Doghouse Talks to Adam Booth - Trainer of David Haye
By Spud Woollatt (July 19, 2004)
Doghouseboxing.com is rapidly enticing many boxing personalities to the site, and indeed many now cannot resist joining the discussion forums to have their say and correct the fans when we become slightly over-enthusiastic in stating our opinions on the many aspects of our great sport.
Today I had the pleasure of catching up with one of those personalities, Adam Booth, who is the manager and trainer of world class cruiserweight prospect David Haye. Haye has won all of his 10 fights thus far, the most recent being a 3rd round stoppage of the vastly experienced and rated Arthur Williams, who as many fans will already know has boxed the likes of Kelvin Davis, Vassiliy Jirov and Chris Byrd to name a few.
This is what Adam had to say to the Doghouse…
Spud Woollatt: Adam, firstly how did you first become hooked and involved thereafter in boxing?
Adam Booth: It was 1981. My step father took me to see Thomas Hearns versus Sugar Ray Leonard on Close Circuit TV, the fight was fantastic and from thereafter I went to my local boxing gym to learn about the sport.
SW: Why train boxers, surely you will agree, as a trainer unless you unearth a superstar is it very difficult to make a living?
AB: Of course it is difficult. The reason why I decided to become a professional trainer is because it is the next best thing to being a boxer. I love boxing, but I am very lucky to have David, not only is he a very good boxer but he is also commercially hot property, so that helps a lot.
SW: As David Haye’s manager and trainer, how do you think he is progressing, in addition have there been any mistakes on the way?
AB: Both physically and mentally his progression has been immense. People forget he is only 23 years old, he is coping with all life's normal responsibilities as well as being a well known boxer and businessman very well, actually I would say he has coped better than most young men his age.
Have there been any mistakes? The answer to that question is definitely, both in and outside of the ring, but as long as you take the positive from them and don’t make the same mistake twice then there is no reason why we cannot move forward in a positive manner.
SW: Many critics of David Haye, site the Lolenga Mock fight to focus on. Although David snatched a victory from the jaws of a potentially damaging defeat did you find it difficult to lift David from the criticisms he faced from that fight?
AB: No. David is very confident in his abilities and loves to fight, the problem with the Lolenga Mock fight was David made the classic mistake of trying to throw a right uppercut when his opponent was leading with a right hand punch himself, quite simply he got caught. David knows full well what he should have done and in that particular where he went wrong. He was hit on the temple and everyone knows what that can do to a fighter.
But with that said you have a look at the fights since then, David has hardly been hit and in addition I want to draw your attention to the fact that in training this has also been the case, I have every confidence in David’s abilities to be able to take a punch, I know this through his sparring, for instance he has sparred a lot with Danny Williams and has coped very well indeed.
SW: Can you explain to the readers the thinking to making the Arthur Williams fight, and then the subsequent elation you felt after?
AB: Firstly we made the Arthur Williams fight because our thinking behind that was he doesn’t normally get stopped and we wanted to give David some much needed rounds against a very experienced opponent who has been in with the very best in the division.
The elation after the fight was by the very virtue he did it so well. I suppose if I were really critical, I was a little disappointed the fight did not go further to give David the rounds, however David fought impeccably to a well thought out fight plan and naturally we were all delighted.
SW: Many traditionalists, both in the fight game and as fans, would like to see a fighter go the British, European and then World Title route - is that the plan for David Haye?
AB: In the ideal world of course I am going to say yes, but, pressures from both promotional and TV contracts may mean we will not be able to go that route. In addition I think all fight fans will acknowledge sometimes it is very difficult to make certain fights.
I will give you an example. Straight after the Arthur Williams fight, myself and Fight Academy who are David’s promoters were prepared to make what we considered a very good offer to Mark Hobson to make a voluntary defence of his title. This offer would have included what we considered a very good purse and no ties or options after the fight. Unfortunately, Team Hobson turned down that offer with one of their major reasons that the fight would be a lot more attractive to the boxing fans in 18 months time. How many times have the boxing fans and the paying public been denied the fights they deserve to see with promoters citing these reasons?
SW: Where would you place David Haye in the current crop of cruiserweights in this country?
AB: At the very top you have Nelson, Hobson, Thompson, Maccarinelli and David Haye, who in my opinion are all ready to fight each other. However, if I were pressed Johnny Nelson still has to be regarded as the No.1 because of his fighting style and the invaluable experience he has gained.
SW: There has been much discussion concerning the BBC’s involvement in boxing. Do you and Fight Academy feel pressured to rush David to help gain a further TV contract in the future, or are you bringing David Haye along with your own plan at the forefront of your thoughts?
AB: I can honestly say we are bringing David along with our own fight plan, we are not being pressured by the BBC.
SW: David has had only 10 fights, are you not concerned with his inexperience when planning for his future opponents?
AB: Myself and Fight Academy are convinced David Haye is a world class prospect and that means to prove that David must face difficult or high standard boxers even at this stage of his career.
A fighter of David’s abilities needs to be tested throughout his career to prove he has the credentials to become a recognized world champion.
SW: What is the plan for David Haye over the next six months?
AB: We are very close to making a fight with Carl Thompson that is the fight we really want. A formal announcement concerning David’s next opponent will be made in the next few days, fans will be genuinely excited by the choice of the opponent. The fight will take place on Friday 10th of September and shown on BBC Grandstand the next day. More importantly it is a big fight and will probably take place at Wembley Arena.
With regard to what happens after that, we have a firm plan and choice of opponents for the immediate future which will cement his position in the top ten of the cruiserweight division, which will subsequently enable David to challenge for a major world title.
SW: Adam, I have kept you long enough, hopefully you and David will talk to Doghouseboxing.com soon, thank you for your time.
AB: That is no problems, David and myself have already joined in the discussions and the banter that takes place on the British Forum..
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