20th April 2012

Ashley Sexton by enfield-today.co.uk
flyweight talent Ashley Sexton features on Queensberry Promotions’
debut of the exciting new concept show BoxAcademy on BoxNation (Sky Ch.
456/Virgin Ch. 546) on Thursday 3rd May at The Troxy in London.


Unbeaten in twelve fights, the Cheshunt fighter will go in over eight rounds.
Name: Ashley Sexton

Born: Edmonton, north London

Age: 24

Family background: I’m the
eldest of three. I’ve a younger brother and a younger sister. I’m the
only one in the family who’s boxed but I’ve heard I’m distantly related
to Archie Sexton (a 1933 British and Empire middleweight challenger from
Bethnal Green).
Today I live in Cheshunt,
Hertfordshire with my fiancée Natalie. I’ve three kids, Archie (5),
Indie Summer (3) and Tiger Manny (1).

Trade: I do a bit of
labouring. I went to college to do gas installation and passed
everything so I’ve that to fall back on but I turned pro at 20. What I’d
like to do is personal training; nothing better than walking around all
day looking at a gym full of women and getting paid good money!

Nickname: ‘Flash’, partly
because I had some proper flash moves and partly cos I scored a flash
knockdown in my fourth schoolboy fight. Danny Oliver, Spencer’s brother,
called me it and it stuck.

What age did you become interested in boxing and why? As
a young kid I weren’t very athletic. I was into insects and bugs, and
loved going fishing; a bit of a geek! Where we lived, around Tottenham
and Wood Green, was pretty rough. My school was pretty rough and, if you
couldn’t defend yourself, you’d get eaten alive. Dad took me to
everything; kick-boxing, karate, judo but I enjoyed the boxing on a
social level. I became good friends with Darren and Gary Barker after he
took me to the Finchley gym when I was seven or eight.

What do you recall of your amateur career? I
had my first fight, aged 11, at 30 kilos! For the first four years I
stayed at Finchley and was trained by Jimmy Oliver, Spencer’s dad. At
15, I moved to the Cheshunt ABC where I was coached by Mark Bliss, once a
Southern Area featherweight champion then finished off at the Haringey
club under (trainer) Brian John.
I had 97 fights and lost less than
25. I won the Minors, two national schoolboy titles, was robbed in the
Junior ABA finals up in Huddersfield, then bagged two NACYPs. Twice I
got to the semi-final of the English (senior) ABAs but was stitched up
against Liverpool’s Paul Edwards (2006), then beaten fair and square by
Adam Whitfield of the Army (2008). Both went on to win the title.
Against Edwards, I thought I
dominated but, in four rounds, was only given one point, other than
those given against him for persistent holding. Ridiculous! Hopefully,
he’ll move up to superfly in the pros so I can right the wrong. That
needs addressing!
I must have had 30 odd
internationals and represented England at every level from the age of
12. I went to the European Schools in Rome, the European Cadets in
Estonia and the European Juniors in Lithuania but never managed a medal.
 I also went to France, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Ghana and the
US many, many times. I once boxed a Cuban, Salanas, who’d beaten Yuri
Gamboa and Guillermo Rigondeaux.
The highlight was representing
England abroad. I shared a room with Amir Khan for many years and fellas
like Bradley Skeete and Georgie Groves who were also on the squad will
remain friends until I die.
I was never a computer boxer, always
had a fight, so I’m very content to walk away with four national
titles. I exceeded expectations and saw places I’d otherwise never see.
My one regret was that I never bagged a senior ABA title. I let myself
down there.

Why did you decide to turn pro when you did? I
knew I never really had a style to succeed at the Olympics because I
got involved too much, liked everyone to enjoy my fights. Knowing I was
small, I always watched the lighter pros like Jimmy Yelland, Ian Napa,
Martin Power, Spenny, the Booth brothers, Johnny Armour…Like them, I
wanted my name to be up in lights.

Tell us about your back up team: Up
until my British title draw with Shinny Baayer (May 2010), I was
trained by Paul Rees, managed by Mickey Helliet and promoted by Frank
Maloney. Afterwards, I wanted a change. Perhaps I was trying to shift
the blame but I left Paul on amicable terms, saw out my contract with
Mickey and moved to Hayemaker.
There, I was trained mostly by Pete
Marcasiano, David Haye’s strength and conditioning coach and learned
loads of new stuff. I had two fights in Germany on Haye undercards and
one in the UK when Darren Barker fought for the European title. Pete was
a terrific guy but I found it hard to adapt to Hayemaker’s way of
fighting, I wasn’t a natural counterpuncher like George or David. Pete
no longer had time to give me his full attention and, after a few months
and no fights with Spencer Oliver, I apologised to Paul Rees and went
back to him and Mickey. I found the grass weren’t greener!
I trust them implicitly and that
makes a big difference. Before the split, because I went a few fights
unbeaten, everyone was blowing smoke up my arse and, if I’m honest, I
got caught up a bit in the hype. I’ve grown up a lot since and I’m glad
it happened then. I’ve become a better person and better fighter because
of it.
I first met Paul when I was at the
Finchley. Because he shuns the limelight, he’s very underrated. He
doesn’t get the ABA champions but converts average fighters into good
fighters. With a good fighter, which I believe I am, I think he can make
‘em world class.
I can still call Pete and Ruben
Tabares from Hayemaker for advice. Ruben’s knowledge of nutrition is
second to none and, strength wise, Pete could turn you into The
Incredible Hulk if he wanted!

