James Moorcroft (6-0, 1 KO) has made rapid strides since leaving behind the world of white collar fighting just over twelve months ago.
The 25 year old from Wigan will step up to eight rounds and is scheduled to fight for a challenge belt on VIP Promotions’ upcoming show in Bolton on June 16th. It is a show of faith in Moorcroft’s progress that his manager, Steve Wood, and trainer, Lee Blundell, have no qualms about pitching him in so quickly.
“I couldn’t ask for a better camp. I’ve gone straight through from the last fight so I feel fit and Steve Wood has given me a big eight round fight on this next show. I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Moorcroft said.
“It’s like a whirlwind. I said to myself that I’d give it a year. That year is nearly up now.
“I look at some boxers and they might not want to take the risk but although I’m only 25, I’m not getting any younger. I also believe in my training and I believe in the people around me and the support I’ve got.
“I don’t like thinking too far ahead. Because I’ve never been expected to get very far, every little milestone is a massive thing. I only had my first ever fight at about 20 years old. I’ve started thinking now that maybe this time next year I can be fighting for an area title or maybe even an English title. Who knows.”
Moorcroft’s progress was rewarded by a phone call asking him to to give Terry Flanagan some rounds in preparation for the Mancunian’s upcoming WBO junior welterweight title fight with Maurice Hooker. Standing opposite the former lightweight champion of the world must have been a surreal – and proud – experience for a fighter who was making his way on the unlicensed circuit not too long ago.
“It was a great experience and another milestone for me. It was on my way home in the car when I thought to myself; ‘Bloody hell. That was amazing.’
“In fact, it was when I asked Steve Maylett about whether he thought the fight between Terry and Vasyl Lomachenko might ever end up happening and he said; ‘Yeah, it might do.’ When you hear those kind of names and you’re in those circles you do pinch yourself.
“It’s all just a bit mad. This will be my seventh fight in just over a year. I’m still new to it all and I’m just realising where I’m at. I feel like I fell asleep and woke up a year later. It was a fantastic experience and something you can take to your grave with you.”
It may be a sweeping generalisation but fighters entering the professional ranks from the world of white collar boxing tend to rely on aggression and fitness rather than skill and finesse. Moorcroft has opened plenty of eyes with his boxing ability and the rate at which he has adapted to life amongst hardened professionals. Moorcroft is thrilled with his progress under his trainer, former area champion Lee Blundell.
“I can only put my progress down to Lee. After a few white collar fights he obviously thought there was something there. Even though I’ve only had six professional fights, we’ve been training as professionals from around my fourth unlicensed fight. Because Lee knows exactly what it takes to be a professional boxer having fought at the the levels he has, he hasn’t trained me to be an amateur boxer.
“I didn’t think in any shape or form that I’d get as far as I have. my ambition was to just be a professional boxer because it’s a great thing to achieve. Then I wanted to win my professional debut. That was a massive thing to achieve. I know it’s only a challenge belt but for me, it’s a world title. I train four times a day and treat every fight as if it’s a world title and I’ll never drop.
“I can’t thank everybody enough. My trainer, Lee Blundell, is unbelievable and I can’t thank him and everybody at Blundell’s Boxing enough. My family are unbelievable and there are so many sponsors I have behind me who allow me to be financially stable and to be able to give everything I can.”
Follow James on twitter @jmoorcroft2011 and you can tune in to his fight on June 16th at www.vipboxing.tv or via the VIP Boxing Facebook page.