Bristol-born light-middleweight Dan Sarkozi is yet to box outside his home city as a professional and hopes that one day he will be able to reward his loyal supporters with a British title.
The 26-year-old’s sixth professional outing takes place on November 14 at Bristol’s City Academy and, though he’s happy to take it one step at a time, his goal remains the same as it was back when he turned pro in November 2013 – win that British title.
“My primary goal is to win the British title,” he said. “That was my goal when I turned pro and it’s still my goal now. I’ll take each fight as it comes, I train hard every day, even when I don’t have a fight lined up, and I’m fully committed to achieving that goal and becoming British champion.”
A fan of Alexis Arguello, Nigel Benn and Ricky Hatton, Sarkozi has resisted the temptation to adopt his heroes’ aggressive style of fighting and has instead become known in the Bristol area for his skills on the back foot. It’s a style that has seen him become very popular in the last couple of years.
“I’ve always been a bit more of a skills man,” he said. “People said to me when I was coming through, ‘Fans don’t want to see the skills, they want to see the brawling.’ But maybe that’s not the case. The fans come out in their numbers to watch me. I think fans can watch all the brawling they want at white-collar shows – and there’s a lot of them about nowadays – but they like to come to the boxing shows to see a bit more skill.
“I’m really looking forward to my next fight on November 14. I love the City Academy as a venue. The staff are really helpful, it’s clean, well-organised and the atmosphere is amazing. The hall is just the right size, too, and it helps build a good atmosphere. I always get very generous support and I’m very appreciative of that. I want to turn this place into my little fortress.”
Like many who box alongside him at the Bristol Boxing Gym, Sarkozi looks to the standards set by gym mate Lee Haskins and hopes to one day emulate his success.
“Lee’s taught me a really valuable lesson,” said Sarkozi. “He’s taught me that persistence pays off in the end. I’ve spent a lot of time training with Lee and I’ve been in the gym with him for years. I think I was sixteen when I first entered the gym. I’ve seen all the ups and downs, the highs and lows. He’s now getting the rewards for sticking in there and never giving up.
“I remember everyone saying he wouldn’t beat Don Broadhurst, but he did. Then Sky Sports didn’t want to show any of his fights, so he was thrown into the wilderness a bit. After that he won the European title, but then he had that setback against Stephane Jamoye. He could’ve packed it in then and nobody would have argued.
“To make matters worse, he had to witness two people he’d beaten – Stuart Hall and Jamie McDonnell – both win world titles after fighting him. That would have made lesser men give up. It says a lot about the man’s character and determination that he never did that.”
Now seemingly better than ever, Sarkozi fully expects Haskins to fulfil his dream of becoming world champion on November 21 in Las Vegas.
“I believe he’s going to go to Vegas and knock out Randy Caballero,” he said. “I’ve watched a lot of the guy and I’m confident Lee will do a number on him with his speed and his power. From what I’ve seen of Caballero, he has a pretty basic style and he won’t have encountered anyone quite like Lee Haskins before.”
*** For tickets to BANG BANG: The Knockout Kings, please contact the Ticketline Box Office on 0844 888 4402, the Sanigar Events Box Office on 0117 949 6699 or visit www.hennessysports.com ***
*** Blackwell vs. Matthews will be televised live and exclusively on Channel 5 from 10pm, Saturday, November 14 ***