One time IBF Pan Pacific Welterweight Champion Steve Gago is looking to bounce back in style, as he takes on WBC Asia Pacific Champion Geisler AP on Dragon Fire Boxing's latest edition of the world-renowned Thunderdome series on March 6.
Gago was unfortunate not to emerge victoriously last time out against former Kazak amateur standout and now an undefeated pro, Nursultan Zhangabayev in a fight that many observers saw Gago winning.
Now the 'Timorese Terror' is looking to jump back in the deep end as he clashes with WBC Asia Pacific Champion Geisler AP on March 6 in Metro City. Gago opened up about his return to the ring.
He said, "I'm very excited to be back in action in Perth and thank you to my manager Tony Tolj for getting me back active and in a good competitive fight.
"I want to become a champion again, so I thought that I should fight a champion in my comeback fight. I don't want to have easy fights, I want to win titles and be a champion, so I am very happy that I am fighting a current champion in my next fight.
"I've been training really hard and I'm still improving as a fighter and that is getting me to where I need to be in my career and that is at title level."
Gago has impressed in recent months, having won the IBF Pan-Pacific title at the IBF convention last year in Macau. The Western Australian native discussed his plans moving forward and his success so far as a pro.
He said, "I've been really blessed to get some great opportunities so far in the professional game so thank you to my manager Tony Tolj for making that happen.
"I really enjoyed winning the IBF title at the convention in Macau. Those are great memories that fighters take from their careers, and I believe there are many more nights like that to come in my career.
"As I said before, I want to be a champion again and I'm going straight back in against a solid fighter in order to do that. I want to continue to be successful in boxing so I'm excited to put on a career-best performance on March 6."
Catford’s Ace Adam (1-0) defeated Enfield’s Guycha Muele (0-2) via third-round TKO on November 29 at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on a Hellraiser Promotions show.
It was the former Queensbury Boxing League champion’s professional debut and an experience that he will never forget.
Onlookers would not have guessed, due to his aggressive performance and blistering finish, but he was actually feeling very nervous all the way from the dressing room to the ringwalk, and even during the contest itself.
The 26-year-old from Catford, managed by Mickey Helliet, opened up on his induction into the paid ranks as he reflected, “It went really well and I’m glad I got the TKO win.
“Just before the fight, I was really nervous because it’s a step up from anything I’ve ever done before.
“It was the real thing, not the amateurs or Queensbury Boxing League. Just getting checked off by officials and wearing 10oz gloves, which I’d never experienced before made me feel extremely nervous. I tried to maintain some calm, even going in there [the ring] I felt it, I was still nervous even after the first round had finished.”
A few words of wisdom from his trainer, Eyez, in the corner did the trick though, he revealed, “Eyez calmed me down in the second round and I went out and stopped him in the third.
“I came back to the corner after the second and Eyez said to calm down and start working the body. I was headhunting too much, but when I started working the body downstairs, I managed to get him out of there. I was getting so nervous and kept trying to go for the head, but when I listened to instruction, I took him out.”
‘Lightning’ Ace Adam is certainly an exciting fighter and one to watch. He keeps the distance closed and is always pressing the action on the front foot, looking to land that powerful right hand of his.
In the third round, the pair stood and traded shots with each other until Ace brought him down three times, although one was ruled as a push.
“I could feel my opponent’s face in my hands when I hit him, I could feel his ribs and everything when I landed with those little gloves. Now I understand why people say boxing only takes one punch. He was a good opponent, very tough.”
Ace used his amateur and Queensbury Boxing experience to get through the anxious moments.
“I haven’t operated at the highest level like Anthony Joshua and Nicola Adams in the amateurs, but I’ve been around with good competitors, so I feel I’ve been well schooled and I’m glad I’ve got that pedigree behind me.”
Now, Ace is looking ahead to his second professional fight with ambitions to keep busy during 2020.
“I’m looking to fight in March, my goal is to have four fights this year – ending the year on 5-0 will be sweet. Impressive wins as well, it’s good to get the ‘W’, but it’s all about how you get them.”
Ace hails from Catford in South London, where he can count on a large support base. “Got a lot of support of family and friends from my area, but I’m always welcome for more. I really want to get the entire Catford area behind me. Dan Azeez [unbeaten professional boxer] is from Catford and we live almost opposite each other, so there’s some good boxing talent from this area.”
Ace had 18 amateur bouts and reached the ABA Novices finals in 2014. Instead of turning pro, he tested himself in the Queensbury Boxing League and won the national light-heavyweight title whilst going unbeaten in six fights.
Adam has trained with head coach Eyez at Sting ABC in Croydon since 2012 and counts former world heavyweight title contender Scott Welch as his manager.
Siobhan O’Leary will head to Scotland at the end of the month for a breakthrough title fight.
The Kerry-born Limerick-based puncher will face Scottish-based Greek Eftychia Kathopouli [3 wins, 1 loss] for the Celtic Nations title at the Gilvenbank Hotel in Glenrothes next Friday [January 31st] night.. A fight initially due to take place last September before that entire show was cancelled, O'Leary is determined to take her chance and win her first professional belt.
The straight-talking big-punching super featherweight has made no secret about her desire to be fast-tracked and now boxes for a title in just her fourth fight. O'Leary notes how “I wasn’t expecting it to come this quick, but when I reflect on it, why wouldn’t it? I need to be moved quickly and there is a smaller pool too. I don’t have the time to hang around. I am not 19 or 20. It is what it is. I am not going to be here in the four or five years. I am here to do what I can do in a shorter time. If I have to take risky fights then I have to take risky fights. I don’t think this one is risky, I think I knock her out - of course I am going to say that though.”
The 37-year-old [3 wins, 2 knockouts, 0 losses] is obviously massively confident ahead of her clash in the Highlands with home favourite Kathopouli. She describes how “if I am to worry about traveling or going to Scotland I may as well keep boxing journeywomen for the rest of my career. What's the point of that? I am confident I can win and it doesn’t matter where it is. Our team are confident. I go over there confident of bringing back the title. Apparently this girl thinks she can knock me out so bring it on. They reckon it’s a 50-50 fight, we will see.”
January 31st will be O'Leary's first six-round fight and a win would then put her in a position to be part of the first ever women's Irish professional title fight versus Monaghan's Elaine Greenan - a team-mate of Kathopouli.
She explained how "it’s a massive fight and I am looking forward to it. Winning a title is a big accomplishment, but it opens doors too. For me, it paves the way to that Irish title fight. I want to be one half of that historical fight and play my part in Irish boxing history. I would be honoured, humbled and grateful for that to come into my life of course and this is a major step to that.”