By Jon Briggs: The latest edition of Debutant Watch visits Newport, South Wales to feature middleweight prospect Daniel Barton. Fighting out of St Josephs Boxing Club in Newport, Daniel is a student of Tony Borg’s who has guided Lee Selby to world title glory and Andrew Selby to a British title. Daniel feels he has gained enough exposure to the pro game and is now ready to start his own journey as a professional fighter.
Daniel, 26, makes his pro debut Friday night at the Newport Centre, Newport, Wales in a four-round contest against Trowbridge’s Jacob Lucas.
What made you want to start boxing?
“When I was around thirteen a couple of the boys from School went to Wilsons gym for some training and sparring. I was a fairly quiet kid at school and went along to the gym and got pushed into doing some sparring then I realized I was actually good at it. It was a real old school gym and at the age of fifteen I was sparring men wearing 10oz gloves, it was real rough sparring.”
Did you have a boxing idol when you were younger?
“My boxing idle has always been Sugar Ray Leonard, my old coach Roger Wilson used to give me DVD’s of him. He had everything as a boxer, he could move, he had a clock in his head so he knew when to steal the round and he could fight on the inside when he had to.”
Did you do much amateur boxing?
“I was a winner of Welsh novice championships and I boxed for my country in the Serbia, Belgrade cup. I beat Sebastian Eubank on a majority decision as an amateur giving away 5 kilos.”
How do you know the time is right to turn pro?
“I was in a position where I couldn’t get a fight in Wales, unless it was in the championship so we were fighting boys from Essex and Birmingham and having to travel all the time ,looking back it was an amazing experience but it got to a point where I thought I need to turn pro now. I am at right age now so the time is now.”
Do you see a difference between amateur and professional boxing?
“It’s like a completely different sport, my style will be better suited as professional. When I used to train and spar with Jamie Arthur he always told me I had a pro style. You don’t get in clinches and get to fight on the inside as an amateur as your opponent will spread his arms and the referee will step in, if you do that in the pro game you’re going to get hurt.”
“Another thing is I see professional boxing as real entertainment, you sell tickets and take a big following to your fight but you don’t get so many supporters as an amateur.”
Do you work full-time alongside boxing?
“I work full time as a regional manager in finance leasing. As much as I would love to train full time, quitting my job to find sponsors and earn less money just doesn’t make sense to me right now. It’s hard work, I’m up at six in the morning running or swimming then after work I’m down the gym for a sparring session. Then training two or three times at the weekend. It’s brutal but I am doing it for the love of boxing.”
What sort of fighting style do you have?
“I am a boxer / puncher. I like to hold the centre of the ring. I can fight but I wouldn’t call myself a brawler, Its controlled aggression. I am a left handed orthodox fighter so my jab and left hooks are very good.”
What ambitions/expectations do you have for your pro career?
“The one ambition I have as a boxer is to win the British title. If I can challenge for the British title that would be amazing, to actually win and keep the belt is a bonus. I think that is a realistic ambition. I have sparred British champions and very well respected fighters and always held my own.”