Martin Hillman talks exclusively to BNAV ahead of title defense in Maidstone tonight.
This weekend will see professional boxing return to Mote Park in Maidstone for the first time in 16 years, courtesy of Joe Elfidh’s newly formed promotional outfit – JE Promotions.
The event, titled ‘Destruction’, features three International title fights and a whole host of local talent from the ‘Garden of England’.
One of the talented trio co-headlining the show is 25-year-old super-bantamweight from Orpington – Martin Hillman (6-2), who will defend his International Challenge belt over eight-rounds against top-10 ranked Hungarian lightweight – Tama Laska (8-7).
Boxing News & Views grabbed a word with young prospect from Kent ahead of his ninth professional contest in Maidstone Town Centre:
Thanks for joining us, Martin, please tell us about your upcoming fight?
“I’ll be defending my International Challenge belt over eight-rounds against Tamas Laska from Hungary. I don’t like to know too much about my opponent, I know he’s got a winning record, I’ve been told he’s quite tough, I don’t like to look up videos I leave that to Joe [Elfidh].”
How have preparations for this fight gone for you?
“Training has gone really well, been putting the work in, sparring gone well, been to iBox Gym in Bromley to spar with Danny Carr, he’s a bit heavier but it’s good sparring. Also sparred with Ricky Leach from Margate and Louis Greene, who’s also on the show. This’ll be my second eight-rounder and I’ve never lost a fight on fitness. I always make sure I’m in good shape.”
It was almost 16 years ago when South African boxing promoter Rodney Berman put on the last event at Mote Park, how important is it that the shows become a regular feature in the area for you?
“Hopefully it’s successful and people pack out the venue, and they’ll look to do more shows in the area. I’ve boxed at York Hall and in Essex and Kent, so they’re all pretty local to me but it’ll be good for a successful show this weekend to get more laid on in the future.”
I understand that you recently avenged a loss to Scotland’s Michael Stupart, how satisfying was that for you?
“Really satisfying to get that win over Michael Stupart, I needed it to move on. In the first fight, I picked up a perforated eardrum from a clash of heads and it ruined me as my balance was all over the place. Where it affected my balance, I just planted my feet and traded with him. Second fight, I didn’t get involved and let my skills do the talking. It was a good confidence boost, being able to avenge the loss, and I’ve had two stoppage wins since.”
What can fans expect to see from you on the night?
“I’ll just be better all-round, really. I’m always working to improve on things, keeping the defense tighter, and working on new things in the gym.”
What’s next for you after this fight?
“I would like to get in the mix for my first proper title, if you know what I mean. The Southern Area belt is so prestigious, so I’d like to get in the mix for that, really, as that was my aim when I turned pro, or at least for an eliminator.I would like to get a crack at that Jamie Speight, he’s the current Southern Area featherweight champion, but I just leave it to Joe [Elfidh].”
Any message for your support?
“Just to thank all my fans who have come out to support me.”
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