Joe Mullender spoke to Boxing News and Views in perhaps the most refreshingly honest fashion of any fighter.
Joe will return to the ring soon to challenge for a European title and ahead of his latest bout we spoke to the UK middleweight in one of the most straight-talking, frankly brilliant responses you’ll read from a boxer this year.
Joe, your last fight earlier this summer was a rematch that you successfully won the second-time round. What did you learn from your two fights with Lee Markham?
“The experience of trying to stick to the game plan and using my brain.
First fight, I didn’t want to think, it was just chin down, march forward and have a fight but that didn’t work because Lee had enough experience to adapt and box on the outside, so he had one over me with experience.
Second fight, I had that experience then and I think that showed. Learning to stick to the game plan and engage my brain. Where other fighters will get nervous and panic, the more nervous I get, the more I want to fight.”
Mullender vs Markham rematch (hat tip BoxNation YouTube)
How does it feel to be getting a shot at the European next up? Do you know much about who you will be fighting?
“To be honest, I’m not thinking about it, I just think of what I’ve got to do and don’t pay attention to who I’m fighting or what for. I just get into the best shape I can and don’t let what I’m fighting for or who I’m fighting really affect me.
For me, it’s literally just sticking to the game plan; yeah, I’ll always come forward to have a fight but it’s how I’m gonna’ choose to do it.
There’s been couple of names mentioned but no guarantees yet, only my manager Andy Ayling can answer that question. Couple of names flying about and they’re good fighters at the same level as me but nothing confirmed yet.”
What are your aspirations in the sport of boxing?
“Definitely looking to achieve a British title.
To be honest with you, the main goal is just earning big money in big fights. Every fighter wants big fights and big money, but they won’t admit to it. They would rather say how they want to be nothing short of a world champion.
I don’t care about being a world champion, I want to earn money to set my kids up for life. You can have belts sitting on the wall in your living room, but they won’t pay your mortgage for you.
My aspirations are for the biggest paydays and I’d like to leave the sport known as, ‘that kid who had a go’. I’d rather people say, ‘I wanna’ watch him cos’ hes always in a war’, rather than be a 30-0 undefeated, protected boxer with no money.
My motto is: ‘When and how much?’ If my manager rings up and says he’s got a fight for me, say it’s against a top-5 ranked kid in the world for this amount of money, then I’m there to fight.
I don’t pay attention to who’s above me and don’t look for fights. Couldn’t care less. I’m a fighter and I want to fight anyone.
I don’t talk s*** in press conferences either like others to build up the fight or steal the limelight, I tell it how it is and I ain’t lying when I do. I don’t pull punches, I’m here for a pound note and tear-up!”
Middleweight is a red-hot division at the moment, what did you think of the recent Golovkin vs Canelo fight and if there’s a rematch, who do you think wins it?
“Golovkin. All day long. I think he won the first one. Canelo can’t claim to be the best in the world when he runs for 12-rounds. He hit ‘GGG’ with his best shots and he just walked through them. He hit him with the same shot that he iced Khan with and he just carried on walking forward! Khan was on the floor for 20 minutes!
I pride myself on his technique, you can hit me but you ain’t gonna’ hurt me or stop me!”