On Saturday 9 March at York Hall in Bethnal Green, SV sponsored athlete Liam Dillon had his first professional title fight - and became the Southern Area Super Featherweight Champion - after he beat David Birmingham!
We interviewed Liam after his amazing fight...
Liam, huge congratulations on winning your first professional title fight. What does this mean to you?
It was the biggest accomplishment of my boxing career so far. I worked extremely hard for this - it was my first goal after turning professional and to achieve it after not even two years as a professional was incredible.
How did you celebrate?
I stayed in York Hall after the fight for quite a bit, seeing all the people who bought tickets and showed me support - I was parading my belt around. After I left York Hall, a lot of us went to Nandos and then to a bar, but I left after a short time because I was tired!
Going into the fight, how had your preparation and training with Steve Kipps from Team Sparta gone?
My preparation with my team was spot on. I really feel blessed to have the people around me I do. Fitness and technique were on point. Steve Kipps, my coach, studies my opponents and we worked on a game plan and tactics we were going to use. I was very nervous in the build-up and right before the fight, and Steve kept me focused. The fight went exactly how he said it was going to go.
What do you enjoy the most as a professional boxer?
I mostly enjoy the fights. I think it's great because when loads of people come down, it brings loads of people together - the whole family, friends - it's rare that you get all your family in the same place at the same time and everyone has fun and a good laugh.
How has the SV team helped you during training for this fight?
Sophie and the SV Sports Therapy team have been incredible. I sustained a really bad groin injury a month before the fight which limited my training - it affected my mentality/confidence as well. After 3-4 treatments, I was back doing my running/ sprints and strength/ conditioning. If it wasn't for their support, I would probably have had to pull out as the injury wasn't getting better on its own.
What advice would you give to any aspiring young boxers reading this?
A very underestimated piece of advice I can offer people is to surround yourself with good people. I wouldn't have got this far if it wasn't for Steve and Bob Kipps, Matthew Chanda, Ian Wilson, the whole of Sparta 300, SV Sports Therapy and Orion Harriers AC. When you surround yourself with people who share the same dream and ambition, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.
When can we expect to see you in the ring next?
I'm currently waiting on a fight date, but I've been told it could be the end of May.
How can people keep track of your progress? Are you on social media?
I'm on Instagram as @liamtaz