Tetley career brewing nicely
Whilst the focus on the 16 April card in Leeds is predominantly on Josh Warrington’s battle with former world title challenger Hisashi Amagasa, the undercard features intriguing tests for some established names such as Stuey Hall and Dave Ryan. It will also be the second First Direct Arena appearance for Bradford southpaw Darren Tetley (10-0, 5 KOs) as he continues his progression in the paid ranks.
The West Yorkshire welterweight is due to take on Sheffield-based Ryan Hardy and told Boxing Monthly his preparation had gone well. “I sparred at Camp Detox against Steven Mennell and Dexter Thomas, Burmantofts Gym against Hamed Ghaz and Levi Powell. I’ve had some good sparring, all top quality fighters. Also Junior Witter. So I’ve been getting some very good sparring.”
Tetley was keen to set the record straight after it was suggested recently that his opponent was due to be Irish-born Dean Byrne before Byrne’s recent victory on the Kell Brook undercard gave him cold feet. “The first I heard of it was in an interview. Apparently, he was lined up to fight me on the Leeds show. I don’t know if it’s because he got a win and wanted another big fight. But I said to my manager, I’ve got to get past Ryan Hardy first, but then straight after I’ll be looking to get Dean Byrne in the ring.
“This is what bothers me about it all. I don’t call people out, I don’t slag people off, I don’t bad mouth people. But then, the second he gets a decent win, he says I’ll be scared of him. Just talking shit really. I don’t believe in it. The people that talk shit, it comes and bites you on the arse. I’ve always been like that [not trash talking]. I think I was about 15 or 16 and I went into a fight pretty cocky in a way. I got beat. I think I’d won 18 fights in a row. That made me think, I need to sort myself out a bit.
“About a year later I boxed the same lad again and I beat him, so I learned that. I’ve been brought up better than to mouth off and slag people off. It’s a dangerous sport and you have to respect every single person who get in the ring with you, be that sparring or fighting. If he’s doing it to sell a fight, that’s down to him.”
Further down the line, Tetley has been spoken about as a potential title contender, but is keen to stay focused and level-headed. “I’m not saying I don’t want it to happen. But if I had to pack it in today, I’d be happy with what I’ve achieved,” he told BM. “Nobody ever thought I’d stick to boxing, let alone be doing it for a living. So, just to get to where I’ve got to know makes me proud and happy.
“But I want to push on and, whatever level, maybe win an area title then the English and compete for the British. All I wanted to do when I started boxing was box for England and I achieved that. In my own head, I’m pretty happy in my own head. Who wouldn’t want to win a British title?
“But anything can happen in a fight. If you start saying ‘I want to do this, I want to do that’, if I set my sights on a British or European title, and I never got to that level and had to quit boxing, I think that depression and things like that kick in. Because you start thinking, I wanted to do that, but now I never can. Wherever I get to, in the end, as long as I’m healthy and I’ve got my family’s health, and I can provide for my family, that’s all that matters to me….
“The Karmand Centre Gym that started me off put me where I am. I’ve got older cousins, I got brought up fighting kind of thing, and I’ve always been fighting since I was a little kid. It’s one of those things for me.”
Balancing a ‘day job’ with a boxing career isn’t something that overly bothers the southpaw.
“I love my job, I enjoy what I do. I’ve worked more or less all my time. You do get the people, saying, I couldn’t train and work at the same time. But that’s a mentality,” he told BM. “If that’s there mentality, you aren’t going to be able to do it. My mentality is, I go to work and go training, that’s what I’ve got to do. Who cares? That gets me a long way, because I don’t take anything for granted. I enjoy the boxing part. It does give you some confidence, when people say they admire me for doing it. But for me, it’s just a natural thing to do. “
That attitude may go some way to explain his progress and position on the huge 16 April card. “I take it all in [fighting at the arena). Every fight I walk into the ring with a smile on my face. I’m training to fight. The fighting bit, yeah I get nervous, who doesn’t, but that’s the bit I enjoy. Training’s awful. Any boxer who says they enjoy training, I think they’re talking shit….if you have a choice between training and being at home with your family.
“Being on an undercard gets your name out there,” he continued. “As far as pressure, I hate losing. But I think that’s being a boxer. That’s what keeps me going, the thought of losing. That’s the one thing I never want to do, get beat. But in terms of pressure, I don’t really feel any in any fight. Simply because I’ve got further than I ever thought. That doesn’t mean I’m going to sit back and think I don’t have to train. I’m going to give it 110% to get as far as I can. But to get to where I am, from where I came from, I’m very proud.”
Tetley also made an interesting point about the advantages and disadvantages of being without a long-term promoter. “I think on both sides, there’s good and bad,” he said. “When you are signed to one of the big labels, you have to sell tickets to earn a wage, and cover your opponent. That’s the bad side. But the good side is, I can get on any shows. I can ask to be on any show I want. I’m sort of a free agent; my manager can get me on good shows. I’ve been on a Matchroom show, a Dennis Hobson show. I don’t have a promoter and obviously every boxer wants to be with a big promoter, get paid regardless of what tickets you sell. But if I’ve wanted to do it the hard way, so be it, I’ll do it the hard way.”
Tickets are available form Darren directly on 07564 210960.