EXCLUSIVE: Chris Jenkins – A Year To Be Forgotten
Swansea City fan Chris Jenkins has had a difficult year filled with frustration. Photo credit: Swansea CityFrustration has been the watchword for Chris Jenkins over the past year, as plans derailed at almost every corner. The first of those frustrations came last November when a clash of heads interrupted his fight against Liam Taylor before […]

Swansea City fan Chris Jenkins has had a difficult year filled with frustration. Photo credit: Swansea City

Frustration has been the watchword for Chris Jenkins over the past year, as plans derailed at almost every corner.

The first of those frustrations came last November when a clash of heads interrupted his fight against Liam Taylor before a decision could be made.

Since then, three different opponents have been touted to challenge his British and Commonwealth welterweight titles without any fights materializing.

Johnny Garton signed the contract with a date set for April 11: the pandemic kicked in, as it did with so many plans, and Garton made the decision to retire after a career that once saw him hold the British title.

Conor Benn was installed as compulsory with talks before settling down and Benn withdrew from the stock market offers.

More recently, Ekow Essuman was declared compulsory, but this fight will only take place in January at the earliest.

Chris and I started our conversation by talking about the man he beat to win the UK title - Johnny Garton.

Johnny Garton said his professional career has not had the most auspicious beginnings.  Photo credit: Frank Warren
Johnny Garton vs Chris Jenkins fight poster. Photo credit: Frank Warren

“I couldn't wait to fight him because the first was an absolute war and people seemed to enjoy watching it.

“I'm sure it was a tough decision for him to make, but ultimately it was the best time than any to retire when all the sport was on hold.

“He wasn't bothering anyone and I know he comes home happy with his family, so I have absolute respect for Johnny.

Jenkins crossed paths with Garton in March 2019 when the Welshman entered Royal Albert Hall as a big underdog.

Twelve thrilling rounds - all in action - saw the veteran upset the applecart and take a deserved decision victory. Reflecting on that night, he revealed why the event meant so much to him:

“It's always the sweetest moment of my career. A close friend of mine committed suicide about 16 months before the fight and it was a time when I had a lot of pain and negativity in my life.

“I was going to quit the sport after these fights with Akeem Ennis Brown and Darragh Foley just because of the amount of shit that was going on - inside and outside of boxing. Winning the British title at the Royal Albert Hall after all of this allowed all of those emotions to release.

A host of national welterweights have scrambled to position themselves as Jenkins' new attorney with figures including Liam Taylor, Ekow Essuman and Conor Benn all claiming their claim.

In the end, it would be Benn who would get the mandate and talks between the parties progressed with Eddie Hearn making a nice offer for the Welshman.

While the price was right, in hindsight the timing might have been wrong.

What's next for Conor Benn?  The verdict of professional boxing fans Photo credit: Matchroom Boxing
Conor Benn recently partnered with boxing manufacturing giants Everlast. Photo credit: Matchroom Boxing

“I first received a message from Conor Benn on June 11 when he sent me a direct message on Instagram and the fight was being targeted for one of the Fight Camp shows. It was the first real speech and then obviously it went through the right channels and we were offered the fight.

“I was happy with the offer, Gary [Lockett] was happy but Frank [Warren] wanted it to be auctioned.

“At the time, I was frustrated because my fight dates [April 11th and July 11th] had been canceled and I just wanted a fight. I think Eddie probably knew that and knew that I had looked away from the ball.

Discussions of the fight simmered in the background with stock market offers slated for October: Benn's withdrawal was made public on social media days before their deadline.

While Chris was very frustrated that he couldn't fight, there was an element of understanding in looking back on his state of mind at the time. Those grievances were rekindled, however, with the British champion feeling disrespected when he heard the news via Twitter.

“Frank was convinced that I would win the fight, but I understand why he wanted to wait for the scholarship offers: you know, I'm the British champion and he was willing to make a high bid to make sure it was on one Frank shows.

“A lot of the noise around the offers was quite disrespectful, as was the way they pulled out of the stock market offers.

“I discovered it on social networks, someone posted it on Twitter, without saying anything to my team. Fuck me, how many people knew before I found out? It's disrespectful to put a fighter in this shit.

Chris Jenkins, the ice cream that won't fit. Photo credit: Frank Warren

Throughout our conversation, and the many conversations we have had before, one phrase has come out over and over again: "if your face doesn't suit you".

Jenkins felt an underdog throughout his career having to fight for his opportunities despite his early successes as a Prizefighter Champion and now as a UK and Commonwealth Champion. There was a tone of defiance to any rivals who might seek to succeed him.

“I might be the British champion, but people still neglect me. A lot of people and fighters have to start showing me respect because I'm the British and Commonwealth champion.

“It's in the history books and people forget that if they want to get these belts they have to fight me: end of. If they don't want to beat me, they won't be British champions until I retire. "??

