On 26th November last year, Matchroom hosted a show at the SSE Arena in London entitled ‘Big City Dreams’; The show featured a number of the finest prospects from the stable including Ohara Davies, Katie Taylor and Ben Hall. Before the cameras started rolling and the show went live on Sky Sports, Light Middleweight Ted Cheeseman put on one of the performances of the night as he faced his biggest test to date in the hands of Lloyd Ellett with a then record of 20-1-0.
Cheeseman boxed carefully in the first round and looked entirely comfortable before unloading a rocket of a shot to Ellett forcing him back to the ropes, from there he unloaded a barrage of shots forcing the referee to call a halt to the action. Cheeseman left the ring elated, whilst Ellett left the ring complaining that the fight had been stopped prematurely.
Last week, Ted took time out from his busy training camp in Portugal to talk to BritishBoxers.co.uk about how he felt his career went in 2016, and plans for the year ahead.
Reflecting on his victory to close the year, and more specifically the complaints of his opponent he said ‘I landed a shot and he was stuck on the ropes with them holding him up. If he wasn’t that hurt then he should have been able to throw a shot back, not let me throw about another 20. What’s the Ref supposed to do?’.
Despite the difference in experience levels, the 21 year old from Bermondsey was always confident going into the matchup, largely due to his amateur experience that he feels will serve him well in the paid ranks – ‘Lloyd Ellett’s record was great on paper, but obviously it’s not all about records. I’ve had a lot of amateur experience, and I’ve worked in the gym with a lot of top fighters’.
Looking upon his amateur days, Cheeseman had 61 fights and won 50, he also won 6 national titles and boxed for England 10 times; In addition, he also won two Golds at the Junior Championships, and one Silver.
‘It’s not been announced yet but I should be on the Haye v Bellew card’ he said of his next fight date. Following a busy 2016, five fights to be specific, he’s looking to have another busy year, with one real thought in mind – building his fan base. In terms of picking up new fans, Cheeseman has certainly had the platform to do so, ‘I made my debut on the Joshua v Cornish bill and I’ve been on really all the big bills since then (Joshua/Martin, Joshua/Breazeale namely)’ he recalled.
‘I want to build my publicity and get some TV time now and get out there a bit more. My style of fighting – the public should like that’ he explained, before adding ‘It’s about building up a good following because it’s easier then to get these big fights and get in the right positions. If you’re earning your promoter money, then they will earn you money’.
As much as most of us enjoy seeing a mixture of slick boxing, and powerful punching, it is no secret that the majority of the public tune in to boxing on a Saturday night to see one thing, and that’s knockouts.
With six wins of seven so far coming inside the distance, Cheeseman should find himself getting TV coverage in no time if he can continue the same kind of form as the level of his opposition increases. He does however feel that his level of power can take the opposing fighter by surprise at this stage of his career; ‘I think the fact I’m only 21 makes people think that because I’m just a boy it’s not there, but I’m mature for my age and I’m very strong at the weight, so I do carry the power’.
He explained how pleased he was with his progress in 2016, Boxrec providing the best example of this with his domestic ranking shifting from 96 to 13. Speaking of his plans for next year, he almost pleaded ‘I just want to be tested now’, before more specifically telling ‘I’d like a Final Eliminator or something similar for the English title. Another couple of wins and I should be in the top 10 (Domestically), so I just want the right fights at the right times and maybe even a British title shot might come up’.
The young prospect is hoping for around six fights this year, and it looks as if the first will be on March 4th as part of the undercard to Haye vs. Bellew at the O2 Arena. He insists that he has complete confidence with his management team to match him well throughout his career, and hopefully this means that we’ll have another contender to keep watch for in an already exciting light middleweight division.
Follow Ted Cheeseman on Twitter: @Ted_MRFISHER_