Former English light heavyweight champion Miles Shinkwin recently spoke to Luke @SimBoxx in what was a refreshingly open and engaging chat….
SB: Firstly Miles, looking at your record you’ve fought some of the top contenders domestically at light-heavyweight and coming off a SD loss last time out (against Kirk Garvey, losing the English title in the process), how confident are you of being able to continue to perform at that level?
MS: For some reason or another without making any excuses, I’ve never been able to put it together on fight night. The amount of trainers I’ve had say to me after sparring, ‘where did that come from?’ but I’ve never translated what I can do in the gym into the ring and that had ultimately cost me on my biggest nights. I’m at a stage now where I don’t want to and feel like I shouldn’t have to go down the 6/8 rounder (fights) route of selling tickets to build back up to title contention again.
The old saying of been around the block certainly applies to me so I’ll only fight again for the right fight and the right challenge. I’ll always feel I can compete at a certain level 100% but that’s just a fighters mentality.
SB:It’s refreshing to hear a boxer be so open Miles, it must be a huge cause of frustration after all the work put into to camp for you ‘put it together as you say’ come fight night…
MS: The Hosea Burton fight (TKO loss round 6) I struggled with for a long time. We had great preparation, great sparring everything was spot on then I got caught behind the ear early and just went for it. With my experience I should of know better. It took me a long time to get over it, in truth I’m probably still not completely ok with it even though I can’t change it. The Jake Ball fight (UD loss) was equally as frustrating for the exact opposite reasons, Burton I was too gung ho and Ball I just didn’t let my hands go. The Liam Conroy fight (TKO loss round 2) I don’t even think about, the referee ruined what would of been an absolute cracker. Although even in wins I’ve under performed and maybe that’s held me back as much as my losses.
SB: Would it be safe to say that you harbour ambitions to right some of those wrongs and if possible rematch Ball, Burton or Conroy?
MS: Ball I’ve heard is moving to cruiserweight, I wouldn’t give Conroy a seconds thought but the Burton rematch is one I’ve repeatedly asked for and would love.
SB: With Liam Conroy, you wouldn’t give a seconds thought, your reason for that?
Are you hopeful of getting a rematch with Hosea Burton? He’s been inactive recently and a rematch could potentially make a lot of sense for both of you.
MS: After the fight he (Liam Conroy) was very disrespectful and said some silly things. Every man and his dog saw the illegal shots that caused the stoppage but he was still insistent that the shots were fine. He is a man, admit the ref got it wrong just like the board did and let’s go again. Would welcome the Burton fight with open arms.
SB: That’s understandable and unfortunate.
Going back to earlier in our conversation you mentioned you’ll only box again for the right fight and right challenge, does this mean if that wasn’t to happen you’re in a position to consider possible retirement?
MS: Yes mate, I don’t rely on boxing. My dad made me do a trade from school and I’ve managed to build a small plumbing company up over the years and invested any money I made from boxing. Only a very small % of boxers actually earn well from fighting and I was always very aware of that. I was champion of my country as an amateur and as a professional. Not many can say that so even though I haven’t achieved what I feel I could, if I’m done then I gave it every ounce I had and can leave with my head held high.
SB: Brilliant, to have yourself set up away from boxing and self sustained is very wise, speaking of your accomplishments Miles is there one moment that stands out amongst the rest?
MS: Beating Joel McIntyre (Miles had gone 1-1 in the 2 previous bouts with Joel) for the English, the decider I suppose would have to be up there just for all we went through to come out on top was very satisfying although I can still remember getting my first England call up at 14 and getting the letter through the post, that’ll always be a very proud day.
SB: That’s great to hear, the trilogy with Joel was fascinating to keep up with,
There’s a solid number of light heavyweights currently boxing in the UK, Joshua Buatsi, Anthony Yarde, Calum Johnson etc, who for you is no.1?
MS: Buatsi by a mile.
SB:Do you believe he could go on to win a world title?
SB: Going back to yourself Miles, if you were to call it a day, could you envisage a career in boxing afterwards? Trainer, pundit? Or are you happy to walk completely away from the sport with your afore mentioned business interests?
MS: I’ve been back down my old amateur club helping out for the past 6 months. It’s only right to give back after so many people gave me their time when I was a kid other than that I can’t see myself being involved. I’m happy enough just being a plumber and no one punching me for my money!
SB: Anything that you’re happy doing where you don’t get punched for a living has to be good!!
That’s all my questions answered thanks Miles, is there anything you’d like to add?
MS: Exactly that mate.
Let’s hope the phone rings!