By Thomas Lyons
After a very prosperous year for British boxing in 2017, it wasn’t all straightforward for Reading’s Welterweight contender, Tamuka Mucha. With several pullouts and other uncontrollable barriers that have resulted in inactivity for Mucha (16-1), it is now to the relief of his team and management that he gets his shot at the English title on February 16 against John O’Donnell, part of another stacked Hayemaker-Ringstar card at York Hall, featuring GB outstanding amateur and Olympic silver medallist of 2016, Joe Joyce and also, Willy Hutchinson who has been tipped to be a top talent domestically by the Hayemaker himself, David Haye.
In an interview with Wraps on TV that I did with Tamuka down at the enclosed and tightly-knit Whitley Amateur Boxing Club, where Tamuka now trains with trainers Nathan and Wayne, who have sharpened Tamuka up and now look forward to the big fights in 2018, if they overcome a tough assignment for the English first.
The ten-stone five division is thriving at the minute with British champion, Bradley Skeete, who has won the coveted Lonsdale belt outright, set to vacate and move onto European and fringe world level challenges; there still features the likes of Josh Kelly who is being guided by Eddie Hearn and Matchroom, a fight that Tamuka has called for.
“My mentality this year is to crack on and get those big fights. I’m looking to make a statement against John O’Donnell. I know he’ll come to fight but training has gone accordingly and I’m itching to get back into the boxing ring” Tamuka told the Wraps on TV audience.
Referring to Skeete, Tamuka said that “everyone is chasing everyone, I don’t know who is the mouse, the cat… maybe Amir Khan is the mouse, Bradley’s the cat and I’m the dog”.
Tamuka is accompanied by some good local talent including fellow professional boxer Asinia Byfield, who campaigns at 154lbs (light-middleweight) and mentioned there sparring sessions together and that he was an invaluable asset to training camp. “We all spar each other and help each other stay in shape and ready to fight,” said Mucha.
It’s fair to say that the welterweight mix is booming and to start the year of boxing for 2018 with a bang, Amir Khan has also signed a three-fight deal with Matchroom boxing and will now fight on April 21 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.