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Johnny Greaves' Fighting Talk

PUBLISHED: 13:32 20 December 2015 | UPDATED: 13:32 20 December 2015

Johnny Greaves with George Hennon

Johnny Greaves with George Hennon

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Latest blog from East Ham boxer

I had 50 fights exactly in my unlicensed boxing career and I was unbeaten in my first dozen or so, so all was going well until I boxed former professional Matt Leonard for the British title.

He had one win, one loss and one draw on his record as a pro before retiring. Both his win and loss had ended in a knockout!

I remember in the first round, I threw my best punches and he just laughed at me and said his missus hits harder!

I was still a young lad and he was a fully grown man and that was my first defeat, ending my unbeaten streak, but I learnt more in that loss than in any of my previous wins.

Sometimes a loss is the making of you. Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell lost his unbeaten record at the weekend at the O2 Arena in London, but I think that it will be the making of him.

That fight also taught me the value of winding people up – that little word in the earhole when a lad hits you with the best shot they’ve got and you tell him he hits like a girl, well, it demoralises and deflates and can turn things in your favour.

Boxing is a lot to do with confidence, without it you haven’t got any chance at all.

I often hear casual boxing fans say that they don’t like a particular boxer because he’s cocky or arrogant but, to me, it’s just confidence and you have to have it!

Mitchell Smith from Harrow gets a lot of stick for being arrogant, but it’s not arrogance, it’s confidence, and when you’re facing another man who wants to punch you in the head, you have got to go in there being positive, believing you’re the best ever.

I was a little disappointed at Gary O’Sullivan for retiring early in the fight with Chris Eubank Jr at the weekend.

He couldn’t find a way to beat ‘The Next Gen’ who did look particularly good, but I wasn’t winning 95 per cent of my fights that I was in and I would never have pulled out!

You just cannot enter that squared ring without believing in yourself and if you have to talk it up then that’s what you need to do.

Muhammad Ali even thought the same as me. “I am the greatest! I said that even before I knew I was.”

*Johnny would like to thank his sponsors, The Peacock Gym and PR Manager Tim Rickson.

Follow Johnny on Twitter @johnnygreaves.

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