I’ve interviewed a lot of interesting people in recent times but I was particularly excited to meet with British Boxer Isaac Chamberlain. Boxing is something I’ve developed a keen interest in over the last few years and I’m fascinated by how Boxers manage to find a balance between the intensity of training and living a normal life. Last week Isaac spoke exclusively with me about growing up, relationships and of course, life in the ring.
Isaac, you’ve had an incredible start to your professional Boxing career, but what made you get into the sport? My Mum brought me to Miguel’s boxing gym in London as there was a lot of gang violence where I was growing up. My Cousin got stabbed just after he passed his GCSEs and it really hurt my family a lot. My Uncle Ted Bami mentioned to me about getting into Boxing to my Mum and as soon as I saw those bags and the ring and sweat dripping off the walls, I never looked back.
Who were your Boxing heroes growing up? It was always the humble soft- peaking technical fighters that caught my eye. Like Marvin Hagler, Mike McCallum, Bernard Hopkins and Andre Ward. I loved how they adapted to everything and anything thrown at them.
A lot was made of the very ‘peaceful’ build up to the Joshua V Klitschko fight last year, do you think it’s refreshing to see this kind of respect before a fight or do you prefer to see a bit of a war between opponents? Definitely, I love it. That’s the type of approach I have to boxing. No talking, jut let your performances talk for you. It’s good to see athletes that respect the game and put it into a good light by showing that kind of professionalism
It’s well documented that Boxing is more a way of life for boxers and not just a sport. Do you find you have to sacrifice other areas of your life like dating and relationships, or is it easy enough to maintain a balance? Life is all about balance. You can’t have too much of something or it will be dull. I have to sacrifice a lot like partying and going out with friends, but if that’s all to be a champion then I’ll pick sacrificing every day of the week. I have a beautiful woman that understands my career and lifestyle and supports me endlessly, so it makes it a big help.
Ideal woman? I’ve found the perfect one already haha, she supports me in every way and is incredibly loyal.
Were you ever concerned about girls being interested in you for your growing public profile as opposed to who you are as a person? Not really. I’ve been with my girlfriend for a while now. We met when I was just beginning to have a big profile in the boxing world, I never told her I was a Boxer and when I did she wasn’t even interested. It was a major relief actually.
What are the key qualities you look for in a partner or anyone for that matter? Loyalty, and a good head on their shoulders. Someone that I can talk to about anything and isn’t materialistic or parties constantly.
Any deal-breakers? Someone that wants you for what you do and your worth, not for who you really are.
You spent a fair bit of time training with undefeated WBC Heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder, did he give you any advice? Most of it was tactical advice after sparring, but he said there’s going to be a lot of hangers on. Just keep your circle small and love what you do no matter what. Enjoy the ride.
Teen crush? I never really had one. I was a weird kid. I just played PlayStation and watched cartoons haha.
What’s the dream fight for you, who would you love to get in the ring with? I don’t have a dream fight. The person I’m trying to beat every day is the man in the mirror. To better myself and test myself to the point where no one can beat me at my best.
You mentioned in your ‘Straight Outta Brixton’ documentary that no one had ever told you that you could make something of yourself. What was expected of you? Where might you be if you hadn’t found boxing? Wow, I don’t know. Going down the wrong route. As a child I’d already experienced being around guns and drugs as if it was a normal thing, so it looked inevitable. At one point I wanted to be a fireman, anything that helped people.
Do you think our perception of love changes as we get older? Definitely, it’s not all about the looks and body (although luckily my girlfriend is also beautiful). Most importantly, you need someone that vibes on the same frequency as you and loves you for who you are, those things don’t seem as important when you’re younger.
What’s next for Isaac Chamberlain? At the moment I’m working hard in the gym preparing for my return since winning my last title fight. I dislocated my shoulder in the 3rd round but still managed to win over 10 rounds. So I’m planning on putting on an exciting show on St Patrick’s Day for my Irish supporters in the East End of London. I may just change my name to ‘O’Chamberlain’ for the evening haha.