Jake Ball: Light-heavyweight profiled ahead of pro debut
Last Updated: 21/07/15 4:00pm
Jake Ball will make his professional debut at The O2 on September 12. Sky Sports finds out more about the promising 22-year-old light-heavyweight, who has been sparring with IBF world super-middleweight champion James DeGale.
Birthdate: November 26, 1992
Birthplace Frimley, Surrey
Amateur club Guildford City
Pro debut September 12, 2015
How old were you when you started boxing?
Jake says: I've been boxing all my life. I first came in to the gym when I was about seven or eight. I've got an older brother and I used to tag along with him. I first competed when I was 11 - as soon as I could start fighting, I started.
Who inspired you as a boxer?
I've got two favourites of all-time. I always loved Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard.
Are you more of a boxer or a fighter?
I'm more of a boxer but I can stand there and mix it if I have to. Your career isn't going to last that long if every fight you go into, you're looking for a war. I'm definitely more of a boxer than a fighter.
What did you learn sparring with James DeGale?
It's a bit of everything. In the amateurs, you're obviously bouncing around and always on your toes. Sparring James DeGale, I learned that even when you're holding your feet, you can move your head and waist and be a hard target to hit. James is unbelievable at that - he's so hard to pin down and catch with clean shots. I learned a lot from him.
What weight will you fight at primarily?
I've boxed at light-heavyweight since I was 17 or 18 and I was on Team GB as a light-heavyweight for the last two years. I make the weight easy. I don't have to boil down. I do it comfortably. Maybe I'll grow in to a cruiserweight later on in my career but for now, I'm comfortable as a light-heavy.
And with Andre Ward possibly stepping up to face Sergey Kovalev, who wins?
I'd like to say Ward. He's absolute class. Kovalev is a machine. I'd like to see Ward win because he's such a classy boxer. He's unbelievable and he's also a 12-round fighter. He was big as a super-middleweight - it's not like he's going to be a small light-heavyweight. I think he will suit it quite well.
Where do you want your own career to be in two years?
The journey starts on September 12. How I've been training and preparing, it's all going well. Once I get started, I want to put my foot to the floor and cruise along. Within two years, I want to be British champion.
What's been your best moment in the sport so far?
There have been a lot of good memories. Winning my first amateur title was a great one, being picked to be a part of the Great Britain team was fantastic, my first fight abroad for them in a massive tournament in Russia, coming back with an unexpected silver medal... I don't really have one particular favourite memory - it's all been a great journey.
I don't really have one particular favourite memory - it's all been a great journey.
Who's your football team?
Fight of the year so far?
I did enjoy Dave Ryan against John Wayne Hibbert on May 30. When I found out a couple of days ago that it was on again and that I was going to be there to watch it live, I was buzzing. It'll be a cracking fight.
That's a tough one to be honest with you. I'll go with Ed Robinson. He was there at the press conference and came and introduced himself so Edwin gets the thumbs up!
My wife! I'm married with two kids.