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You’re a world champion with a huge win against [Lee] Selby but it seems like the Carl Frampton win has taken you to a new level. Is that something you’ve felt as well?
No, no different now. Nothing new but in terms you know just scrolling through social media and seeing folks’ comments and how they’re holding me to a different light now. 12 months ago I was on nobody’s pound-for-pound list and all of a sudden I’m one of the best fighter’s the country’s produced. So it’s funny how it’s working out. I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do, fight the big names and prove myself.
I don’t think I’ll stop there, I want to keep that going and now create a legacy
People come over and give me praise and it’s very much appreciated but like I say I won’t let myself run away with it or settle because I think that the time that you do, you lose your identity.
I’ve worked hard to get where I am and I’m in touching distance of unifying the division. I want to win more titles.
Have you looked back over the Frampton fight and analysed your performance?
It wasn’t a bad performance. I did what I had to do to win. There were a few different ways we were going to approach that fight. The fast start was definitely needed to throw Frampton out of his gameplan. I think the first two rounds kind of set the tempo for the rest of the fight. I think I left a big mark on him in the first two rounds. I think everything changed from from then, certainly his gameplan and his tactics. If anything maybe I could have sat down and tried to land a clean one instead of throwing so many for accumulation and looked to get him out early doors. But with that being said it made for a fantastic fight over the 12 round distance and made it entertaining. I was happy with how the fight went.
You hurt him early on in the fight which I wasn’t expecting, Frampton’s normally seemed pretty tough, did that surprise you?
Not really and I don’t want to sound cocky when I say that. I’m constantly improving, I’m constantly learning. I’m just reaching my peak years now and you know prior to the Selby fight it was always a case of … you might get a shot after this or this one could lead to a final eliminator.
I’d always just win the fight. Sometimes it was wasn’t in the most entertaining fashions but always about getting the W and moving forward and now I’m world champion, I’m in a place where I can really relax and I can really let the fans know what I’m about.
I’ve got a bit of a dig about me and it was just about bringing it to the table. Now I’m at the top level I’m bringing it out.
What are your thoughts on having to fight your mandatory, having to fight Kid Galahad (Barry Awad). He’s not, I imagine, the kind of big name you wanted? Is it a bit of an annoyance having a mandatory forced on you?
It is one of those things. It is what it is. I’ve had my little sulk about it. For me, if I could have my own way, I’d go straight in with [Leo] Santa Cruz or Oscar Valdez or Gary Russell. I fight any one of the champions tomorrow. I just want to fight these big names. It’s what the sport needs. It needs the big fights and the healthy competition. But with that being said I understand how the mandatory system works, it gives fighters below an opportunity.
It’s annoying because of the way Kid Galahad is, his character. He’s a bit of a nobhead. He’s had that [doping violation], he’s boxed muppets. Alright he won his final eliminator and he’s there but the way he conducts himself after being banned for two years [later reduced by six months] and still acting like a nobhead. The stuff that he says and the way that he’s gone about trying to hype up this fight – just all a bit sour.
But unifying is the goal for later this year?
Just the talk of it there; Warrington-Valdez or Warrington-Santa Cruz it gives me shivers. Just picturing what the posters would be like, what the press conferences would be like, what kind of fight we’d have. I want another belt. I want another belt… Chin Barry and that’s what I want by the end of the year.