Jimmy Sains on working with Tony Sims and Eddie Hearn, how crossover boxing can help the sport and why he's in no rush to climb the ladder after his debut victory: 'If I'm getting the right fights and leaning, that's all I need'

Jimmy Sains enjoyed the perfect start to his professional boxing career towards the end of October, stopping Poland’s Bartlomiej Stryczek at Wembley Arena.

Already signed by Matchroom and trained by Tony Sims, there are high hopes for the 22-year-old from Brentwood, who is already preparing for his next match-up on November 11 in Newcastle.

He had a mixed amateur career, ending his time in the ranks by getting revenge on a loss that still haunts him to this day. But the goals are bigger now.

And the 0 doesn’t matter too much to him. He just wants to fight and be good at doing it. 

Mail Sport’s Alex McCarthy spoke exclusively to Sains, discussing why he chose to turn pro, his relationships with Eddie Hearn and Sims and his thoughts on crossover boxing. 

Jimmy Sains is looking forward to his next fight on November 11 after winning on his professional debut

Jimmy Sains is looking forward to his next fight on November 11 after winning on his professional debut

The 22-year-old stopped Poland's Bartlomiej Stryczek in the third round at Wembley Arena

The 22-year-old stopped Poland’s Bartlomiej Stryczek in the third round at Wembley Arena

AM: Well, Jimmy, thank you for joining me here today at Mail Online. Thrilled to see such a young prospect coming through. And what a what a great start to the career, the debut win! Talk me through that, a few weeks ago, you got the stoppage too, what was that like for you to go and deliver on a big fight card?

JS: Yeah, it was a great night. It was definitely the debut I was looking for. I got the stoppage, but I wanted I wanted the knockout win, you know what I mean? But it didn’t happen, I tried to force it a little bit in the end, but listen, that was just debut. It was a great night, everyone came out, I think nearly 600 people came out to support me, so it was a great debut.

I really enjoyed it. It’s been it’s been something that I’ve trained for, not just this camp, but my whole life. That’s what my main goal was, to turn pro, and for my first fight, I really enjoyed it.

AM: Often when I speak to fighters, they talk about the difference between the amateur and pro ranks. Did you feel it much in that first fight or not? Because obviously it’s kind of different in terms of tactics, I guess, in terms of the way you score on amateurs and what you’re looking to do as a pro?

JS: Yeah, definitely. I think it is a big difference. Obviously, the amateurs of scoring is like you said, different. You’ve got to be fast in and out on your feet. But I think with the pros, it suits me a lot more. I like to take my time, sit there a bit more and put a bit more weight behind my punches. So I’m really looking forward to getting it going now and getting as active as I can to get the ball rolling in the pros.

AM: Let’s go back a little bit to signing with with Matchroom. Talk to me about how that comes around. I mean, you’re a Brentwood boy, it’s a perfect mix.

JS: Yeah yeah. I’ve been training with Tony [Sims] now, in the gym, I think two-and-a-half, nearly three years. And Tony and Eddie [Hearn] have got a great connection.

Obviously, I’m from Brentwood. I think Tony’s always spoken to Eddie about signing me. Tony just said, listen, he’s he’s ready to sign. And then Eddie said, yeah, bring him in when you can. And it just went from there really. I signed a contract with Matchroom, and I can’t wait to get started.   

Sains is working with trained Tony Sims after being invited to spar towards the end of the lockdown period

Sains is working with trained Tony Sims after being invited to spar towards the end of the lockdown period

AM: And let’s talk about that, too, the great Tony Sims being your trainer. How does that come about, and what kind of incredible guidance have you been getting from such a profound boxing brain?

JS: Tony’s a great coach, I think the best in the country at the minute, and he’s definitely up there worldwide. He’s been at world level with a few fighters. Even the boys in the gym now, a few of them are at world level, so he’s a really experienced coach. 

Even picking up stuff that he does with other fighters, just watching little things I can pick up. But he’s a great coach, a pleasure to work with.

It was through lockdown. Obviously, all the amateur gyms are shut. It was that time when all the pros just went back. And Tony just got me through one of his friends who was a coach and he said, do you wanna come down and do a bit of sparring?