The next man, supposedly, lined up to face the Welshman is England champion Ekow Essuman. Harsh words were exchanged between the two men on social media, with each man fiercely convinced that he will emerge victorious.

Although no date has been forthcoming, it is a competition that the Champion is resolutely determined to materialize.

Ekow Essuman clinched a dominant victory over Cedrick Peynaud to become the IBF European Welterweight Champion Photo Credit: Round 'N' Bout Media / Queensberry Promotions
Ekow Essuman clinched a dominant victory over Cedrick Peynaud to become the IBF European Welterweight Champion Photo Credit: Round 'N' Bout Media / Queensberry Promotions

“We've had words on social media before, yeah, and it's a fight I'm ready for. I don't like all his outfit of what he represents and I don't like the attitude that he owes anything to the sport. He's a good boxer otherwise he wouldn't be my proxy so I respect him as a boxer but that's all.

“It's a good fight that I'm putting my teeth into after everything that's been going on in the last few months and I can really channel my frustrations in those twelve innings.

“I have a lot of anger built up where I haven't had a fight since December and I want to start running again. I was in the shape of my life, I think that's fair to say, so the last year was a bit of a bullshit kick.

"People will see a different side of me, however, I think I've probably been too kind and too respectful in the past: I'll be more ruthless from now on." In the next fight, it will be a performance that makes people respect my name even if they don't want to.

The truth of being British (and Commonwealth, let's not forget) champions can often be more glamorous than the belt with which honor comes. Behind the prestige that comes with lifting the Lord Lonsdale belt, there is always the reality that three fights a year, minus costs, will earn you an annual salary in line with the national average.

And of course: if you don't fight, you don't get paid. Not having cashed a check since before last Christmas, Jenkins responded with "pissed off is an understatement" ?? by learning, he would not fight again until January at the earliest.

However, he characteristically remained hopeful that 2021 would be the year he could finally have brought the Lord Lonsdale belt home for his three young children to keep.

“My goal has always been to become a British champion. I always told you that. The goal remains the same.

"I really don't care who I fight - Johnny is retired, I would still fight Conor because I know I would beat him and now Ekow is my proxy." I don't care who it is because the goal is still the British champion and that doesn't change. "??

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A quick list of 16 basic boxing tips your trainer should have told you. These boxing tips will improve your boxing training, boxing punching, and boxing defense. Good luck !

Stay calm and punch lighter on the bag so you can last more rounds, keep your form together, and punch sharp. This will allow you to get in more minutes of quality bagwork. You want to have energy to hit the bag with convenable form and keep your punches snappy, instead of spending most of your bagwork panting and huffing to show that you have “heart”. Don’t waste energy showing off on the bag – nobody cares.

Don’t workout till complete failure. Get tired, break a sweat, and just push yourself a little more each day. If you go until failure everyday of the week without a reason, you’ll probably overtrain and quit boxing very soon.

Drink lots of water. One cup every hour minimum ! Make friends in the gym, be humble, and ask people for boxing tips. When another boxer beats you, ask him how he did it; you may be surprised at how helpful he might be at showing you your own weaknesses.

Turn your whole body into the punch. If your feet are slow, ( most people have slow feet at first ) you will find that punching a little slower actually hits harder than punching faster. So in other words, punch as fast as your body can turn so you won’t sacrifice power. Again, use your whole body instead of just the arms to punch. Throw bermuda hooks, short uppercuts, and bermuda rights but long jabs. You don’t always have to throw one knockout punch after another. Combo light and hard punches and use head movement to fake out your opponent. Remember that the harder you try, they harder they will counter, and the harder you will get hurt. Calm down and throw the hard punches when you know they’ll land. Never forget to go to the body. Try a jab to the head, and right hand to the body. When you’re in real close, lean your head inside to smother him and throw 2-3 body punches. Throw 3-5 punch combos maximum. You don’t need 10-punch combos – all those do is sap your energy and leave you open to counters. Don’t even practice these for now. Breathe out when you punch and always look at your target when you punch. Don’t hold your breath and don’t look at the ground. Learn to keep your eyes open during the heat of the battle ! Let your hands go ! Don’t wait around forever to let your opponent hit you all day. Throw something even if it doesn’t land. Keep him thinking and keep your eyes open for more punching opportunities.

Stay calm and never stop breathing. If you’re starting to panic, ask the other guy to slow down so your mind and body can catch up. Hold your hands high, elbows low, and move your head. Don’t waste energy course around the ring, just take one step and pivot out of the way if your opponent is overly aggressive. Think of yourself as a matador pivoting out of the way as the bull misses. Don’t forget to hit him back. Don’t lean back and don’t take your eyes off your opponent when you’re taking punches ( this is especially hard for most beginners ). Establish your ground and defend it with hard counters. Pivot so that you don’t get countered. Don’t always wait for your opponent to finish punching before you start punching back. Interrupt his combos and hit him ! Too many speedy fighters get caught up in trying to block all the oncoming punches that they never get to counter. Let your hands go !

