Highlights, frustrations and hopes: end of year survey part 8

Boxing Monthly
31/12/2017 5:13pm

Boxing Monthly canvassed over 100 figures from boxing for their reflections on 2017 and hopes for 2018. Today Caleb Truax, Josh Wale, Otto Wallin, Tommy Ward, Ryan Walsh, Deontay Wilder (pictured), Curtis Woodhouse, Galal Yafai and Kal Yafai have their say…

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

Caleb Truax, IBF super-middleweight champion (29-3-2)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Winning the IBF super-middleweight title in London.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
Having a couple of fights fall through at the last moment in April and May.
My hopes for 2018 are...
A few title defences.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
More uniform policies/guidelines and a [single] worldwide governing body.

Josh Wale, British bantamweight champion (25-9-2)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Winning the British title - a lifelong dream.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
None.
My hopes for 2018 are...
Winning the Lonsdale belt outright.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
More 50/50 fights for the fans

Otto Wallin, heavyweight (18-0)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
My homecoming fight in my hometown of Sundsvall in Sweden. I got to fight in front of my hometown fans and also pick up my first title [WBA continental].
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
That I haven't been able to stay more active due to an injury and cancelled fights.
My hopes for 2018 are...
To stay active and fight at least four times and to keep developing and keep climbing the rankings.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
More unification fights and that a loss doesn't have to mean that much.

Tommy Ward, British super-bantamweight champion (22-0)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Winning the British title.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
Don't really have one - it was a good year!
My hopes for 2018 are...
I would like to win a couple more fights and then fight for a world title. That would be great.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
Big promoters working together to make the best fights and giving everyone a shot at a title.

Ryan Walsh, British featherweight champion (22-2-1)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Winning the British title outright
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
Three big fights not coming off when I agreed on all three (still CEO of the British who-needs-him club!)
My hopes for 2018 are...
To make a successful and stunning statement in my British title defence. I have eight months of frustration and my brother’s [Liam’s] loss to to get out/over (avenge), I will be my absolute best.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
Life-time bans for drug cheating disgusting cowards who in my opinion are ruining a great idea - I'd say sport but this year alone has shown me this is a business a ruthless rotten one at times but I still love the idea of the sport of boxing.

Deontay Wilder, WBC heavyweight champion (39-0)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
That’s an easy one, knocking out Bermane Stiverne. He helped make it official for me, there has never been any man that I’ve faced and didn’t knock out. My record is back to being perfect.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
These fighters I'm supposed to fight getting popped for PEDs. Ortiz and Povetkin in particular really had my blood boiling. I didn’t deserve that. It was just so unfair.
My hopes for 2018 are...
To unify the heavyweight division, have all the belts and wipe out the whole rest of the division.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
That we continue to make the best fight the best and have the strongest fights possible.

Curtis Woodhouse, former English and British super-lightweight champion (24-7)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Coming down from nearly 17st back into fighting shape. It took me six months of extreme dedication and discipline but I did it and feel great for it.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was...
No frustrations as of yet but this is boxing! Always something around the corner!
My hopes for 2018 are...
My hopes for 2018 start with beating John Wayne Hibbert - at my age it's one fight at a time but I'm no longer chasing titles because I won the one I wanted to win so I'm only interested in fights that excite me and the John Wayne Hibbert one certainly does that.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
Less titles - everybody is some sort of champion these days. You have lads ranked high with governing bodies that haven't won an area, English or British Title. Fighters and promoters are going the easy route because it's available to them. Scrap the Mickey Mouse titles and you will get better domestic match-ups because fighters won't be able to duck and dive and swerve each other

Galal Yafai, light flyweight in 2016 Olympics
The highlight of my boxing year [career] was ...
Qualifying for the Olympic games in 2016.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
Losing out in the world championships to the Olympic silver medallist.
My hopes for 2018 are...
To become Commonwealth champion and be undefeated in the WSB.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
More coverage on terrestrial telly

Kal Yafai, WBA super flyweight champion (23-0)
The highlight of my boxing year was ...
Headlining in my hometown of Birmingham as the first world champion in over 100 years from the city.
The biggest frustration or disappointment of my boxing year was ...
Not performing to the best of my ability in my last fight [against Sho Ishida].
My hopes for 2018 are...
To hopefully fight 3 times and be in big fights.
The single thing that would most improve boxing is...
Less bad decisions.

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