John Dennen speaks to Brad Pauls a man who can’t help watching cooking programmes while he’s making weight
When and why you started boxing:
I started when I was 10. My grandad showed me boxing on the TV but I was already into fighting at that point. I was sort of looking for it without knowing I was looking for it, if that makes sense.
Favourite all-time fighter:
When I was growing up, so about 2003, it was the Ricky Hatton era and I absolutely love watching Ricky Hatton. I liked his aggressive style and his humble personality.
Best fight you’ve seen:
Ricky Hatton-Kostya Tszyu.
Personal career highlight:
My fight against Robbie Chapman has to be up there. Stopping someone who’d never been stopped before. I don’t think he’d ever been knocked down and doing it in front of my home fans was quite a special moment for me.
Good question, I’d say Robbie.
Best and worst attributes as a boxer:
My best would be my power and my worst… I don’t know what to say. No weaknesses I’m prepared to reveal!
Here’s a tip, if you’re going to train after work, whatever you do don’t sit on the couch before you get up to train. Because you will not get up again. It’s like a black hole.
I love Mexican food, so fajitas, nachos, burritos.
Best friends in boxing:
Linus Udofia, I see that lad every single day. Terry Steward and Ellis Steward. That’s my team.
Other sportsperson you would like to be:
It would be the coolest thing in the world to be Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Last film/TV show you saw:
It’s so weird, I watch cooking shows while I’m making weight. I don’t know why I do it. There’s one called The Final Table on Netflix, it’s about high-quality food. I caught myself watching it, I don’t know why.
Who would play you in a film of your life:
I think Channing Tatum could do a good job.
Have you ever been starstruck:
When I was coming up, I sparred George Groves in 2018 and I hadn’t seen too many pros at that point so I was a tiny bit starstruck even though I was sparring him.
Last time you cried:
September, my grandad died, the one who showed me the boxing.
Best advice received:
Just really simple: be kind and work hard. I find if you do those things, everything else figures itself out.
Worst rumour about yourself:
I don’t know, I haven’t heard any.
Something not many people know about you:
I went to university, Southampton Solent, and studied fitness and personal training and had a scholarship for boxing. I won them a gold medal at the university championships. I saw Lawrence Okolie knock someone out at those championships. It was mental, he didn’t get up for about 10 minutes.