What Mo Gharib learned from train­ing along­side De­gale, Groves and Joshua

Boxing News - - Amateurs -

You’ve had a long am­a­teur ca­reer, you’ve been around a few years, how long have you been box­ing?

I started when I was eight, but I wasn’t box­ing prop­erly, I was just learn­ing. I had my first fight was 14. I’m 24 now.

Do you know how many am­a­teur bouts you’ve had?

90. I was tempted to stick around for 100. But when you get to elite level, I’ve had a lot of pull­outs. Peo­ple get in­jured and they don’t want to fight and that, so usu­ally I get eight fights a sea­son, maybe nine, 10. Last sea­son I only got 11, but won nine.

Does that get frus­trat­ing?

Yes, you train for fights but they pull out. So you’re mak­ing weight and they pull out. It’s frus­trat­ing.

Is that what pushed you to leave am­a­teur box­ing?

I went to Morocco for six weeks and I was think­ing is there a point of me do­ing one more ABAS when I’ve got two peo­ple in my club, Is­ling­ton, both at 60kgs and I’ll end up fight­ing them. Is there a point in me wait­ing around to box them and go through that awk­ward­ness of train­ing with my team-mates to box them? There’s no point.

I’ve got my [pro­fes­sional] de­but on De­cem­ber 2, if ev­ery­thing goes to plan, on a Good­win show. It’s in Lon­don York Hall. I’m look­ing for­ward to it a lot be­cause it’s some­thing new. It’s a dif­fer­ent mo­ti­va­tion now.

Who are the best peo­ple you’ve boxed?

I got a cut in the [Haringey] Box Cup against Gary Cul­ley, from Ire­land. He got the best boxer of the tour­na­ment. He’s had 120 fights or some­thing, won 100, Euro­pean [Youth] cham­pion.

I boxed Pat Mccor­mack in the ABA quar­ter-fi­nals in 2014 and he’s ob­vi­ously won the ABAS twice and gone to the Olympics for Great Bri­tain. He won it unan­i­mous but it was close. If I had thrown more punches… I re­spected him be­cause he was on the Great Bri­tain squad. He is tal­ented. It was more of a tech­ni­cal match be­tween me and him, try­ing to out­smart each other. I made him miss a lot.

Even win­ning the Lon­don re­gional stage is a real achieve­ment, how proud were you to do that?

I was proud be­cause I had four hard fights to win Lon­don and then I had to box in the pre-quar­ters to get to the quar­ter­fi­nal, so I was ac­tu­ally quite happy. That was the first time they done the Lon­don belt, the Ring­side one, and I was the first one to win it.

Was most of your am­a­teur ca­reer at Finch­ley?

I started off at All Stars, then I went to Dale Youth so I was train­ing with James De­gale and Ge­orge Groves, then I went to Finch­ley when An­thony Joshua was there and then last sea­son I went to Is­ling­ton be­cause of the split with Eng­land Box­ing.

What was it like see­ing peo­ple like James De­gale, Ge­orge Groves and An­thony Joshua right at the start of their ca­reers?

You’re train­ing with them and they’re noth­ing dif­fer­ent to you. If they can go far, you can go far. Any­one can do it. They proved that.

STAL­WART: Gharib has had an ex­ten­sive am­a­teur ca­reer

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