'One step at a time': Mark Jeffers interview
Luke G. Williams
Super-middleweight prospect Mark Jeffers looks to take his next step to wider recognition when he competes in Ultimate Boxxer 7 on Friday 3 April. He speaks to BM's Luke G. Williams...
BM: Why did you sign up for Ultimate Boxxer?
MJ: For the exposure to be honest. There’s some good names in there. I want go for big titles early doors.
BM: Tell us about your family background.
MJ: I was born in Northern Ireland and moved when I was about three to England. All of my dad’s side of the family are from Northern Ireland and my mum’s from England so that’s how it came about. I definitely want to box one day over there or in America. We’ll just have to see what happens.
BM: How did you start boxing?
MJ: I started when I was ten to get fit for football. I won the English schoolboys at 12 so I realised I was a bit better at boxing than I was at football so I started taking it more seriously. At 18 I decided to turn professional. That’s it really!
BM: Was it a hard decision to turn pro?
MJ: It was a big decision. At the time I’d had enough of the amateurs. For me it was either a case of packing boxing in altogether or giving the professional game a go. It’s a tough sport and early on there’s not much money in it. But I believe in my ability and it’s started to pay off now. I’ve got this here [Ultimate Boxxer tournament] with big fights and good money to be made.
BM: Was it frustrating to only fight once last year?
MJ: Obviously I want to fight more than once a year but I had a couple of injuries and I was also working on things in the gym. I hadn’t been getting the stoppages that I wanted to so I took some time to re-evaluate. I’ve made a few little adjustments and my last two fights have ended in just a few rounds so the power is there now.
BM: Do you work or do you focus on boxing full-time?
MJ: I’m quite lucky because I’m a full-time boxer at the minute. I’m still living with my mum and dad so I don’t really have much to pay for! All my time’s spent in the gym. I’m quite fortunate.
BM: What are your strengths and best attributes as a boxer?
MJ: My speed and timing create my power. I’ve got a good boxing brain as well. I can out-box them or out-fight them. I’m tough as well and that’s going to help in this format.
BM: Among the other competitors who do you see as the main threats?
MJ: Maybe Charlie Schofield, because of his size. He’s a decent boxer as well. So I’d put him up there. Maybe Diego Costa because of his punching power. Apart from that I think I can handle any of them quite easily.
BM: Are you expecting to bring big support along to Altrincham?
MJ: Yeah, I think there will be two or three hundred coming from Eccleston. I always get good support and there will be top support for this one so I’m hoping to put on a good show and entertain everyone.
BM: Any special preparations for Ultimate Boxxer?
MJ: I’m sparring a lot of 3x3s then having half-hour rest then 3x3s again. I box at quite a hard pace anyway, so I don’t think I need to change too much.
BM: What are your ambitions in the sport. How far do you think you can go?
MJ: I’m just taking it one step at a time. I’ve sparred with world champions and I believe I definitely have the potential to become world champion. I’ve sparred with the Smith brothers, Liam Williams, Rocky Fielding. I spar with Scott Fitzgerald most days in the gym. Obviously if I have any slip-ups those plans will be set back. So it’s just one fight at a time. I’ve got Ultimate Boxxer then I’d like to fight for the English or British title later this year.
BM: You’ve been mentioned as one of the favourites for the competition, Does that give you added confidence?
MJ: It means nothing to me, whether I’m the favourite or an underdog. It doesn’t bother me.
BM: Who are your inspirations in boxing?
MJ: I’ve always enjoyed watching Carl Frampton, He’s one of my favourite boxers. I love watching Canelo. Those too more than anyone.
Tickets for Ultimate Boxxer 7 are on sale now via Ticketmaster [click here] Limited tickets available. Fans can watch Mark Jeffers in action live on BT Sport on Friday 3rd April.