At the time, it was Covid, I wasn’t doing anything, so I said, yeah, of course I will, straight away. I was buzzing to get back in the gym, and I think I sort of just done alright in the spars, and it just went from there, and he said he wanted to train me as an amateur and then turn me pro when I was ready. We got on really well. and yeah, we’re here today.

Sims is regarded as one of the best trainers in the world - the best in England, according to Sains

Sims is regarded as one of the best trainers in the world – the best in England, according to Sains

AM: That’s perfect. I’ll talk a little bit about your amateur background there because I think you’ve said you took a few losses in a row at 16 and then you decided to recalibrate, right? You took a little break, you came back better and better. And that seems to be the theme of your amateur career. I think you avenged a loss right at the end of your amateur career. 

Tell us a little bit about what you’re like as a person. You’re not content with what you’ve got. You’re always looking for the next thing, it seems?

JS: I’m never happy. Even when I lost, I had to make sure I avenged that and get that back straight away. To be honest, that loss in the final still hurts me today. When I think about that now, just because it was the final, I got a stoppage in the quarters and the semis. I was set up perfectly to win it, but it just wasn’t my day and I respected my opponent. He boxed well, and he he beat me on day fair and square. 

I had to make sure I trained extra hard. I went straight back in the gym the next day working on stuff, and then I ended up getting the stoppage win about four or five weeks later. So it was perfect end to the amateurs.

Sains, 22, is happy to either take his time to climb the ranks or step up quickly if it's the right thing to do

Sains, 22, is happy to either take his time to climb the ranks or step up quickly if it’s the right thing to do

AM: It’s satisfying, taking taking those experiences from amateurs into the pros. Why did you think that now was the right time, or was that kind of something that Tony had a say in as well?

JS: It was a bit more mutual. First when I went in the gym, obviously I wasn’t ready. I matured quite late, to be honest, didn’t really start filling out until about 21. I boxed at 18 at 60kg and then about 21 I went right up to 75kg, so I had a massive growth spurt, but and I filled out a lot more. I was just maturing a bit too. It had been a bit too early. I wasn’t mature enough at 18 or 19 to turn pro, but a lot of a lot of amateurs are turning pro at that time now. But I took my time making sure. I

I wanted to get a lot of senior experience as well. I’ve done a few trips with England as well, which was great. It was a great experience out in Germany. I wanted to do tick off a few things. I wanted to get on GB as well, but it just didn’t work out with the weights. Turning pro, time just sort of fit., coming off the great win against that boy that beat me in the final, it just felt like a great timing.

AM: I think it’s very admirable that you always manage to come back better, and you want to use those losses that you’ve had as motivation and fuel to go and drive on now in the pros. 

Obviously, there’s such a big thing on keeping your 0, right. Everybody is kind of precious and protective about that. Obviously, everyone wants to stay unbeaten, but is that something that you’re not particularly worried about? Talk me through the mindset.

JS: Yeah, definitely. Obviously, I don’t want to lose at all costs, but I wanna take take my time, but take the right steps. And if it means I’ve got to step up a bit earlier, then as long as Tony and Eddie say it’s the right thing for me to do, and my team, I’ll take that step and take that jump, but I’m not too bothered. 

Listen, if you lose a fight, you lose a fight. You can always come back. Look at Canelo. Now he’s at the top of his game, and he’s got a couple of losses on his record, but no one cares. He’s still undisputed super middleweight champion of the world. It doesn’t matter. I think Floyd Mayweather did it, didn’t he. He got to 50-0, and that’s what everyone wants to copy. But I’m not too fussed about that. If I’m getting the right fights at the right times, that’s all I need. As long as I’m learning from them fights as well. There’s no point having a fight or getting beaten and not learning anything from it. It’s the most important thing

Floyd Mayweather's (left) 50-0 boxing record has meant a number of fighters fear losing their unbeaten record, Sains claimed

Floyd Mayweather’s (left) 50-0 boxing record has meant a number of fighters fear losing their unbeaten record, Sains claimed

He said Anthony Joshua (pictured) fighting Tyson Fury would be a bigger match than the latter facing Oleksandr Usyk

He said Anthony Joshua (pictured) fighting Tyson Fury would be a bigger match than the latter facing Oleksandr Usyk

AM: It’s It’s funny, isn’t it? Because when you think about like like Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, for instance, that would still be a huge fight. It doesn’t matter that AJ’s lost, does it?

