Highlights, frustrations and hopes: end of year survey part 4

Boxing Monthly
22/12/2017 3:45pm

Boxing Monthly canvassed over 100 figures from boxing for their reflections on 2017 and hopes for 2018. Today Joe Ham, Raza Hamza, Adam Harper, Harvey Horn, Badou Jack (pictured left), Boy Jones Jr, Joe Joyce, Sumbu Kalambay, Chris Kongo, Tommy Langford and Enzo Maccarinelli have their say…

Interviews: John Angus MacDonald, Shaun Brown, Andrew Harrison, Luca Rosi, James Oddy, Danny Winterbottom & Luke G. Williams.


Joe Ham, Scottish Area super-bantamweight champion (12-0)

The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Winning my first title in The Hydro in April on the Ricky Burns vs Julius Indongo card.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
Never really had anything bad.
My hopes for 2018 are...
[That] I can challenge and win some bigger titles. I would love the Commonwealth title fight with Ashley Lane, or any other titles.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
More fights/ shows on TV, especially in Scotland.

Raza Hamza, featherweight (9-0-1)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Hasn’t happened yet. It shall happen when I win [on] December 16th! 
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
Not having won a title as my opponent pulled out [ahead of a scheduled title fight].
My hopes for 2018 are...
To win belts and move forward in my boxing. 
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
Fighters wanting to fight each other instead of padding records.

Adam Harper, Midlands Area super welterweight champion (8-0)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Beating Ryan Kelly for the Midlands Area title. It’s opened doors for me and proved I can beat good prospects.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
When my Commonwealth title fight was postponed due to my opponent injuring his knee.
My hopes for 2018 are...
To win the Commonwealth title in Australia in March. This sets me up for a British shot and more.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
Too many prospects are padding their records out. More prospects need to meet each other in bigger fights! Far too much emphasis is put on remaining unbeaten.

Harvey Horn, former amateur ABA champion and European silver medallist, flyweight (1-0)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
My professional debut on such a big show.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
Having to leave the GB squad as I'd spent so long being part of that family.
My hopes for 2018 are...
To get as many bouts in as I can to prepare me for a title the year after.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
If boxers spoke more truth, rather than trying to please everyone. A lot of boxers are good characters, but you don't see it because they play themselves down.

Badou Jack, former WBC super-middleweight and WBA light-heavyweight champion (22-1-2)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Being blessed to have been showcased on two of the year's largest events. In January, headlining the SHOWTIME card at Barclays Center was unforgettable, but without a doubt, being a part of the biggest combat sporting event in history (Mayweather vs. McGregor) and winning my second world title has to be the highlight of my 2017.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
The unfair and controversial draw in my super-middleweight unification fight with James DeGale. 
My hopes for 2018 are...
BIG fights! I want the best in the division and to add more belts to my collection, while giving fans great fights. I’m also excited about my new supplement line, Amino Ripper, which is set to launch in early 2018 and features the most advanced formulas ever developed.  
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
The judging! It has been boxing's single biggest challenge throughout history. I’ve been on the receiving end of some very controversial and unfair decisions. It hurts the sport, it hurts the fighters and ultimately hurts the reputation of boxing.

Boy Jones Jr., super featherweight (14-1-1)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Selling out the Prince Regent Hotel with Mike Sakyi on a small hall show! Brings back memories fighting there, but selling it out with Mike was wicked. The highlight of my career probably.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
The loss to Craig Poxton and the so-called friends I thought I had went back to being strangers!
My hopes for 2018 are...
To just keep learning. I'm still a baby – [I] just want people to realise I never had an amateur fight so I'm still learning!
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
To bring it back into schools for kids! It'll discipline them.

Joe Joyce, heavyweight (1-0)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Winning my professional debut against Ian Lewison. 
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
[That] I was meant to fight [on] December 17th on the Haye vs Bellew 2 undercard, which obviously didn’t materialise and has been postponed till next year.
My hopes for 2018 are...
To be in or around the world title mix as I am being fast tracked!
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
I believe there are too many controversial decisions in boxing, so I think that it should be a requirement that judges be ex-boxers or have been in the ring. They would [then] have a clearer understanding from a personal perspective.

Sumbu Kalambay, former WBA middleweight champion (57-6-1)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Joshua vs Klitschko. If I were to give Joshua some advice it would be that he’s got to learn how to pace a fight better. He throws too many bombs early on and that uses up a lot of energy.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
The state of boxing in Italy. We didn't even win a medal of any description at the 2016 Olympics. Italy always had a proud Olympic boxing tradition.
My hopes for 2018 are...
To continue training some good prospects and help develop Italian talent.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
In Italy there’s a lack of organisation and sponsorship. I’d like to see boxers helped financially as it’s nigh on impossible to hold down a full-time job and harbour hopes of making it in the game.

 

Chris Kongo, welterweight (7-0)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
2017 [was my] first year as a professional and everything’s gone to plan.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
Not getting enough exposure that I deserve.
My hopes for 2018 are...
Titles, titles and more titles! You thought you saw a hungry Chris Kongo this year? Wait till 2018!
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
Promoters actually promoting their shows especially the small hall promoters. I feel like they give you tickets, make you do all the promoting and they sit on their ass waiting for payday!

Tommy Langford, British middleweight champion (19-1)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Headlining a bill live on BT Sports back in April. Although I lost it was the first big show I've headlined so that has to be the highlight. 
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
Apart from losing [when] challenging for the WBO interim it has been a very frustrating year. I haven't been busy. I really would have liked to defend my British title a couple of times at least.
My hopes for 2018 are...
First and foremost I just want to be busy. But I'd love to defend my British title three times to own the Lonsdale belt outright.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
As always, [it’s] the top boys fighting one another, taking on the challenges and making the biggest fights.

Enzo Maccarinelli, former British, European and WBO cruiserweight champion (41-8)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Canelo vs GGG, Joshua vs Klitschko and Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux being made - best vs the best, champ vs champ!
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
Apart from Floyd [Mayweather] vs CM [Conor McGregor] which we all knew wasn’t gonna be competitive, the biggest disappointment has been judges’ scorecards. There have been some shockers this year. 
My hopes for 2018 are...
More champions wanting to fight other champions and proving who the main man is.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
Governing bodies not standing in the way of making champ vs champ fights.

Ring records correct at time of original interviews, but may have since changed.