FEATURE: 'I don’t really live the life that most 23-year-old men do' - Kieron Conway's focus is on becoming British champion
Kieron Conway took a step closer to a second tilt at the British Super-Welterweight title with Thursday night’s points victory over Ireland’s Craig O’Brien at York Hall in London.
It was the Northampton fighter’s 14th career win, and his second in a row since he drew his previous title fight with Ted Cheeseman back in June.
The former Kings Heath amateur was in command against the game O’Brien in front of the Sky Sports cameras, with his class showing through as he claimed the fight 97-94 according to referee Lee Cook.
Many observers had the win more emphatic than that, but Conway was satisfied with his night’s work, even though he admitted he made ‘a lot of mistakes’.
The 23-year-old can now relax a little over the festive season before finding out who and where his next fight will be, and although he is hopeful it will be a shot at the British title, Conway insists he is happy to bide his time.
With his heart set so dearly on becoming British champion, Conway was asked if it is difficult for a boxer to concentrate on the stages he has to go through in his career until he is again handed that golden chance.
“For some people it is difficult, but I feel like I am a mature boxer and I know that every day, everything that I do, and every fight is just part of the process,” said Conway, whose only loss in a 16-fight professional career came against Derrick Osaze in a three-round bout at the semi-final stage of the Ultimate Boxxer competiton in May
“You have to trust in the process, so I am not impatient.
“I am not going to say that I need that British title fight, or that I deserve that British title next week or anything.
“It may not be my next fight, or even one of my next two fights - but definitely in 2020.”
All 10 rounds of Thursday’s win over O’Brien were beamed live on the Sky Sports Action channel, and Conway is delighted with how his stock is rising.
He signed to Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom stable in July, with both of his fights since being broadcast by Sky Sports, and Conway knows he is in the best place he can be.
“From when I first turned pro, I always set my eyes on signing with Matchroom, because they are the best there is,” said Conway, whose head trainer is still his dad, James Conway.
“That was all I wanted, and I didn’t want to go to the second best or anywhere else. It has been good for me since I signed for them.”
And his fights being shown on Sky?
“It pushes my name out there a bit, and each fight seems to be getting better and better,” he said.
“People have started recognising me a little bit more, so it is all good.”
Conway still lives in the St James area of Northampton, and trains in his home town as well as in Bedford and at Coventry University, where he gets the chance to be put through his paces in high altitude conditions.
He is set to spending Christmas and New Year at home, and although he admits he won’t be training at full tilt - there will be no letting the hair down either!
“I don’t really live the life that most 23-year-old men do. I will still be training, although I won’t be flat out,” said Conway, who says he doesn’t feel he is missing out on anything due to his disciplined lifestyle.
“No, not at all for me. I am so driven in my own things, that sort of thing just doesn’t interest me any more at all. My mates all know that as well, and they don’t even ask any more!”
Conway knows he is still very much on a learning curve, and that he has a long way to go to be the best he can be as boxer.
“I am improving at every camp, as people like to call it,” he said.
“I am improving times, lifts, my sparring is always better, and it is good, everything is getting better.
“I am only young, so if I wasn’t improving then I would be worried.”
Conway is certainly a fighter with big ambition, and he admits that one of those is to fight for the British title in his home town.
“That would be amazing,” he said, when asked if he would like to fight for a title in Northampton.
“I have to go and win it first, but to then bring it back to Northampton would be wicket.
“That is definitely one of my plans that I would like to do in the future.”