When starting out, boxers will usually first be taught how to fight at a distance, also known as ‘outfighting’, rather than getting in close where they are more likely to be hit. The skills used here include arm’s-length punches and quick footwork to enable the vous défouler sur to deliver a blow before their opponent can respond. It is the best way to tire out and attack an opponent, and lessens their chance of a counterattack.

The following boxing techniques are described for right-handed boxers ( if you are a left-handed or a ‘southpaw’ vous défouler sur then use the opposite arm or leg to what is being described ).

The importance of a good stance cannot be stressed enough. A good stance provides balance, and is a key to both attacking and defensive techniques. Boxers should be able to throw a punch without losing their balance. Being off balance allows an opponent to get in with their own blows. to assume a good boxing stance, you need to do the following :

Stand sideways to the target, so that you lead with the shoulder opposite that of your strong punching hand. A right-handed boxer should point their left shoulder toward the target. Feet should be kept shoulder width apart, then step forward one pace with the left foot and line up the heel of your left foot with the toes of your other foot. Turn both feet at a 45 degree angle to your target. Your weight should be evenly distributed to provide a firm, steady platform. Bend your knees and hips slightly, keeping your back fairly straight and lift your back heel off the floor, no more than about sept. 5cm ( 3in ). Tuck your elbows in close to your sides and raise your forearms so that they shield the chest. Hold the left glove out at shoulder height and keep it far enough out to attack, but close enough to draw back quickly in defense. The right glove should be held underneath the chin with the wrist turned inwards.

The golden rules of boxing footworkGood footwork is important to enable the puncher to defend or attack from a balanced position. The golden rules of boxing footwork are as follows : Keep the weight balanced on both feet. Keep your feet apart as you move to maintain good balance. Move around the ring using short sliding steps on the balls of your feet. Never let your feet cross. Always move the foot closest to the direction in which you want to move first.

The key to good footwork is speed, and this can be enhanced by improving sport, with particular attention to the legs. One good activity for improving fitness, used by many boxers, is skipping. PunchingThere are four main punches in boxing : Jab — a sudden punch. Cross — a straight punch. Hook — a bermuda side punch. Uppercut — a bermuda swinging upward punch.

The Jab ( Left Jab ) This is the simplest but most-used punch in boxing, and likely to be the first punch any beginner would learn. The jab can be used both for attack or defense, and is useful to keep the opponent at bay to set up bigger blows. Hold your left hand up high with your elbow in close to your body. Aim for the opponent’s chin with the back knuckles. Rotate the arm so that the punch lands with the thumb making a small clockwise turn inwards. Slide the left foot forward before effet and snap the hand back ready to deliver another jab. The chin should be dropped to the shoulder to protect it, and the right hand held high ready to block any counter punches.

The CrossA ‘straight right’This is the most powerful and damaging punch, but it may leave the puncher open to a counterattack if it fails to connect. It is best used in a combination of punches, usually after the opponent’s defense has opened up after being hit with a good left jab. Drive off the back foot and pivot the hips and shoulders into the punch for maximum power. Straighten the right arm so that it is at full stretch on impact. Keep the left hand in a guarding position to avoid a counter.

A ‘straight left’This is a good way of keeping an opponent on the back foot. From the basic stance simply straighten your left arm and twist your hips and shoulders into the punch. The first will automatically twist so the knuckles are up and the palm downwards just before effet. If there is room, slide the left foot forward for the blow, but quickly bring up the right foot to maintain balance.

HookThe hook comes from the side so can catch the opponent unaware as it initially comes from out of their vision. The hook requires the puncher to arch and turn their body into a punch. It can be made with either the left or right arm. A right hookBring the chin down to the inside of the left shoulder to protect it. Pivot the toes, hips and hand in the direction of the punch. Turn your hand over so that at the point of effet, the palm faces down.

UppercutThe uppercut can be a great knockout punch and is delivered at close quarters. It comes up from underneath, has an element of surprise, and is usually aimed at the jaw with either hand. One drawback is that if it doesn’t take the opponent out, there is a big chance they will be able to deliver a counterattack. to make a right uppercut, transfer the weight onto the right foot and twist the shoulders and hips to the left, bringing the right first directly up into the target. Leaning back too much will send the vous défouler sur off balance.

a retenir to boxing techniquesWhile a right-handed puncher will obviously favour their right hand as it will be their strongest, they should be prepared to work with both hands. In any case, the jab — the most frequently used in a bout — for a right hander will be with the left hand, while he prepares to get through with a big right handed shot. Here we have focused on just a few of the basic punches from the point of view of a right hander, but the puncher must remember that a left hook or left uppercut, for example, can be just as effective given practice. In some circumstances, it may even be a good tactic for the vous défouler sur to change stance and fight as if he were a left-handed boxer.

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