Isaac Lowe: “Whoever’s Ready, Give Us A Call And I’ll Beat Them All.”
By Cameron Temple
A draw in boxing is inevitably met by controversy and frustration from both participants.
Although, in most cases, a resolution is quickly found by way of a rematch, take the recent Fury vs Wilder feud or the notorious duo of fights between Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield in the late nineties.
One man well acquainted with the feeling of being wronged by a draw in boxing is British featherweight, Isaac Lowe, having drawn three times in title fights, for the English, British and European titles.
However, in Isaac’s case, he has not had the satisfaction of being able to rectify that result in any of those three draws:
“I thought I won all three of those fights.” Isaac exclaimed, “The Dennis Ceylan fight, for the European title, got stopped with a cut. It was a bad cut, but he chickened out of the fight. Anyone who watched that fight knows I was getting on top of him, and I have no doubts whatsoever that I would’ve stopped him that night. I was promised the rematch and I never got it”
“With the Ryan Doyle fight, for the English title,” Isaac continued, “I was very young when I fought him, I was only twenty-one. It was my first defence of the English title, which was a tough fight to start off with, I think I’d only had about eleven fights at the time. Again, I came on very strong in that fight, and if it had been a twelve rounder, I would’ve stopped Ryan. They’re all learning curves, and they’re all good fighters I’ve been in with, so I’ve learned and taken something from all of them.”
Isaac went on to say, “In the Ryan Walsh fight, for the British title, ninety-eight percent of people who watched thought I won that fight. I only had six weeks training camp, because it was around Christmas time and I came in a bit heavy. That was my first twelve round fight and I handled it very well. I think Walsh won maybe two or three of the middle rounds, but after watching that fight back, I thought I won it comfortably.”
While Isaac hasn’t had a rematch for any of these bouts, he was offered the opportunity of a rematch for the British title fight with Ryan Walsh, but turned it down, instead choosing to fight at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, on the undercard of Fury vs Wilder, for the WBC International title:
“I think it was worth it. I know everyone wants to win a British title, and I’ve always set out to win one, it would be a massive thing for me to do. But, when you get an opportunity to go and fight overseas, on the undercard of the biggest fight in the world, I think it’s worked out damn well.”
“The Walsh fight is always going to be there,” Isaac continued, “if he wins the golden contract and I keep winning then the rematch is going to come. Maybe towards the end of 2020 or in early 2021 we’ll have the rematch and maybe it’ll be for a bigger and better prize for the both of us, there will be a bit more money involved, and it might even be for a world title or it could be an eliminator for a world title.”
Despite these various grievances, it has not been all bad for Isaac, as he has recorded twenty wins without a loss in the professional ranks. He is also currently on a six-fight win streak, culminating in his most recent victory over Alberto Guevara for the International WBC title at the MGM grand in Las Vegas.
“Last time out I boxed a worthy contender,” Isaac said, “he had boxed for a world title twice and he went twelve rounds with Santa Cruz. He’s been in with some top-level fighters, so I expected that to be a tough fight and that he’d bring the best out of me, so I trained very hard like I do in every training camp.
“If you watch the fight back, he never came to win and he was trying to get me chucked out of there and the referee didn’t help because he was taking lots of points off. It was one of them where I knew things weren’t going my way, so I had to change from plan A to Plan B and get back to my boxing and I did my job, I got the win. It wasn’t the best performance, but I’m slowly getting up the ladder and I’ll fight another high-level contender next and then I’ll be ready for a world title.”
Despite more recently testing himself against International talent, in terms of how Isaac shapes up alongside the deep roster of active British featherweights:
“I think except for world level I rank number one, but every boxer’s going to say that about themselves, I’m sure Jazza Dickens and Jordan Gill think the same. There are some very worthy contenders in Britain at the moment, and the division is red hot, everyone’s on fire, so I think there’s going to be some good fights in the future. Over the next twelve to eighteen months there’s going to be some massive fights in the UK for the fans.”
Isaac is currently ranked 7th with the WBC and 13th with the IBF leaving him teetering on the edge of his first world title shot, having come a long way from when he first began boxing:
“I started when I was maybe eight or nine years old, because all my cousins and pals were going down to the boxing gym. I think my mum and dad just wanted to get some peace, so I started from there and I never looked back. I enjoyed getting punched in the face, which is a funny one as a kid.”