What’s your training schedule? Which parts do you most and least enjoy? I
used to have a fight then go missing on holiday for five weeks and eat
my body weight! However, after my last fight on a Friday night, I was
back in the gym sparring six rounds the following Monday.
If I’m working, I’ll be up for a
five to six mile run before going to work then I’ll hit the gym
immediately after. Four weeks before a fight, I give up the labouring.
That’s the only way you can get 100%.
In camp, I move into my Nan’s to
isolate myself from the kids. I’ll arrive at The Monster Gym in Cheshunt
around midday and, after Paul’s taped my hands, I’ll do rounds of
shadow boxing, pads, bags, a circuit, some skipping, maybe a bit of
cross trainer or some sprints on the machine, then stretch out. It
varies. Paul makes it up as he goes along.

 Two or three days a week, I’ll spar
with guys like Brad Watson, Phil Gill and Andy Smith, a southpaw who
works my corner. Later, I might do another weight session or more cardio
and two days a week I do fitness work with a guy called Ben Cormack.
But I never kill myself. I’m mindful of overtraining.
Also, I go away as a paid sparring
partner. I once did two and a half weeks in the French Alps with Brahim
Asloum (the 2000 Olympic light-fly gold medallist and ex WBA light-fly
champion). I was looked after very well and learnt a lot. Recently, I
spent 10 days in Italy with Andrea Sarritzu (the former European
flyweight champion and a recent IBF challenger).
Sparring is what I most enjoy. I
just love to fight. There’s no pressure on you and it depends on my
mood. Sometimes I mess around, other times, I’ll go for the guy. I least
like making weight. It can ruin careers if you don’t respect it. I used
to eat take aways out of training but now I keep my weight lower.
Today, I never walk around above nine stone.

Describe your style? What are your best qualities? I’m
a ‘leave it all in the ring’ guy, an action fighter. Recently, someone
wrote I’m ‘a warrior by nature’. I liked that. I like my fans to get
their money’s worth. I like to impose myself, apply educated pressure
off the jab, pin ‘em on the ropes and hit ‘em hard with every shot.  

What specifically do you need to work on to fully optimise your potential as a fighter? My
defence definitely still needs addressing. I take too many, sometimes.
When I sparred Sarritzu, he weren’t the most technical but he really
shelled up and took hardly any punishment. That’s how you succeed at the
very top level.

What have you found to be the biggest difference between the pro and amateur codes? Not
having to score points. Also, they’d pull you apart whenever you got
close in the amateurs. I like to work inside and throw people about. The
pro refs allow you to work yourselves out of clinches, provided you’re
not holding.

Who is the best opponent that you’ve shared a ring with? Probably
Wayne McCullough. I sparred him at his garage gym over in Vegas. I was
only about 14 but he bashed me up with body shots and stuck the nut on
me nose! He was class. Straight after, his wife Cheryl came into the
ring wearing six inch heels and gave him a serious pad session. Amazing!
The best home fighter I’ve faced
would be Rendall Munroe. He was as strong in round ten as he was in
round one and was just very good all round.

All time favourite fighter: Between
Marco Antonio Barrera, a proper warrior who was technically very good,
and Mike Tyson who was just ferocious. I’ve met Tyson a few times and he
was always a really nice bloke.

All time favourite fight: Barrera-Morales I. Both were world class fighters who gave it everything and really hated each other!

Which current match would you most like to see made? Mayweather-Pacquiao. It’s ‘The Fight’, isn’t it. I think Mayweather beats him; too big and too cute.

What is your routine on fight day? If
in London, I set no alarm and just wake when I wake, then spend another
hour in bed, dozing. I’ll have a nice breakfast then have a shower and a
shave. Sometimes, I’ll get my haircut. I need to look my best.
Afterwards, I’ll chill out with a DVD or on the Internet. I might watch
some boxing.

 In the build up to every fight, I
get myself a good book to read in the dressing room on the night of the
fight. I start getting changed an hour, hour and a half, before I’m due
in the ring. I’ll flick out on the pads then it’s time to go.

Entrance music:  It’s always the first few bars of ‘Flash’ by Queen followed by something different for every fight.

What are your ambitions as a boxer? This
year I definitely want to make my way to the British and Commonwealth
super flyweight titles. After that, it’s a bit awkward as the division’s
not recognised by the EBU yet. That said, fighters with less fights
than me have contested world titles over in the Far East. Hopefully, I
can be manoeuvred into the right positions.

How do you relax? Generally I
spend time with the kids and catch up with mates. You don’t get time
when you’re stuck away in camp. We’re all football mad so watch matches
at the pub or play over the field. I’m no good but I’m definitely the

Football team: Mad Arsenal fan. I can’t commit to a season ticket but can always get tickets when I need them and I go regularly.

Read: It used to be
biographies; Che Guevera, Fidel Castro….Recently, I’ve really got into
Stieg Larsson novels; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy.

Music: Mainly Indie Rock. I like The Stereophonics and Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Films/TV: I like films with
the big name actors. If Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp or Will Smith is in it,
you know it’s likely to be good. On TV, I love a bit of Shameless and
I’ve just started getting into Entourage and Jersey Shore.

Aspiration in life: To be remembered as a fighter who always gave you your money’s worth.

Motto: Seize The Day!

The debut of BoxAcademy will be broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546).

Tickets for BoxAcademy on 3rd May
at The Troxy are priced at £35 and £50 and are available from the
Queensberry Promotions Box Office on 01992 550 888 or

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