By Adam Johnson
Newbridge’s former Commonwealth light-middleweight champion Bradley Pryce, 34-16 (18), has endured a disappointing 24-months, registering just one win in seven and that was against former Prizefighter champion Michael Lomax in June of last year. Bradley says he will stop taking fights on short notice as he believes many of the losses he has suffered in this time came because he wasn’t afforded enough time to be 100% for the fights.
Unitl recently, Bradley was ranked by the EBU and fought for the European light-middleweight title in November [L12 to Sergey Rabchenko in Bulgaria]; he knows that one good win will put him back in the mix at European and domestic level and aims to be British champion by the end of the year.
Adam Johnston: You have taken a few fights recently on short notice, is that something you are going to continue or are you going to try and get back into the title picture?
Bradley Pryce: “Yeah, I want to get a title, but at the moment fights keep coming up at short notice and obviously I’m not having the time to prepare. I’m confident of getting in there with anyone short notice or not and that’s why I’ve been taking the fights as I know I can give as good as I get. I’m back in the gym now, I’m training hard and hopefully I can open up the year with a win, so yeah hopefully it will be good now.”
AJ: You Performed a lot better in some of those short notice fights than a lot of people thought you would, how do you feel you performed in the Sergey Rabchenko and Frankie Gavin fights?
BP: “I didn’t have time to prepare properly when I boxed both. The first (Rabchenko) fight [L12 in November 2011] was very close, but the second he won it clearly — it was a short notice fight and it was for his title. I knew his best punch was the left hook to the body, but like I said I didn’t have the time to prepare. I knew he’d use it, but I hadn’t had any preparation. We took the fight and I think it would have been a different outcome if I had more notice.
“The Frankie Gavin fight L10 in December], I lost over half a stone the day before the weigh in, obviously that left me drained as they wanted me as close to ten and a half stone as I could get. I was coming down from close to eleven and a half stone so I got down to the eleven stone limit and it didn’t take that much out of me. I felt okay, but it was short notice, it’s a lot of weight and obviously I wasn’t going to be 100%. He surprised me a lot with his movement and that, I was hoping he was going to come and have a slugfest.
“Obviously he used his head and out boxed me and that’s how he won using his skills. I’d have liked to have dragged him into a war, but he stayed away and boxed to a points win. After a few rounds my trainer wasn’t happy, I was cruising around he didn’t want me to be in there, but I told him: ‘He (Gavin) can’t punch’. None of his punches had an effect and I thought if I could catch him I could turn it around.”
AJ: You mentioned about having to lose a lot of weight for the Gavin fight, recently you have been fighting Welter to Middleweight are you planning to campaign at either of the weights?
BP: “Ideally, I’d fight at welterweight as that’s my natural weight and with the move to 10 stone 7lbs the gloves drop from 10 ounce to 8 ounce I think and that will help my power as well. I’d like to be welterweight ideally, but who knows, I know that the guy from Liverpool what’s his name, the light middleweight?”
AJ: Liam Smith?
BP: “No, (Joe) Selkirk. That’s come up a few times, but has been knocked back a few times, he pulled out twice due to injury. I’m in training for March if it’s offered for that, but other than that I’m looking for a fight at welterweight.”
AJ: Looking at the rankings in Boxing News, you’re ranked 10 places above Selkirk so is that a fight in the right direction?
BP: “Yeah, but he talks the talk and the two times I was due to fight him he pulled out due to injury. Hopefully they still want to make the fight. I’d like it now with fair notice because then he would get the best of me. Like I said the way it is now it could be the week before and they will phone me saying: ‘Will you take the fight?’ and expect me not to be at my best. That’s how it’s working for me at the minute, nothings working in my favour, but let’s do it now. If people want me to fight Selkirk then let’s do it now rather than wait until a few days before then call me in.”
AJ: In your fights in the last few years you have been in with some highly regarded talents such as Chris Eubank Jr [L8 in 2012], Frankie Gavin, Billy Joe Saunders [L12 in 2012] have any really impressed you once you got in the ring?
BP: “I think boxing wise Frankie Gavin and Billy Joe Saunders, yeah they had good skills and boxing ability but I don’t think any of them have that power to move onto world level. They are good boxers. Eubank, I didn’t rate him really, and think he’s going to go nowhere to be honest.”
AJ: Have you got any fights scheduled so far for this year?
BP: “Nothing really, I’ve only just been back in training now for just under two weeks so I’m just slowly building back up and I won’t take nothing now until I’m fully fit — that won’t be until the beginning of March. So from the start of March I’ll be looking for a fight, ideally I’d be boxing on March the 1st as I’ll be up to full fitness by then. If a fight doesn’t come up I’ll keep training until I find something. I’m up for fighting anyone, ideally a minimum of 8 rounds. I don’t really want to get in with a four rounder just for the sake of it.”
AJ: So you’re aiming for the British title by the end of the year?
BP: “Well yeah, I don’t know if they will put him in [Frankie Gavin is British champion at time of writing]. I think a lot of promoters realise I’m willing to fight at short notice, especially with my last two fights, so I expect a phone call to come up pretty soon , but I’ll turn it down until March to make sure I’m 100% ready. I want to bounce back with a win and have a good 2014.”
AJ: If your career ended today what would have been your career highlight?
BP: Probably winning the Commonwealth title Vs Ossie Duran [W12 in 2006], I suppose. No one expected me to win it and that turned my career around. I think I kept that title for around 3 years and made 7 defences [Bradley lost his title in his seventh defence]. I want to do that again and I think this year I can do that.
AJ: Thank you for your time Bradley and good luck in your next fight.