Ben Whittaker will be back in action soon and intends to return sharper, stronger and better than ever before.
After recovering from an injury, he is hoping to box in Birmingham in May. The Olympic silver medallist plans to make a statement when does fight again.
“That’s what I’d like to do, get the greenlight and fight in Birmingham and take it from there,” Whittaker, from neighbouring Darlaston, told Sky Sports.
“Faster, sharper, smarter, that’s what I’m going for,” he continued. “Come back like I never left.
“Now I can go in there injury-free and I’ll be buzzing. It’s good to finally feel normal again.”
Whittaker has been training hard in Miami with his coach SugarHill Steward, and is determined to showcase the skills he has been honing under Steward’s tutelage.
“I’ll never change my style because I think that’s what makes me unique. Even the debut, it was so unique. Going out there, having a laugh, having fun really and when I’m having fun like that, that’s when the best me comes out,” Whittaker explained.
“But then the second round I showed what I’d been working on – sit down on my shots and try and hurt the kid.
“I think you do need those two. There’ll be times when I’m in a fight where I can’t always move. I’ll be in the trenches. I need to stand there and hurt them or bang a little bit.”
He won his Olympic silver medal in style at the Tokyo Games and believes he already has the best footwork in the light-heavyweight division.
“100 per cent that’s without question,” Whittaker said. “Since a young kid I’ve always had great feet and I think, looking at the division now, they’re all kind of the same, they all can stand and bang. They all can stand in the pocket.
“If they can’t hit me, it doesn’t mean nothing.”
He continued: “The best mover other than me is probably [Dmitry] Bivol. People probably don’t give him his flowers. What he does, he’s good at it.
“He’ll take the smallest little half a step and to people who don’t know it just looks like he’s still standing there. But that’s how he makes you miss, he’s a great fighter and the top level’s good.”
Whittaker likes to dance across the full canvas of the ring. “The whole thing. It’s like footballers, you don’t just stand there in the box do you, you’ve got to move the ball round the whole field, that’s what the boxing ring’s like,” he said.
“You’ve got to use the whole ring. Because if you’re just standing there in the pocket you’ll get clipped. There’s a ring for a reason, use each and every corner of it and that’s what I do.”
Ambitious, Whittaker wants to advance quickly and fight five times before the end of this year.
He has cheerfully called for a fight with British champion Dan Azeez, but also wants to follow the Londoner’s example.
Azeez has taken his career step by step, winning Southern Area, English, British and Commonwealth championships. On Saturday Azeez fights Thomas Faure for the European title in Paris, live on Sky Sports.
It is a route Whittaker hopes to emulate.
“Beat everyone that’s been in front of him, got all the titles that he needs and he’s going for the European so fair play,” he said of Azeez.
“Hopefully down the line it’s a fight that will materialise which will be good. But I’m happy for him. European and then hopefully he can push on for bigger titles. He’s done it right. Some people do skip those steps and they get found out. He’s doing it the old route and it’s working for him so it’s good.
“I’m sure when he gets the call for what he needs to get, he’ll be ready.”
With boxers like Azeez and Whittaker, not to mention Joshua Buatsi, Anthony Yarde, Callum Smith and more, the light-heavyweight division has the potential to be the most exciting weight class in British boxing.
“If all of us can mix it up in some way, in some form, there’s going to be some great fights for British fans,” Whittaker said.
“So all I can do now is just get all the knowledge, experience I need until I’m at that stage and then hopefully I start picking them off one by one.
“There’s so many things that can happen. That’s the thing with boxing, you can never write the future because so many things can change.
“So all I can do is just take each fight as it comes and when the opportunity presents itself just make sure I’m ready.”
Dan Azeez fights Thomas Faure for the European title on March 11 live on Sky Sports. Watch Sky Sports via NOW