Despite having achieved a lot in the sport already, Isaac’s ambitions go further still:
“Just for my own self, I want to achieve what I want to achieve, to see how good I can be. In one sense it’s about money obviously, because people want money to be able to make a good future for their family and kids. I want to achieve what I set out to as a kid, obviously my aim is to be a world champion, so if I can get anywhere close to that, I’ll be happy. I want to see how far I can actually go in the sport.”
It has been well publicised that Isaac is good friends with WBC heavyweight champion of the world, Tyson Fury:
“Me and Tyson are like brothers,” Isaac revealed, “We’re very close and we do all our training together and we’re on the phone a couple times a day always laughing and joking. He’s inspired me a lot as a boxer, always keeping me on track. He’s looked after me since day one and he’s always been a part of my life. He looks out for me and makes sure the fights are made right and everything’s done right.”
More recently, their friendship has spilled over into their work life, as Isaac has been a training partner for Fury, during the camps for his last few fights, acting as motivation for each other, as Isaac admitted:
“I’ve gained a lot from just seeing how he trains, because even in fights that you know he’s going to win he trains really hard. He never slacks or takes his eye of the ball and he’s always working hard. Seeing someone else work so hard and how much they want it, it makes you push yourself even more, because if they’re willing to work so hard and you’re slacking then you’re not going to get there, so you need to push with them.”
Being friends with the number one heavyweight in the world comes with its perks, as Isaac has had the opportunity to box on the undercards of both of Fury’s mega-fights against Deontay Wilder at some iconic venues across the pond:
“The one that stands out the most is the fight at the MGM Grand.” Isaac said, “I’ve watched so many great people fight there over the years, it’s the iconic venue of boxing, Las Vegas and the MGM Grand. It’s where dreams are made and even now, I smile when I think about walking into the arena.
“When you go in the dressing room you see all the pictures of the singers and the fighters who have performed there. So, to be a young lad and to get a chance to fight over there for the WBC International title on the bill was a massive achievement for me. A lad from Morecambe who used to fight in Blackpool on small hall shows with two or three hundred people there, to make it in Las Vegas was a dream come true and one that I’ll treasure for the rest of my life.”
Many boxers might be daunted at the prospect of following in the footsteps of some of the greats of the sport and fighting in iconic venues across the world, but in Isaac’s case it spurs him on:
“The bigger the stage and the bigger the fight, the better I’ll be. Some people get nervous when they’re on these big stages and they see all the people there. It’s something that might be in my blood, but I buzz off it and I think that’s when you know you’re a proper fighter. When you turn up and you see all those people there, you know it’s your time and you know what you’re there to do. Even over here I’ve boxed on some massive shows, I boxed on the Quigg vs Frampton undercard and Groves vs Eubank, so I’ve been lucky.”
Most recently Isaac was expecting to fight for the European title, and then return to the UK with the belt around his waist to get married on the ninth of May. Both of these milestones have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic:
“I was meant to fight for the European title against some guy from Italy. It was meant to go to a purse bid, but obviously because of the coronavirus purse bids have been postponed, so I’ll just have to wait and see what happens with that. It was frustrating, because that would’ve been a big title, the guy I was fighting was 16-0 and a good opponent, he was a southpaw from Italy. The fight will happen, we just have to wait for the purse bids and when the times right and everyone’s safe to do it, it will happen.
“Then I was meant to get married on the 9th of May, but it couldn’t happen. As long as everyone and my family are all safe and well and their health is good then surely that day will come. Obviously, I want to marry my wife, but I also want to do my boxing and achieve as much as I can, and win as many belts as I can, so both situations are frustrating, but the time will come.”
In terms of Isaac’s future in the sport, he is determined to fulfil his potential:
“I know that no one has actually seen the proper best out of me. No one has seen the heart and boxing skill I actually have. I’m not just a fighter, I’m a very good boxer and I think the better the opponent I have, the better I’ll be. I’m setting my sights higher than the British title, because I think I’ve passed British level, everyone knows I’m on the fringe of fighting for a world title.”
Isaac finished by saying, “I want to challenge myself against the best. I’m not backing down from anybody and with MTK I think they’ll take me all the way. Whoever’s ready give us a call and I’ll beat them all.”