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27 MAY 2018

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Robin Wants to Rock Prizefighter

Robin Deakin
Robin Deakin

By Andrew Wake: While the opponent tag doesn’t sit well with Crawley’s Robin Deakin, the 24-year-old would love to take part in the much talked about Prizefighter tournament for Britain’s journeymen.

At present it seems unlikely that Barry Hearn’s Matchroom Promotions will stage an evening for the fighters who hold the have gloves, will travel attitude that is the foundation of boxing in this country.

But a growing internet campaign, one that has almost 2500 supporters on Facebook, is gathering pace and “Rockin” Robin wants to be in the mix should it garner any success.

At stake would be £32,000 and while that isn’t a huge sum in the grand scheme of boxing, it would be like winning a world title to those who are used to taking late notice contests on away shows for a purses of less than £1500.

“If I was in Prizefighter I’d win it, no doubt it,” Deakin declared. “All the other journeymen just like to survive whereas I’d have a war with every single one of them and I’d make it the best Prizefighter they’ve ever had because I’d give it 110 per cent.

“They give you six weeks training for it. I’ve never had that in my career.

“I keep saying to my manager ‘get in the Prizefighter’ but because of my record the board won’t let me in even though I’ve boxed all the champs out there like Anthony Crolla and Stephen Smith.

“If the board don’t allow it it’d be like being racist because journeyman are the backbone of boxing because we bring the prospects on.”

Deakin’s ledger, which consists one win against 28 defeats, may concern the BBBofC but it worries the fighter himself more.

The red haired trier was a quarter-finalist at 2005 ABA, losing to eventual winner and current British super-featherweight ruler Gary Sykes, but his time in the pro ranks has been somewhat less joyous.

He signed with Frank Warren at the beginning of his career and successfully outworked Shaun Walton on his debut over four rounds. However, a surprise reverse to Cambridge-based Latvian Eduards Krauklis set off a losing he streak he’s been unable to shake off.

Although this 27 fight run has seen him trade blows with 17 fighters who were undefeated at the time, he feels his résumé would look a lot better if he was fully prepared and didn’t take last minute fights on the road.

“My record is shit, I’m embarrassed by it,” Robin admitted. “But me being a fighter I’m not going to turn down anyone whether it’s a week’s notice, a day’s notice or even an hour’s notice. Fit or not fit I’ll say yes to anyone because I believe in my ability.

“Being the opponent is hard because I’ve lost the fight before I even get in there. I have to knock ‘em out to get a draw. People say it’s a myth and not true but I know for a fact it is. The first time I fought Vinny Mitchell I beat him, I put him on his arse and every single shot in the replays between rounds were me hitting him. He won that fight because it was him and his brother headlining that show at York Hall.

“The reason I get stopped is because I’m not fit. The only one that has ever truly hurt me is Stephen Smith and even if I was fit he would still be too strong for me, everyone else was because it was short notice and I’ve not been properly fit.

“Every time I fight there’s always something that throws me off key, there’s a problem with my training or there’s argument’s with my family.

“I’ve got to be in the gym all the time and it tires you out just being in there. It’s frustrating when you don’t get a call or you’ve over trained and your manager calls up about a fight and you have to suddenly liven up about it.”

Now he’s ready to turn over a new leaf and focus solely on progressing. If ‘Rockin’ Robin can overcome the doubters and score some upset wins it would be a greater underdog story than the one recently made by his home town football in the FA Cup.

“2011 is my time to shine. It’s my time to show people what I can do,” he declared.

“My record doesn’t show my ability, it doesn’t show I can punch. People I’ve been in with like Anthony Crolla will tell you that I can punch. Sparring with the likes of Frankie Gavin, he’s said I’m so awkward and so good I just need to put the time in and I will be from now on.”

And he believes he’s found the perfect opponent to help push his career forward. Bolton’s young Haroon Khan, brother of WBA light-welterweight champion Amir, is currently preparing for a tilt at Olympic success with Pakistan. Deakin, however, has a heard a whisper he’s considering turning over and would like him on his pro berth.

“I want to get my hands on him. He’s a good name to have on my CV,” declared Deakin. “I don’t know much about him but I believe I can beat anyone if I’m given enough time to get the weight down and train properly

“I believe Haroon Khan, if he is turning pro, will be ideal for me. I’ll give him the biggest shock of his life. I think he’s living off his brother’s reputation and if I get him on his debut I’ll take him apart.”

Even if the fight doesn’t come off and Deakin doesn’t embark on the winning streak he believes his talent deserves, the fact he spent time in the fistic arts at all can be deemed a success.
The West Sussex man was born with a severe deformity and its incredible that he can even stand upright, let along skip around the ring.

“I was born with my feet back to front and the doctors said I wouldn’t be able to walk,” he said. “In my left foot I’ve got a limp, it’s got no Achilles tendon and it’ll never build up to be as strong as a normal foot. Sometimes when I get hit with a jab and it looks like it has hurt me but it hasn’t, it’s just that I’m off balance.”

Family issues have also been difficult to overcome.

“There’s always something with my family that throws me off key, some argument or dispute. If people knew what my background and what my family has been like they’d realise how hard it is for me to concentrate on boxing.

“With my background I could have ended up crack head or in and out of prison but I’m not, I’m actually trying to do something good with my life. People put me down but if they knew me and what I’ve been through, they’d support me.”

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