An Exclusive Interview With Unbeaten Middleweight Prospect Brad Pauls
By Paul Oltai
It is not often you find a professional boxer who is the only professional not just from his hometown of Newquay but his whole county of Cornwall. This is the case for Brad Pauls the man known as the Newquay Bomb a middleweight prospect who is currently 9(6)-0 and on the cusp of boxing for titles.
Even at the age of only 25yrs old Brad has been in and around boxing since the age of 10, fighting as an amateur in Cornwall until hitting 18 when it was time to go to uni. This involved him moving to Southampton but that didn’t stop him carrying on boxing as he went on to win national titles and getting to the semi finals in the Elite ABA’s in the pursuing 4 years.
Deciding to turn professional 3 years ago but knowing that opportunities for boxers in his part of the country would be hard to come by, he decided to make the drastic decision to up and move to Essex where he felt that if he was to make a go of reaching the heights he truly believed he could then this had to be done
‘I sort of put all my eggs in one basket really, I know Cornwall wasn’t really the place to excel in boxing, neither was anywhere else I could think would be better than Essex, right near London.’
‘All the sparring I get access to is great. You can go down the Matchroom gym, also close to the likes of Degale and Groves. If it was anywhere else I wouldn’t get that.’
Never regretting the decision to do this and knowing he is in the best position to do well being away from family can provide tough times but as Brad quoted
‘If you want to do it then you will make it happen.’
Quite often a boxer will not try to mimic another fighter but will take small influences from certain fighters and try to implement them into their own style I asked Brad who he felt his style was most similar to and who he liked to watch
‘Good question. It sounds arrogant saying it but I really like Golovkin, I like his style. I like his come forward aggression and I like the knock outs. I am not saying I box like him but I sort of consciously try and do similar stuff to him. I am not one of them boxers who is always on their toes trying to counter punches and make it awkward to nick it on points, I like aggression and I like to knock people out if you know what I mean.’
In professional boxing to be successful you need to build a team around you that has your best interests at heart, moving the kind of distance Brad did you need to make sure the decisions you put in place are ones that will benefit you not only now but also in the future
‘Steve Goodwin is my manager. Terry Stewart is my trainer coach. Alongside that I have got Tidal Marketing helping me with my PR and stuff. It is so important to have a great team, there is a lot more to it than just stepping in the ring. Tidal helps making all my posters and do the website and stuff for me, the digital side of it.’
Starting out in a new place is always hard for anyone, new home, new job and no family or friends around you at the time. This can be daunting enough but as a professional boxer in an industry that is built around ticket sales Brad has been lucky that even though he doesn’t live in Cornwall still that they have fully backed their man
‘I am lucky in the fact that there is no other professional boxers in Cornwall. So now that they one they all try and support and do bits. Obviously it being a ticket selling business I couldn’t have done it without them. There has been times when I have not sold but they have more than made up for it and keep me going, I am lucky.’
Within the sport of boxing there are many struggles and it can vary from fighter to fighter so I asked Brad what he felt he most struggles with
‘It’s sort of the ticket thing. It’s one of the hardest bits that you have trouble over. You can do stuff to support it like social media but not being around the people that are going to buy the tickets is tricky, like if I was in Cornwall all the time around the people in the pubs and whatever then my tickets would be easier to shift. I have got my big brother back at home and he sells all my tickets to his mates and our mutual friends and family, so he takes away a lot of stress for me. Which for any boxer up and coming selling tickets knows it is hard but he makes it ten times easier for me.’
Essentially unless you are signed to one of the big promoters and appearing on tv every time you fight, generally a professional boxer will have to also supplement their income with a job. Some choose manual skills away from the sports industry but some like to pass on their knowledge of the sport to others and help guide them, the latter is what Brad chooses to do and elaborated a bit more on the type of work he does
‘I have a job in the gym but I also work a lot with special needs kids and adults doing sports coaching. I work with the council teaching classes, working with the schools to teach after school boxing classes. I keep myself busy and the stuff I do also gives you a great feeling as well and can feel so rewarding. Like when I teach the classes and stuff like that they may not turn out to be world champs but it gives them a bit of focus and discipline. It has done wonders for me throughout life, so if I can pass anything to anyone that is a massive achievement.’
Only 9 fights into a professional career highlights may be hard to come by but it is his most recent fight that has provided Brad with his
‘My last fight against Diego Burton. Because he was so tough and he gave me rounds, I got to see what my engine was like and he doesn’t get stopped very often in fact he had only been stopped once before. For me to stop him in the 9th shows I have a good engine to be getting people out there late. I got a lot of confidence from that and it sets me up for something good at the end of the year.’
Choosing Essex as his base and feeling his decision would benefit him in terms of sparring opportunities I asked Brad to open up on who he has been donning the head guard against on a daily basis
‘Normally day in day out it is the lads I train with like Linus (Udofia), it is always competitive and he is awkward and horrible to spar against, it is never easy between us in the gym. We also have Sean Robinson in our gym. Then I also get to work with the likes of James Degale and George Groves and that’s competitive and I get great confidence from that. Not expecting to go in there and bash up world champs or anything like that but the stuff I learn and take away sets me up massively. The times I have also been to the Matchroom gym and sparred I have learnt loads from that against the likes of Felix Cash. It is massively for confidence.’
As we are still early on into the new season of boxing Brad has his first bout booked coming this weekend on the 6th October at Tottenham Green Pools and Fitness a new venue for the normally York Hall based Goodwin Promotions. This bout will come in the form of a 6 rounder against teak tough journeyman William Warburton who holds a win over current British Middleweight champion Jason Welborn. His first fight since March he is hoping to make a statement, I asked him to elaborate on what he would like from the rest of this coming season of boxing?
‘Get this one on Oct 6th out of the way then hopefully have one more before the end of the year, whether that is a title or a bigger fight and not a journeyman just a bigger fight, hopefully on a bigger stage. Then hopefully for next year there is a few things background that I can’t really say but if it all comes off then fantastic, so more exposure hopefully on TV and some titles. Linus is waiting for the Southern Area title then if he wins that and vacates it I would like to fight for it next year. So it’s all a bit up in the air but no matter what I want TV slots and titles next year and that’s that. I have done the apprenticeship and now have earned that right.’
As always I like to point out that this sport would not be possible without the backing of sponsors and people who help in any shape of form. As mentioned earlier in the article Brad is given a lot of support from home and I wanted to give him a chance of giving them a little back and get a mention in this article. He would like to thank Steve’s Tattooist, Bertie O’Flanigians, Oswald Barbers, Ultimate Newquay, Craftswork Street Kitchen, Fistral Beach Bar, Cornwall Airport Newquay, Crantock Construction Services, 6IX Engineering, Buffers Entertainment and Perran Signs for their continued support.