EXCLUSIVE: Theophane discusses latest victory, Mayweather Promotions future and UK return
Ashley Theophane eased to a 42nd career triumph last Saturday night when the US-based Briton out-pointed Larry Smith over eight rounds at the Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham, New Hampshire.
The 37 year-old, returning to the ring for the first time in 2018, won every round against the experienced American to make it two victories in a row since a shock defeat last year.
‘Treasure’ is hoping to string together a winning streak to potentially seal a big fight in his homeland after revealing to WBN he’s approaching the end of his contract with promoter Floyd Mayweather.
Having the former poundf for pound king in his corner has been a massive boost for Theophane and led to a world title shot against Adrien Broner, but with inactivity setting in, the Londoner admitted he’s ready to move on order to get more ring time before he retires.
“It was good to back and Larry Smith has fought Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz, world champion Jermell Charlo, Brian Vera, James “Buddy” McGirt Jr, Wale Omotoso and Gary O’Sullivan in the past so he’s got experience. I spoke to him afterward and he was a good American amateur also but now just takes fights for money,” Theophane exclusively told World Boxing News.
“It’s a hard sport at every level you compete at, we’re all trying to better our lives.
“It was a good fight. The New Hampshire crowd were very happy and showed me so much love. Got the win and got to stay active which was the reason behind this bout.”
Asked whether his end goal was another lucrative title shot, Theophane said the emphasis of his last few years in the sport was proving he can still compete.
Targetting some of the bigger names in the UK, Theophane wants to the opportunity to face some of the best around on the other side of the Atlantic.
He explained: “I’m not really bothered about title shots. Been there and done that. I fought in Las Vegas in August, Germany in December and New Hampshire on Saturday. I want to be active.
“I’m happy Boxing abroad but I’d love to either fight Ricky Burns or Terry Flanagan after he wins the WBO 140lbs championship. Two of the best British boxers in my division and I want to fight a name back home.
“I take every fight one at a time. I can’t look too far in the future because nothing is guaranteed in this sport. Most fighters don’t get to be in this sport for 15 years.
“It’s easier to get a 9-5 and have a regular check so I’m grateful for my journey but everything good has got to come to an end.
“British Boxing is on the rise. David Haye vs Tony Bellew, Tyson Fury is back and Carl Frampton just got a good win. Anthony Joshua is doing big things. It’s time to come back home.I’d like a few fights in England before I stop competing professionally.
“This camp was fantastic. I sparred week after week with Jimmy Williams 15-1-1 and LaDarius Miller 15-1. I’ve know still got it.
“My fight with Larry was entertaining and I did everything my coach Lou Del Valle and I have been working on these last couple months.
“My team, Treasure Management headed by Stacy Warren have already been discussing my next fight. Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, China or Panama City, Panama are the options. I just have to choose which one.
“I’d like to fight three fights this year as the last few years I’ve been inactive. So if I can’t get fights back home, I’ll just continue doing my world tour.
“UK wise, Terry Flanagan and Ricky Burns are the two fighters I’d love to fight. Both accomplished British boxers. I’d have an entertaining scrap with the both of them.”
On his future with Floyd, Theophane stated: “I spoke to Leonard Ellerbe on Monday and asked to be released from the remaining year of my Promotional contract. We had a good conversation and there was no hard feelings. He was supportive.
“My first three years with Mayweather Promotions were good. I had eight fights but I’ve had two fights in two years with them and not against the big names I wanted so it was pointless resigning with them in 2016 after my world title shot.
“Floyd has always been good to me. I signed with him in 2013 and he believed I could be world champion and beat Adrien Broner. He made the fight happen, I just didn’t get the result we wanted. So I’m thankful for his backing at that stage of my career and helping me get to the mountain top.
“It was a great experience watching the last three years of his career at such close quarters. I saw things no fan or reporters get to see so I appreciate him opening his world to me.
“For five years in Las Vegas, I was living my childhood dream.
“I’ve been training in the USA for the last 13 years so that’s not going to change because I part company with Mayweather Promotions. It’s amicable.
“I was based in the USA before signing with them but just in New York City,” he added.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay