Exclusive Jeffrey Ofori Interview:
By Paul Oltai
Not many peoples’ day starts by leaving the house at 5:50am and not getting back from until 10:30pm at the earliest but this is the dedication shown by current British Warriors Lightweight Jeffrey Ofori.
Raised in Tottenham, North London and going to secondary school in Islington he got to a point around 12-13 year old when him and his mates decided to attend a boxing club but this didn’t last and he drifted away from the boxing scene for the time being as peer pressure took over.
Fast forward a few years and seeing life not taking him very far Jeffrey noticed a neighbour into his boxing and trying to start life a career as a professional boxer he decided to do bits to give it another go, this time it stuck as he felt that buzz and that adrenaline rush being punched in the face will only bring you.
He made himself a New Years resolution to join a club in 2012 and went along to Islington ABC and quickly found himself surrounded by people serious about this sport even at the amateur stage and just knew this is what his life at the time needed, a focus, a need and a discipline that could keep him on the straight and narrow. ‘At that age it just felt like the right people to be around.’
After 5 great years and two GB assessments later and many successful bouts including trips all around the world along with club captain and now fellow pro Aaron Morgan, he knew the time was now to turn in 2017.
Building a successful early career Jeffrey now finds himself at a very modest 6(2)-0-0. Out again on the 30th June at the British Warriors show at York Hall he is looking to swiftly gain his 7th professional win and push himself towards a Southern Area title shot in the near future.
We had a chat about all things to do with life and his career so have a read of what we spoke about in the Q&A below.
What team have you got around you?
‘My manager is Mo Prior with British Warriors, he does a lot for me and listens to what I have to say, he advises me on all things and will always tell me the options available and explains things thoroughly and can always reach him when I need to. My coach is Bevis Allen, I was with him in the amateurs, so we have built the relationship over 5 to 6 years now. I was lucky because he turned into a pro coach 2 years prior with Aarron Morgan so had left the amateur scene and was already a pro coach when I decided to turn over. I was thinking of packing it in after my last bout in amateurs because I was working night shifts on the Underground and it was hard boxing far away after doing a night shift. It was actually my work mates who were saying listen mate this job will always be here, but what you have is a talent and it’s not going to last forever so give it a crack. So we are here now with my coach ready to go.’
How far do you want to go in the pro game?
‘Obviously I know I have got the ability and I look at the top 10 in the UK and I can easily well not easily but I know I can get in that top 10. But right now I just need to get a title, getting that Southern Area and getting into the mindset of having it around my waist then push on from there. Because right now I need more sponsors and to be in the game more because my work is physically demanding as well, and once I get there I want to stay there so want everything to be right.’
What boxing style would you say you have?
‘I would say I am a boxer puncher but people like to say am more like a tornado saying I come forward a lot. But to me when I am in there I feel like I am boxing and just you know I would defo say a boxer puncher. I am more like the Hawk Aaron Pryor and just keep going and see who is going to break first.’
Who inspires you most in the ring?
‘I would say mentally Mayweather with his mental attitude, but if you’re talking fighting wise who gives me that zest? Then it is The Hawk Aaron Pryor, even before my amateur days. But my all time great who I have all his DVD’s of his fights is Roberto Duran. I just like that go into the ring I don’t care I am going to win no matter what, whatever it takes I am coming at you with everything mentality, I love that.’
Outside of boxing what do you do?
‘I work in construction. I work as a contractor for the London Underground on the railways. I leave my house about 5:50am for work and don’t come back until the earliest 10:30pm. From work it’s straight to the gym then from the gym to my house. My house is like a hotel really. Sometimes if I work a weekend as well that is the whole 7 days doing that non stop. The day before a fight though I like to take a day off, so when I get in the ring I have so much energy because I am always training on not a full tank.’
What advice would you give anyone thinking about wanting to be a professional boxer?
‘When people ask what it’s like to box I tell them it’s like life because sometimes you can train the hardest and then get into the ring and it just doesn’t go right or you just can’t adapt to it. Every time I encounter a difficulty in life I now and it and think whoa I am coming at this with the wrong angle and need to adjust and go again. Just like in a boxing ring.’
Is there anyone you would like to give a thanks to?
‘I definitely want to give a shout out for Mo Prior and British Warrior boxing for al of their support they have given me so far. My coach Bevis Allen and my cornermen Roy Callaghan and Carl Gilchard, and also Islington ABC my old amateur club and Rooneys boxing gym where I train at London Bridge. Also Squat Face one of my sponsors, I would like to shout out more sponsors but need more to get on board. My family and friends for always supporting me. Also Colin for CM Sports Agency for all his work so far.’
If you are free next weekend and stuck for something to do? Get yourself down to York Hall and watch this rising talent in Jeffrey Ofori and many others on the British Warriors show June 30th. This is one not to be missed.