Talking to Graham Finney ahead of his title fight with Lee ‘Leeroy’ Barnes, Jack Marshman admits that he is putting talk of him being the favourite to the back of his mind. Still, with a 9 win record to his name, it is no wonder the full-time soldier is expected to retain his belt. However, with Marshman well aware of his opponents all round game and tendency to finish his opponents off within a minute, the title-holder is not taking anything for granted.
So Jack, how is training going?
It’s going really well. I was really disappointed with my last fight, even though I won, so I’ve been working on my training and spending more time in the gym.
You won your last fight so what aspect of it disappointed you?
I wasn’t as fit as I could have been but it was hard to train and be a full time soldier.
What have you done differently this time?
Well, I’ve been able to train properly for this fight so I’ve really worked on my fitness.
Do you know much about your opponent?
I know quite a bit about him. I know he is a power-wrestler and has quite a good all round game. I also know he’s a good boxer and a good grappler so I expect he’s got what it takes to put up a good fight.
He’s also seen by many, including himself, as the underdog for this fight. Does the fact that people are expecting you to win put you under any additional pressure?
Not really, you can be the underdog or whatever, it doesn’t bother me. I go into each fight the same. I’ll show him the same respect as every other fighter but I do expect to win.
So, you expect your 9-0 to become 10-0?
Oh yes although I’m not bothered about the belt or anything. The only useful thing for belts is to hold your trousers up.
You seem fairly confident going into this fight then?
Definitely but I always go into fights feeling confident. I’ve been working really hard for this fight.
Leeroy is known for trying to finish most of his fights within the first minute. Will you be expecting a short fight?
To be honest, I’ll go wherever the fight goes really. I’m a million times fitter than I was so if it ends in the first round then that’s okay, if it goes to the third round then that doesn’t bother me either. I’ve been working really hard for this fight.
You mentioned being a full-time soldier affected your training last time. How has your preparation been different this time?
Well, last time I couldn’t train properly but this time I’ve been fighting with the Battalion boxing team so I’ve been able to train properly. I’m in the gym every day, training with top people.
So, what will your routine be on December 10th?
Same as always really. I’ll chill out and just hang out with my friends. I usually don’t really think about the fight until right before it happens. I don’t let too much bother me now. I’m just enjoying training and fighting.
Okay Jack, any final message for Leeroy ahead of the fight?
Well, I would say the usual have a good fight but, I’m confident I’m going to win so I hope he has the best fight of his career and we put on a good show for the crowd.