Jamie Arlain: Winning The Challenge Belt Has Given Me The Confidence To Do Those Championship Rounds

Bethnal Green’s Jamie ‘No Pain No Gain’ .Arlain (4-0) enters in his fifth professional fight this Saturday at London’s York Hall in 10-round eliminator contest for the Southern Area lightweight title, doubling up as a rematch with former victim Andrew Joicey (3-2).

The pair clashed recently back in September for the British Challenge lightweight belt with Arlain emerging the deserved winner, scored at 79-74 by referee Lee Cook.

Boxing News and Views caught up with the 28-year-old East-ender just days ahead of the biggest fight of his career so far.

How has the training camp been for you?

“Just getting the last of the weight off now, but just can’t wait to get to in there now and fight.

Everyone else that I’ve been sparring has all fought already and are relaxing and eating what they want now, so I’m the last one left! Martin J Ward that I’ve been sparring with and Johnny Coyle from my gym were both in the Big City Dreams show last weekend on Sky Sports, and both won their fights.

The training camp has gone perfect, I’ve had great sparring and the training’s gone great. I feel stronger, a mate of mine said he’s never seen me looking so strong.

Where I had just one week off after the last fight, I’ve built up on top of that. I started this camp fit already and it makes all the difference. I got super fit for the last fight against Andy and then got straight back in the gym again.

I’ll stay fit all the time now in between fights especially as the next fight could be for the Southern Area title.”

Is the pressure all on you in this fight having won the first encounter?

“I’ve already won so the pressure is all on me, that’s what a lot of people have been saying to me, that it’s tit for tat and he’ll want to even the score.

I think for the first couple of rounds he’ll try to outbox but then he’ll go back to swinging wildly.”

Jamie Arlain

How do you feel about the first 10-rounder of your career?

“Looking forward to it, I’ve sparred 10-rounders already and done a few eight-rounders in sparring.

I think the Challenge belts are good for that and I’ve seen people that have won them go on to title fights. When you fight for the Challenge belt, you can’t fight a journeyman, you have to fight another good boxer that’s been approved by the Board.

It’s given me the confidence to be able to do those Championship rounds. Once you’ve done eight-rounds you feel like you can’t go back got to sparring four or six-rounds, it has to be eight at least!”

Is there anything we will see different from you in this next bout?

“Probably a better work rate. Where it was my first eight-rounder last September, I paced myself and think I could have been busier at times.”

The winner of this eliminator will fight either Day or Devine for the Southern Area lightweight strap – how hard is it to stay focused on your forthcoming fight when you know what could potentially be coming next?

“It’s a little bit hard because you’re thinking of it but then you’ve got to get through Saturday first. You’re thinking of fighting for the Southern Area title in 2017 but then you think can’t look past Andy, you’ve got to stay focused on that one.”

Who do you see winning that headlining fight on the night?

“I could see Ben Day winning that fight, he’s very awkward and clever with his shots.

I’ll be looking forward to fighting the winner because it’ll be someone different that’ll give me more of a push and a challenge. I’m 28 now so need these bigger fights sooner rather than later.”

What’s the ultimate goal for you in boxing?

“Win the British title. I’d like to work my way up rather than jump straight in for it.”

How much of an inspiration is your trainer Matt Marsh to you?

“Yeah, a lot! Without Matt, I probably wouldn’t be in the shape I am or have the confidence I’ve got going into the fight on Saturday.

Where he has been there and done it, you know you can trust him and know it’s all right.”

How is your support for this fight?

“For this one, I’ve got quite a bit of support coming so I think the atmosphere will be well loud! All the boys from West Ham gym are coming down and just loads of mates. My celebrity mates can’t make it that night, unfortunately, Anthony Allen a few others have got something going on in Essex that night.”

Thanks Jamie, anyone you’d like to thank?

“I’d like to thank all of my team and my sponsors Pro-Dec and Nu-Maintenance.”

(Images supplied by the author Tim Rickson)