Rio: So you’re fighting Luke Martin at York Hall on the 1st June, what do you know about Luke and how do you see the fight going?

Tom: Luke Martin, well I don’t know a thing about him, don’t care all I know is I’m going to flatten him.

Training’s been really good, the sharpness is there and everything is coming together just right.

I’ve got a week of sparring to go, I’m really looking forward to that, then I’m ready to go, so Luke Martin watch out.

 

Rio: This will be your fifth professional outing, how has your pro career been to date?

Tom: I’ve had four fights, this will be my fifth, won three of them and my only loss was against Tom Dallas in Prizefighter.

I’m not going to make excuses, anyone that see it see that knows I didn’t get beat by the better man.

I was in a very bad place in my life at that time, I shouldn’t have been in a boxing ring, to be quite honest with you I shouldn’t have been around people full stop, I should have been locked away, because of the things going on in my head at the time. 

That’s all behind me now though, I’m moving forward and I’ve got a good team behind me at last, in manager Johnny Eames and trainer Barry Smith as well as having a great camp at the TRAD TKO gym in Canning Town.

 

Rio: So you were lucky to get the three wins you have then?

I’ve been lucky, I fought the very capable Hastings Rasani in my second fight, funnily enough I was up here two days before my fight, Graham got Barry to give me some pads and he blew me out in two rounds, so you can tell what sort of fitness I was at.

It’s all changed now though, I’ve been at the TRAD TKO about fifteen weeks now, come down from about twenty stone and now weigh seventeen stone five. I’ve never boxed below eighteen stone before, ever.

For Prizefighter I only ever done roadwork and bag work and no other training for two weeks, so I’m confident now that I’m getting into good condition.

 

Rio: So you’re now in a ‘Good Place’ mentally and physically, so what can the fans expect to see of Tom Little in the future.

Tom: I know that people spout their mouth and say whatever, but I know there’s not a heavyweight in Britain that I can’t beat when I’m fit and believe me I am going to be in the condition of my life thanks to Barry.

This is literally a new start for me and I’m real pleased that Johnny and Barry have given me the opportunity to have this new start.

That loss to Dallas, a lot of people wouldn’t have given me a second chance, thankfully Johnny see something he liked and was happy to work with me. 

Barry’s always liked the way that fight and he’d seen the things that needed changing. Everyone’s been working together and I’m confident that we really are going to shock everyone when they see me in action on June 1st.

 

Rio: Changing tack slightly, could you tell the readers a little about your early amateur career please?

Tom: I was amateur from the age of twelve, up to seventeen. I had twenty two fights won eighteen of them, done real well as an amateur. 

The last time I boxed as an amateur was as a Middleweight, then I went away and done my own thing.

 

Rio: So you walked away from boxing whilst an amateur, what changed for you to come back straight in and campaign in the pro ranks?

Tom: Funnily enough I went back into the gym to help me give up smoking and met Graham Earl.

Graham then offered me the chance to turnover, it all happened really fast, I got my head down, had three fights, which I won, under Graham Earl whilst I was training out of Luton.

Never did feel myself that I was fit, always felt there was something missing, someone was missing something out of the camp.

It really did open my eyes up when I went in Prizefighter under short notice and was literally left to train myself.

My current trainer Barry was there on the night, he noticed but obviously couldn’t say anything because I wasn’t his fighter at the time.

It really showed, I went in against someone I wasn’t expected to get anywhere with and gave him the hiding of his life for two rounds, but in doing this literally collapsed with exhaustion.

This really opened my eyes, so I went away to think things over. I then left my manager, left everything and come up to the TRAD TKO, where I was welcomed with open arms.

 

Rio: Has this change of management and coaching made that much of a difference then?

Tom: Barry Smith has really turned things around for me, before I couldn’t do two rounds in sparring for any of my other fights because I just didn’t have it in the tank, now I can spar up to ten rounds.

It makes so much difference being here, I’ve always got a coach, everyone puts in the best work to help, but the biggest thing is there is always sparring here, not just sparring but quality sparring against great opposition.

There’s a couple of good heavyweights up here, plus fighter friends of the gym. I had some sparring with Dereck Chisora and that, so the TRAD TKO has done a lot for me, in the short time since I’ve been up here, I’m very grateful to them.

 

Rio: I know you are focused on the fight with Luke Martin right now, but after that is there any fight you really want Johnny to make happen for you?

Tom: I’m really eager to get the rematch against Tom Dallas, I want to prove to everyone that the better man didn’t win on the night.

If he wants to hide behind his manager so be it, they say he doesn’t want it yet, but he can’t hide for ever and I’ll be there in his way wherever he wants to get to.

This will be my first fight under the TRAD TKO banner and I know that it’s the start of bigger things for me, including hopefully the rematch with Tom Dallas, I’ll go to Kent and drag him out if I have to.

 

Rio: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me today, finally is there anything you would like to say to the fans out there? 

Tom: To all the fans out there, come to York Hall on the 1st June and see the real me, see what they were missing out on before because I didn’t have proper training before, they’ll see what I can do now that I have a serious people behind me and I’m in a good place.

By Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

 —- 

Tom Little, against Luke Martin, is a supporting bout on the Colin Lynes versus Beka Sutidze headlines the BBBofC sanctioned Johnny Eames promoted ‘Two Tribes Go To War’ event at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London on Saturday 1st June 2013. 

Tickets, priced £35 (Standard Seated) and £60 (Ringside) are available on line at www.tkoboxoffice.com or in person at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town or direct from Tom Little or any of the fighters taking part.

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