By John MacDonald
Wadi Camacho 12-2 (8) is aiming to end his long running feud with rival Stephen Simmons 9-0 (4) and grab a lifeline to rejuvenate his career this Friday at the Braehead Arena, Glasgow.
For the past 6 months the big hitting cruiserweights have been engaged in a battle that has involved social media spats, Photoshop and a press conference that turned into a war of words. While this is purely personal for Simmons, Camacho is fighting for more than bragging rights; he’s fighting for his career.
Losses to China Clarke and Tony Conquest have left the Londoner in a position where every fight is must win.
“A defeat is not an option. It has crossed my mind, it has to when you are thinking about the situation but it’s just not going to happen,” Camacho revealed to Boxing Scene.
“The situation with the two losses I have, they were my two learning curves. I don’t feel I lost the fight with Conquest but at the end of the day I have an L on my record. There’s no more room for errors or mistakes.
“I’ve had two mistakes but I feel I’ve learned from them; as a boxer and as a person so I’m just going to go out and put on a great performance.”
After losing to Conquest in a British Cruiserweight title eliminator last October, Camacho parted company with trainer Don Charles. The “Macho Man” has since teamed up with Peter Sims and is reaping the benefits of training alongside the like of; Ricky Burns, Kevin Mitchell and Anthony Joshua.
“Every single trainer is different but Peter Sims has got me focussing on what I need to improve on. Also it’s about staying together as a family, the Sims’ gym is buzzing at the moment, making champions and we all do it together as a team.”
In the past the 28-year-old hasn’t been short of a word or two but when it comes to what improvements we are likely to see on Friday, Camacho has opted to do his talking in the ring this time.
“I’ve done a lot of talking in the past but everyone knows that in Sims’ gym, people don’t mess around there. The training has definitely improved. I just want everyone to see me on the 27th and they can judge me on my performance.”
Where, when and why the bad feeling between the pair began has been the source of some debate. Many believe it to have started when the pair were still amateurs on the GB setup. However, Camacho believes it all started far more recently. After winning the one night, knockout tournament; Prizefighter in May 2013 he responded to comments from Simmons supporters and believes the situation escalated from there.
“After I won Prizefighter a couple of his fans were saying ‘Why don’t you come and fight Simmons?’ So basically I told them ‘He has to wait in the queue because winning the Prizefighter title brings you bigger and better things.’
“He must have took that personal. Then after that he started to say some crazy comments about me so that’s when it started really.”
With all the hostility in the build-up, Camacho will likely receive a white-hot reception from a very pro-Simmons crowd, in the region of 6000. This will be the first time as a professional that he has had to face a hostile gathering but rather than feeling daunted by the prospect, he relishes the challenge.
“I’m buzzing at the moment. I’m so excited to actually go there and let people boo and jeer. I’m a bit quieter just now because I’m really focused, this is fight week now. We’re going to get the ball rolling and on fight night I’m going to soak up the atmosphere.”
Victory would leave Camacho perfectly placed to challenge reigning British and Commonwealth champion, Ovill McKenzie but right now he is fully focussed on Stephen Simmons.
“I’m not thinking about titles, I’m just thinking about this fight. I’m just fighting this boy, ‘Cookie Monster’, that’s all I’m thinking about. I know that after this fight I’ll be at the next level but I just have to get rid of this guy first then I can start thinking about titles.
“Everyone knows what I do. Especially now I’m working with Peter Sims. I’m just going to go out and do what I do best. Which ever gear he goes in to, I’ll be ready for.”