English Light-Heavyweight Joel ‘El Toro’ McIntyre (17-2, 3KOs) has the most experience within the professional ranks going into the Ultimate Boxxer 2 at the O2 indigo in London on November 2nd and he gave Talkin Boxing with Billy C a touching insight into his personal life and career aspirations in a recent interview.
After 11-straight victories in the pro game McIntyre lost for the first time to Miles Shinkwin for the Southern Area title before gaining revenge 2-years later to win the English Light-Heavyweight title on home turf. For a lot of boxers making their way through the ranks winning the English title is a massive achievement but for the Portsmouth-based fighter is was more then that;
“As you can imagine it was perfect, it was lovely to even the score. It was huge for me personally because of everything that had gone on in the recent weeks leading up to the fight.
“I was very close to my granddad and when I was in training he died,” McIntyre openly admitted.
“One of the last words I said to him was, ‘I won by the way, I won my English title’, even though I hadn’t. I was trying to get a response out of him and it worked he was beaming.
“There was big pressure on me after what I had promised him so I performed better and had more urgency compared to the first fight. I’m a pretty laid–back character so I didn’t quite understand how important the big fights were. I was training like a machine, but I couldn’t get in the right head space. I had the inspiration to do it in that second fight.
“Being an English boy I wanted to be champion of my country so it was massive”. said a chuffed McIntyre.
In two highly entertaining fights with Shinkwin the rubber match had been signed for December 1st at the historic York Hall before ‘El Toro’ decided to enter the Ultimate Boxxer 2 tournament. But will the fight still go ahead as planned?
“It’s signed whether I win, lose or draw in the Ultimate Boxxer. I’ve only got winning on my mind with all these fights and I’m very focused. My career has been very stop, start and I’ve been pro for nearly 10-years so to fight twice in a month is perfect.”
The only other defeat on the 30-year-old’s record came against Liam Conroy last year and he would definitely like to avenge that loss to:
“That’s got to happen. I’m a fighter and I’m a boxer but I’m fighter first and a man before that. As a man I’ve been beaten by another man. In the nicest possible way if it doesn’t happen in the ring it would have to happen in someone’s front garden.
“I’m not going to be chasing him around or wait by the phone, I’m literally going to carry on as normal. I want it to happen but if it never happens, it never happens, career wise it’s just one of them things.
“I had never heard of him before, hence why my head wasn’t really in the game but we agreed the voluntary. In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have taken the fight with everything that had happened that year in my personal life. I wasn’t taking a great deal out of it myself apart from the fact he was my voluntary. It was a mistake in my camp, but we have ironed out all these mistakes and got rid of the bad eggs.”
Being ranked in the top 100 in the world and top 10 in Britain, we were intrigued to know what draws the former English Champion to Ultimate Boxxer 2:
“It’s a massive platform and a decent little venue. I’ve been to the O2 Arena before and I’ve also gone to the Indigo to watch boxing, it’s a great little venue.
“It’s going to be live TV [Channel 5 Spike] with a lot of faces there so it’s a hell of an opportunity to get in and amongst it. Right now, I’m just chomping at the bit to get in that ring. I’ve been training solid for half of this year again as I’ve had fights fall through so I’m slipping down the rankings. Although Ultimate Boxxer might not push me up the rankings, it will definitely get me noticed. It’s an entertainment business at the end of the day.”
With the success that McIntyre has had already, we asked if he feels any added pressure going into Ultimate Boxxer 2 being one of the favorites?
“Not extra pressure but people may well expect something from me. Frankly, it doesn’t matter who expects what, I know what I’ve got to do. I’ve got to get in there and make a real statement. I’ve never been so ready for anything in my life.”
The Pompey native will be a major coupe for any of the other seven fighters that are involved and, no doubt will up their game if drawn against him so is there anyone that he would like to fight on the night:
“I’ve got no preferences. There’s a quarter, a semi and a final and the best men will get through. There is no easy route as the man you meet in the final will deserve to be there as much as the other guy.”
Joel McIntyre is eager to get under way and just wants to get on with it now so would welcome the chance to be on first in this grueling Light-Heavyweight competition:
“Since my amateur days I’ve always wanted to be on first because I’ve got to the point where I’ve trained, I’ve arrived and I’ve weighed in so there is nothing else I want to do other then fight immediately. If I could literally walk into that arena and fight straight away then that’s what I would do. There is no other reason why I want to be in that place. I’m not a spectator, I’m not there to get pi**ed up, I’m just there to do a job and get in that ring.”
Training for a tournament like Ultimate Boxxer is different to preparing for just one opponent so every fighter needs a slightly different approach. McIntyre gave us an insight into this sparring methods and how he will prepare in-between fights:
“I sparred three different fighters in one night. I sparred three rounds with one kid, two rounds on the pads, sparred another three rounds with another kid, back on the pads and then finished off with another three rounds with the last guy.
“They were all different fighters, we had a slippery southpaw with a shoulder roll, a kid that was 6’7″ who was very hard to pin down and a young lad who was very solid. The last guy had heavy hands and threw punches constantly without giving me any time. It was perfect.”
“I’ve got Dan Iaciofano as my strength and conditioning coach, he is a top man that knows his stuff so whatever he has me doing we will be optimizing in-between fights. That’s going to be the hardest bit keeping the right level between fights. The plan is to hit and not get hit.”
So, 3 victories in 1 night will make Joel McIntyre the Ultimate Boxxer champion. We wanted to know how winning the golden robe and prize money would compare to winning the English title?
“By the time you get to that final you’re going to have been in deep so there will be some raw emotions when given that golden robe,” said McIntyre.
“The mad thing about winning the English title was the feeling of relief more then anything. The whole grief from my granddad’s passing was on hold while I was training so I had a massive relief of emotion. Maybe they’re going to be similar, it’ll be interesting to find out.”
Talkin Boxing with Billy C would like to thank Joel for taking the time out of his busy schedule to speak with us. We hope to have ‘El Toro’ back on BillyCBoxing soon. Good Luck!
Please follow the former English Light- Heavyweight champ on @yaakamcintyre