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IntuBoxing Presents: Linus Udofia

An exclusive interview with one of Britain's rising middleweight prospects.

By Aaron Cooper   - @intuboxingfm

I’m asked by many as to what I think the most competitive division in British boxing is, and without the slightest hesitation, I will only be too glad to tell you that that award belongs to the men that compete at 160 pounds.

If you are an avid fan of professional boxing you will be only too familiar with names like Tommy Langford, Jack Arnfield and newly crowned British Champion, Jason Welbourne. One name that may have escaped you, but one that you may want to pay mind to is Linus Udofia.

Linus’ path to boxing glory doesn’t come from a stereotypical bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks, trying to make his life right again. No ladies and gentleman, the story of Linus Udofia is not one of those. It was fate that decided this articulate and well-spoken young man’s path from a football pitch into the squared circle.

Born in Nigeria on 28th June 1993, Linus moved to England as an eight-year-old boy. After a brief eight-month stint in West London, Linus and his family settled in Luton in Bedfordshire. Whilst he had a good grasp of written English, it would be a little time before you could speak the language. ‘In Nigeria, we wrote in English, but we didn’t speak it. It was weird because we all wrote in English but we couldn’t speak English. When we came here it was a case of listening to people and putting it all together. Which was tricky because everyone here seemed to know English’ He says in between laughter.

Like many young boys, football was Linus’, first love. But it was through his love of football that would eventually see him trade studded boots for the tape, gauze and laced glove fit for a pugilist. “I used to play football and do a lot of athletics. A good friend of mine Grant Warpole, we used to run a lot of community football and five-a-side tournaments and things like that. One day Grant had the idea to begin a boxing class and asked me to come down. It was really good, I thought I really enjoyed it, I really enjoyed the learning process. He said that if I wanted to compete I just go to Hockwell Ring ABC, which was just around the corner and that’s what I did. I was an amateur for three years after which I turned pro.”

Despite a relatively short amateur career, this didn’t stop Linus from winning the under 20’s national ABA tournament. It was after this period. Linus then linked up with well-known promoter Steve Goodwin who mapped out the fledgeling prospect's career. Making the decision to turn pro in January of 2016, Linus was making his debut just two months later within the hallowed halls of Bethnal Green’s York Hall, which he has made his home, having fought all eight of his professional contests, winning all eight and stopping four. When talking about his boxing home it is clear that he shares the affection that so many of his peers in the British boxing world do when talking about London’s famed boxing mecca. “It’s the atmosphere, it’s got an incredible atmosphere. It’s not too big and it’s not too small. There is so much history and heritage there.”

Udofia has been fortunate enough through his relationship with Steve Goodwin to appear on several Hayemaker Ringstar shows. Appearing on the undercard of two cards that also featured new Heavyweight Champion of the Commonwealth, Joe Joyce. Udofia will once again grace the ring at York Hall on June 15th against Eric Nwankwo which will be televised on Freeview channel Dave, given this likeable young Luton lad some mainstream exposure.

Udofia is certainly one to keep an eye on. One can perceive confidence as arrogance, but this simply is not the case for Udofia, he is a confident young man that knows exactly what he wants, and more importantly is aware of the gruelling work that lies ahead of him for him to attain those goals. The intention is to fight four times this year, including his June 15th bout. Leaving complete faith with his manager and trainer in the hope they can guide him to a title fight, possibly the southern area title by the time the year draws to a close. Udofia is already mixing with some of the best domestic fighters in the country in preparation with his bouts, throwing hands with Matchroom’s Ted Cheeseman and Felix Cash in invaluable sparring sessions. A consummate professional, he doesn’t balloon in weight, perhaps only putting on as little as a kilo after the weight in, voicing his disbelief at how fighters can inflate so much the day after. Truly living the life of a professional boxer.

How far can Linus Udofia go? Only time will tell. I like many others will certainly be keeping a watchful eye on this likeable young man’s career with anticipation, and might I suggest you keep an eye out too?

IntuBoxing wishes you the very best Linus! War Udofia!