Olympic silver medallist Ben Whittaker is taking inspiration from Floyd Mayweather as he goes into his much-anticipated skilled debut on Saturday, stay on Sky Sports activities.
After his spectacular efficiency on the Tokyo Olympic Video games final yr he bins for the primary time as a professional fighter on July 30 on the Bournemouth Worldwide Centre.
His opponent will likely be Greg O’Neill, a veteran who has gone the six-round distance with an Olympic medallist, Anthony Ogogo, prior to now.
However Whittaker insists, “Individuals like Mayweather, have a look at their debut, simply confirmed what stage they have been at and that is what I wish to do.
“No disrespect to the child however I’ll present what stage I am at. I am a unique stage. Persons are speaking about me for a cause. I am simply going to indicate it.”
His model, whether or not he can take these slick beginner abilities and switch them right into a damaging skilled arsenal, has been a lot mentioned.
“I am trying to come out and simply be Ben Whittaker,” he instructed Sky Sports activities Information. “I am getting lots of comparisons of outdated Roy Jones, Tommy Hearns, however on the finish of the day I am me. I am Ben Whittaker.
“All people is aware of me as a fantastic boxer so first issues first, that is going to occur however I wish to present that I am spiteful and I can harm now.
“I placing these Grant gloves on now and after I hit anyone I do know they are going to harm so I am excited.”
The person tasked with guiding that skilled transition is SugarHill Steward, who has educated Tyson Fury for his current triumphs over Deontay Wilder and Dillian Whyte.
He is been getting Whittaker to “search for the hurting shot and set them up”.
“I am excited. I am excited to indicate that I can do this now. Everybody is aware of me as a slick quick boxer however I can punch as properly and he is bringing that out of me,” he mentioned.
Whittaker has been in coaching camp with Steward in Miami prematurely of Saturday’s contest in Bournemouth.
“It was expertise, out of my consolation zone, I realized loads. You have been a bit like recent meat. You stroll into the gymnasium. All people is aware of you are an Olympic medallist, they wish to strive you, you are a bit drained from the warmth and stuff like that,” Whittaker mentioned.
“Taking your self out of your consolation zone like that’s solely going to learn you and make you a stronger-minded particular person. Every day I realized. I bought some new team-mates and it was factor.”
Steward, he feels, has solely been a constructive affect. “I really feel like I’ve matured a bit bit since being with him,” Whittaker defined.
“He simply mentioned, ‘Pay attention, I understand how good you’re and lots of people understand how good you’re. There is not any must preserve screaming it, simply present it on July 30.’
“So my mindset’s modified a bit bit like that.”
The duties his coach set included sparring with only one hand.
“He mentioned, ‘If you happen to can spar anyone for six rounds with simply your lead hand, after I allow you to battle on July 30 with two arms what are you going to be like?'” Whittaker revealed.
“So issues like that, simply placing your self at an obstacle, on the finish of the day it pays out. It has been actual good so I am excited to indicate what I can do.”
Probably the most daunting side of his stint in Miami didn’t come within the gymnasium.
“There have been too many critters. I do not like bugs. You get up within the morning to a lizard on the facet of your mattress,” he laughed. “At evening you rub your eyes, look and there are two cockroaches there.
“My prime concern is something that is not human. I like canine, hamsters and stuff like that. If it is a spider or an earwig or something like that, no, it is nothing to do with me.”
In comparison with that, it appears, the boxing, even in Saturday’s high-profile debut, is straightforward.
“It is simply one other battle. I have been combating since I used to be 11 so it is simply one other day actually,” Whittaker mentioned.
“There’s lots of anticipation. Individuals preserve saying are you not excited? Honestly no. I preserve saying I have been boxing since I used to be a child. I flew world wide boxing. Boxing is my life, is my interest, is my dream, is my job so I am simply doing what I am purported to do.”
He fought the most effective the beginner sport needed to supply in European championships, world championships and the Olympic Video games, selecting up medals at the entire main competitions.
“However I am treating this battle as the child’s the most effective on this planet,” he mentioned.
“As a result of if I’m going within the lackadaisical – I will not lose, I do know that would not occur, even when I’ve an off day – if I’m going in there lackadaisical, it might simply be a sloppy efficiency. I am stepping into there [as if] each battle now’s a world title, each battle is an opportunity to realize new followers, it is an opportunity to be taught one thing new. So I am stepping into there sharp as may be, with the correct mindset.
“I’d say [I have] nerves however I wish to carry out. And after I wish to carry out and present how good I’m, I’ll do this.”
The largest battle within the historical past of girls’s boxing – Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall – is stay on Sky Sports activities on Saturday, September 10. Be part of history and buy tickets for the London showdown here.