EXCLUSIVE: Theophane plans 40th bout, talks Mayweather vs. Canelo
There have plenty of offers on the table for former British light-welterweight champion Ashley Theophane in recent months, although the Londoner has told WBN that he is willing to wait for the right one before committing to what will be his 40th professional outing.
The 32-year-old, who is yet to fight this year after finishing off 2012 with two straight victories, has been a regular visitor to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather’s gym in Las Vegas Theophane has been training alongside the best in the business.
“I’ve been working with Nate Jones, who was a bronze medallist at the 1996 Olympics with Floyd, and he is on Floyd’s coaching staff, so I’m learning from the best and adding to my game,” Theophane explained exclusively to World Boxing News.
“You can watch the sparring I did with world-rated Shawn Porter on YouTube and see that I thrive when I’m boxing the world’s best fighters.
”This year, I’ve trained alongside three world champions in Floyd, Ishe Smith, and Chad Dawson, and they have motivated and inspire me.
“I’ve sparred a who’s who of boxing, so I’m feeling in the best shape of my life and on top of my game.”
The ‘Treasure’ has grown accustomed to the techniques and methods practiced by ‘The Money Team’ as Theophane harnesses his skills in preparation for another potential title attempt following his domestic success in 2011.
”With three former world champions at the gym in the form of Eddie Mustafa Muhammed, Cornelius Boza Edwards, and Roger Mayweather, there are top-level teachers at the gym,” he stated.
”Sparring at Mayweather Boxing Club is harder than any fight as we will do five-minute rounds with 30 seconds rest in the Las Vegas heat. It is serious stuff, but it gets the best out of us.”
Theophane’s last bout produced a stunning first-round stoppage of the somewhat limited opponent in Luxembourg. However, the Briton added yet another country to his globetrotting exploits and hoped to have some big news of his next engagement imminently.
“There will be an announcement made very soon. I could have fought already this year, but I have 39 fights, and I wanted my 40th fight to be big, and it will be. This year marks ten years as a professional, so this is a landmark year for me, emphasized Theophane.
“For eight of those years, I’ve been training in America, but with my last two fights in Luxembourg and America, I have shown I don’t limit myself to one country as I know boxing is a worldwide sport. Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammed Ali used to fight across the world, and I’m just following in the steps of greatness.
“I’m also training alongside greatness as Floyd Mayweather is the current number one boxer in the world and one of the greatest ever.
“To be fighting and training with the best in the world is where I always wanted to be, and I am positive it is where I deserve to be and where I belong.”
The avid Tottenham Hotspurs fan has been amongst the hype of his mentor’s next high-profile clash as Mayweather readies himself to battle the next up and comer in the sport Saul ‘Canelo’ Alavarez.
Mayweather, 36, continues to set the sport alight by taking on all who think they have what it takes to knock him off his perch, although Theophane has no doubts that the 44-0 record currently guarded by ‘Money’ is in no danger whatsoever.
“Floyd will outbox Alvarez as Austin Trout proved is possible when he exposed Canelo in their last fight,” Theophane predicted.
“I had that fight a draw, and many people thought it could have gone either way. It will be an easy fight for Floyd as there is no one from 140 to 154lbs who can trouble him. He will retire undefeated. I’m very sure of that.”
On his own future and the possibility of a more formal and permanent arrangement with Mayweather’s growing stable, Theophane has stressed that whatever happens will happen, and he is just taking things in his stride as he approaches his 33rd birthday.
“I don’t know what the future holds but Floyd, Leonard Ellerbe, and the rest of Mayweather promotions fighters and staff respect me as a fighter and like me as a person. I’ve already shown in my boxing career that anything is possible, so you never know what the coming years will bring.”