Interview With Sam Webb - Talks
Prince Arron, Anthony Small, Martin Concepcion & More
By Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro
This Friday Sam Webb makes his second defense of the British
Light Middleweight title, he won back in March last year in
a ding dong battle with Anthony Small. His opponent will be
Prince Arron, whose probably best known for winning the
Prizefighter - Light Middleweights tournament last year.
Iíve known Sam for about a year now and for a good couple of
months or so he has been promising to give me an interview.
Every time we see each other, at the TKO Boxing Gym in
Canning Town, Sam would say weíll do that interview after
Iíve finished training/sparring. Problem is that Sam would
always train well past the time he expected and needed to
rush off. He always apologized profusely and said weíd do it
when he was next in the gym.
For the past few week, with his fight so close, I didnít
push the interview request so imagine my surprise when after
his final training session Sam came over and said letís do
that interview now - so we did and here it is.
Rio - You have your second defense of your British Light
Middleweight title this Friday, how have your preparations
Sam - Theyíve been going really well. Iíve been sparring a
few big kids, Cruiserweights and Light Heavyweights and itís
been going very well.
Iíve just finished off with Bradley (Skeete), whoís a
Welterweight. Heís nice and sharp and has the same size and
the range as Arron so the type of sparring has been right as
I think itís only his size that may cause me a problem.
Yeah, itís gone really, really well.
Rio - You won the title by beating Anthony Small, who you
fought in the amateurs a couple of times, how did it make
you feel to beat him for the title.
Sam - Me and Anthony grew up and came through the amateurs
together so there was always a bit of rivalry there between
I beat him twice in the amateurs and that obviously stuck in
his mind a bit. On that big day I think that may have stuck
in his mind a little bit.
As a person I always thought Anthony was a nice person as an
amateur but now as a professional and a grown up, heís
changed as a person so beating him for the title was like
the icing on the cake as I canít stand the kid to be honest.
Rio - Your last fight was against Martin Concepcion, you
stopped him. Tell us about that fight.
Sam - Yep, my game plan was always to box him on the
outside, obviously with him being a big puncher, so it was
always a case of keeping calm and not mixing it up early.
The game plan was to out box him, be sharp and donít get
In the early days of my career I could never listen to that,
the red mist would have gone straight up and I would have
been involved in a tear up in seconds, so it just goes to
show how experience comes into play.
I just grinded him down and then clipped him in the end. It
was a blinding night, faultless performance and I was over
the moon with it.
Rio - We all know about your pro career, can you tell us
about your amateur career?
Sam - I had about 78-80 bouts, only lost a handful to some
really good kids. Boxed about 12-15 times for England, got
to a few ABA finals, but never managed to win an ABA title,
which was a real pain in the arse. You know, thatís the
national title that you really want to win. Never won that
but done really well as an England rep, went away a few
times. I won a Gold, Silver and a Bronze at the three
multi-nations I went to.
That was really great, but I never got an ABA national title
so to win the British title as a pro is exactly what I
Rio - OK, letís bring it up to date again, your fight
against Prince Arron, how do you see that going - but donít
give away any of your game plan (-;
Sam - Yeah, well obviously I wont be saying too much about
tactics, but in terms of the fight, itís going to be a hard
fight. Iíve not prepared as if Iím going in as a massive
favourite, Ďcos I know how I felt going into the title fight
before I won the title. I was sure I was going to be the
Champion and Iím sure he has that.
But I said to everybody Iím British Champion now and I want
to succeed in winning the belt outright. Thatís my goal,
itís always been my dream to win the Lonsdale belt but to
win it outright would just top it you know. Thatís an
unbelievable feeling, thatís what I want.
If I can go beyond my own expectations, which is British
level, then thatís a real bonus, then I can look back when
my career is over and think jesus I did all that, you know.
Rio - You touched briefly on where my next question lays,
which is after you retained your title on Friday, whatís
next for Sam Webb?
Sam - Iím mandatory for the European title already, so this
is a dangerous fight already, you know by taking this fight.
I could have just vacated the title and just sat round
waiting for September or October and waited for the European
title. Iíd already been told by Frank (Maloney) that that
could happen, but I donít want to do that you know.
Iím willing to take the risk against Arron and box again as
I feel that the experience, if the fight goes the distance
or even however far the fight goes, Iíll gain more
experience over that time and that any activity is better
than just sparring for any fighter. I want to go for it, Iím
confident in my ability and myself.
I did get offered the European title fight, but I would have
had to go over to where Konecny is from. I phoned up the
board and Robert Smith advised me not to take it as the
chances are even if you knock him out, you wont get the
decision. So that turned me against it to be honest.
