he’s moving down (to lightweight) so it’s not making any sense now but maybe in the future we can do it again. Me and Danny are actually good mates and we talk all of the time and we always promised we’d do it again so you never know.”
For the record, Goodjohn is currently leading the series 2-1 with all fights going the distance. The last contest occurred just over three years ago with Goodjohn winning a clear decision over ten rounds.
“I’m looking forward to coming back. I know I’ve had a frustrating career and people are probably sick of me dipping in and out of the sport but it’s really hard. I run my own gym to make a living and doing that for seven or eight hours a day and then training, dieting etc to get the best out of it is so demanding. Especially when you’re boxing good lads who are full time pro’s and don’t have to worry about anything like that.”
“If I had a sponsor who could help me out and assist me to get to where I want to be that would be brilliant. Then I could concentrate fully on the boxing.”
To find out more about Tyler’s ‘El Warrior’s Gym’ click here http://eakb.moonfruit.com/about-me/4557836064
El Tornado is also on Twitter @tornadotyler or Facebook ‘El Tornado Tyler Goodjohn’
Anyone who is interested in becoming a sponsor to Tyler Goodjohn can contact him either on Twitter or facebook.