JS: Yeah, definitely. A great British fight. That’s I think what everyone wants to see really, don’t they? More than Oleksandr Usyk.

AM: And speaking of, I guess Matchroom team-mates, have you been able to rub shoulders with any of them yet? I know you’ve only been on one card, but what’s your relationship like with Eddie and and the people at Matchroom?

JS: The people people at Matchroom are great. To be honest, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. They’re so helpful, behind the scenes as well. Anything you need, they’re on it straight away.

Eddie, I’ve only met him a few times, but he’s a nice geezer. He’s from Brentwood as well. So we’ve got a lot of common, he knows my dad as well from a few years ago. But he’s a nice geezer, I can’t have asked for anything more from him. He gave me a great debut in London on my stable-mates card as well.

Sains said that he 'couldn't have asked for anything more' from Eddie Hearn (pictured)

Sains said that he ‘couldn’t have asked for anything more’ from Eddie Hearn (pictured)

AM: You know, we saw that that Misfits boxing last week. And and I look at that, that influencer sort of boxing, and then someone like yourself who’s been honing your craft your whole life. What do you think about that kind of crossover? And I know they’re making loads of money and stuff, but what do you think about that when you look at the art of boxing?

JS: To be honest, I’ve never even watched any of them box. But listen, they’re making money, and I can’t turn anyone down for making money. They’re trying. If I was in their position, I would 100 per cent be doing the exact same thing, using what they have, the great coverage of all their fans, all their subscribers, so they say.

I think it’s it’s good to bring attention to the sport, but I don’t think, it’s a good attention, if that makes sense. The people that are watching aren’t then going to become massive boxing fans. They’re literally just watching that show, and then that’s it. They wouldn’t again the week after, they’re literally tuned in for that show.

The 22-year-old argued that crossover boxing is bringing good money and eyes to the sport, but not necessarily for the right reasons

The 22-year-old argued that crossover boxing is bringing good money and eyes to the sport, but not necessarily for the right reasons

KSI's (right) bout with Tommy Fury (left) has been arguably the biggest crossover bout to date

KSI’s (right) bout with Tommy Fury (left) has been arguably the biggest crossover bout to date

I think it’s a good thing to keep attention on boxing. but I don’t know if it’s going to stick. I think maybe they could do some crossover cards. I think when KSI fought Logan Paul, I think Billy Joe Saunders was on the undercard, and I think that built his profile up a lot more. 

I think maybe things like that, but I’m not too sure to be honest. It’s definitely bringing attention to the sport, which is a good thing. Getting people talking about the sport, but the wrong side of the sport, if that makes sense, not talking about the top elite world champion fighters. So it’s a good and bad thing.

AM: When I grew up in the nineties and whatever, Mike Tyson was the guy I was obsessed with, like Prince Naseem Mohammed, that I just thought he was mustard. For yourself, man, as you’re coming up in the game, who who are your main influences and inspirations?

JS: When I was growing up, Roberto Duran was always my favourite fighter. He was a great fighter. I used to love watching him. I’ve seen most of his fights and his film as well. I love his film, I’ve seen that countless times. 

Sains cited Canelo Alvarez (pictured) as his favourite fighter currently saying he is 'at the top of his game'

Sains cited Canelo Alvarez (pictured) as his favourite fighter currently saying he is ‘at the top of his game’

Sains will return to the ring on late this month in Newcastle as he looks to improve on his impressive  debut victory

Sains will return to the ring on late this month in Newcastle as he looks to improve on his impressive  debut victory

But people I look at now, I look at Andre Ward. I watch him a lot. I think he’s a great fighter. Obviously. Canelo. I like Canelo a lot. He’s a great fighter. Kelly Pavlik as well. I watch him a lot of time, Terry tells me to watch him try and copy his style. 

There are a few great fighters, but I’ll tell you currently at the minute I think I’ve got to say Canelo, he’s my favourite.

AM: I’m looking forward to seeing you out there again, When can we see that?

JS: November 11 in Newcastle. I’m out again, the three weeks then Newcastle.