From a fighters point I was itching for it and willing to
take the chance, but Al (coach Al Smith) talked me out of
it. He said itís not like the amateurs, youíve got to look
at your career, get through Arron and then get through the
next defense and youíll still be in the same position but
youíve got the Lonsdale belt outright and youíve got that
fight two fights down the line anyway, so thatís the plan.
Rio - Which boxer influenced you most.
Sam - I used to look at all types of fighters, the likes of
Nigel Benn. I remember watching Nigel Benn and Gerald
McClellan, I remember sitting down in my Mumís front room
watching that. The rivalry between Benn and Eubank was
brilliant, a real buzz.
That was a peak for Britain, you had two British World
Champions at the same weight and there was a genuine
rivalry, it created a massive amount of interest. That was
one of the things I enjoyed about watching boxing as a kid,
Only yesterday me and Bradley (Skeete) were running and I
said that there was something about the one on one in a
I remember the first fight I watched, it was Mike Tyson and
about six or eight weeks later he boxed again against Buster
Douglas and he got beat and I remember crying as a kid
because he got beaten. He was my favourite fighter back then
and it was about then I started to get into boxing.
I didnít actually box until I was about eleven, as soon as I
walked into the gym I knew thatís what I wanted to do. I
remember the first day after training me and my mate that I
was training with at the time we sat down after and saying
itíll be nice being a proper boxer one day. Here we are
fifteen or eighteen years down the line as a proper British
Champion, itís crazy.
In terms of boxing people I like aggressive fighters, as an
amateur I set my style on the likes of Nigel Benn, Mike
Tyson and them type of people. Iíve got something from all
of them, If I see them do something in a fight the next day
I would try it in the gym and things like that.
Now since Iíve turned pro, Al and me weíve worked on
different styles, making me more of a boxer than getting
involved all the time. Alís done wonders with me, the way I
was I would never have been British Champion and thatís for
Rio - Which of the current crop of domestic Light
Middleweights do you rate as a true prospect.
Sam - Truthfully thereís one person and thatís Ryan Rhodes.
He deserves to be exactly where he is. I take my hat of to
Ryan, in terms of old fighters and new fighters, heís the
one I used to watch when I was coming through. I watched him
when he won the Londsdale belt outright, and I was only a
He was someone I always idolised and I had a picture of him
on my wall. I had all his fight posters and pictures of him,
one of them when he was a spice boy, heíll probably hate me
saying that. That was strange (Ed. Yeah that was strange!)
Ryan deserves to be where he is, I genuinely really mean
that and send him my best wishes that heíll go out and do
the job on Alvarez.
On anybody else, Arron is one of the best kids in the
division. Then again saying that does winning the
Prizefighter justify boxing for a British title, you know.
My last five fights have all been against top ten fighters
and Iíve had to beat all top ten fighters to be where I am.
Arron won a Prizefighter, you know Bradley Pryce is all shot
to bits, Brett Flournoy is not that experienced as a pro and
as everyone knows George Hillyard donít live the life.
Prizefighter was made for him, being disrespectful towards
him or not I donít care what he thinks, thatís my opinion
and weíll see how good he is on Friday.
Iím the best in the division bar Ryan Rhodes, thereís no one
else Iíd have sleepless nights over.
Rio - What fight, amateur or pro, holds the fondest memories
Sam - For me, one of my best amateur fights, in terms of
excitement was against Daniel Herdman we had a brilliant
fight at the Goresbrook Leisure Centre in the London ABA
finals. We knew Dan was a good kid, heíd just come back from
winning the junior Olympics, silver medal I think he got. We
knew him from Repton, we knew it was going to be a tough
fight to get through. Me and him were toe to toe for four
rounds. Itís probably one of the best amateur fights anyone
has ever seen, it was an absolute blinder (Ed. TKO supremo
Johnny Eames said the same thing to me).
In terms of professional fights, I donít think Iíve been in
too many humdingers, Iíve had a few silly little scraps that
got a little bit heated and that, but nothing majorly
In terms of other professionals I watched a billion fights
you know, I suppose Iíd go back to Benn-McClellan or
Barrera-Morales. I suppose Jamie Moore-Matthew Macklin or
Jamie Moore-Ryan Rhodes are the two that particularly stick
in my mind because they were for the British and European
Middleweight titles, my weight division so them two fights
are probably the best two.
Rio - Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me
today and my final question is, is there anything youíd like
to say to your fans.
Sam - Yeah, thanks for watching us box and coming and
supporting us. If you want an exciting fight then itís a
good fight to watch this Friday, for sure.
Sam Webb versus Prince Arron for the British Light
Middleweight title will be on the Frank Maloney promoted
event at the Medway Park leisure Centre in Gillingham, Kent
on Friday 13th May 2011 and will be shown live and exclusive
on Sky Sports.