Okolie vs Chamberlain: Isaac Chamberlain on life with Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk in Kiev
By Tim Hobbs
Last Updated: 12/01/18 6:43pm
Isaac Chamberlain has been preparing for his 'British Beef' battle with Lawrence Okolie in Kiev, alongside Oleksandr Usyk, Mateusz Masternak, Dmitry Kudryashov, with none other than Vasyl Lomachenko dropping in. We caught up with him out in Ukraine...
How long have you been out there?
We went out on December 30 and are heading back on Friday (January 12). This is longer than last time and I am the only one who has been with him this long. I'm fighting on February 3, but he's in action in the World Boxing Super Series a week earlier.
They specifically called me up. It was a 100 per cent no-brainer and I am just learning, picking things up all the time and absorbing everything.
What's it been like with him fighting the week before you?
It has probably been harder and more intense because of the fight he's got coming up, but I have got better as well, so it was always going to be different to the first one.
What's it like sparring Usyk?
He is very sharp and he hits explosively. He does give me some advice but that's only because I ask.
I am the type of guy to ask 'what's the best way to do this?', 'how should I do that?'. It's great because Usyk is very, very smart, not just very strong and hard.
What's he like out of the ring?
His English is very good, getting better and better and he does like to joke around.
He is cool and he is always singing and dancing around but, believe me, once we're all in the gym, he is a serious, serious guy.
Then none other than Vasyl Lomachenko popped in?
Of course, I had to get a picture! He's one of, if not the best boxer in the world. We had a quick chat. Who wouldn't? He could see me shadowboxing and sparring and how closely I watch him when he's fighting. Like the others, he was happy to give me some advice.
All of you? Who else is out there?
Mateusz Masternak is there again and I am sparring him again and Dmitry Kudryashov has been here. I am sparring
all of them. Mikael Lawal and Chris Kongo are there too, we train and we run together in the morning.
It is a nice little team tucked away, but believe me, it is hard and Masternak is very hard. When [Masternak] and Usyk spar together it is so sick to watch. They are both solid, solid operators.
Are they all aware of your 'British Beef' showdown with Okolie?
Yeah. The fight is promoted everywhere and Usyk follows me on Twitter and Instagram, so he sees everything that goes on and what everyone has been saying.
He's been giving me plenty of advice but of course, I am not going to say what and of course, my uncle and me have
already got a plan in place.
Break down the days out there...
I am not going to tell you how many times or exactly how many rounds I've sparred, but I have sparred with Usyk and Masternak more than last time. We vary it every time. But I am up at 5am, go for a run, rest, train and then spar later on. Every day I have to test myself, every day my uncle is pushing me, it's crazy.
What is the place like?
It is a bit rugged, if I am honest. But I am not there to wander around and enjoy it. It's right in the middle of the city. We couldn't go to the same place as last time so we've come here.
What's the worst thing about it?
The food... It's crazy! Yes, we have porridge for breakfast but it comes with chicken in it. I eat both of them but I have never mixed them together. Squid, octopus and beetroot are okay, but not the way they serve them up!
My uncle loves to go out and buy some Snickers and leave them lying around but I have not even been thinking about food.
No cheat eats for Chamberlain
Well as you are in the centre of town, surely you can nip out and pick up some treat food?
I have been so well zoned into training, I haven't even thought about anything like chocolate... until you mentioned it.
Watch Lawrence Okolie vs Isaac Chamberlain, from The O2, London, Saturday, February 3, live on Sky Sports Main Event & Action.