Bermondseyâ€™s Ted Cheeseman recently opened up on his addiction to gambling. After years of losing his hard-earned money at the bookies, he finally found the strength to speak to trainer Tony Sims about the problem and from there they have got Ted the help he needs to overcome his habit.
On Friday 21st June, Cheeseman makes the first defence of his British Super-welterweight title against Northamptonâ€™s Kieron Conway after an unsuccessful challenge to WBC No2 ranked contender, Sergio Garcia of Spain, back in February. The fight takes place at The York Hall in Bethnal Green on the undercard to Connor Bennâ€™s WBA Continental welterweight title bout against Finlandâ€™s Jussi Koivula.
With Cheesemanâ€™s gambling habit out in the open and his recovery underway, one has to wonder if we have seen the best of â€˜The Big Cheeseâ€™ as he is known, or is the best still to come. At only 23 years of age, and wins in good fights against Carson Jones, Paul Upton, and Asinia Byfield, Cheeseman has the experience and commitment to get past his loss to Garcia and move on to bigger things.
Cheeseman has to be one of the hardest trainers in the sport. He never comes into a fight in anything less than pristine condition and has the best engine in British boxing. Trainer Sims will be well aware that it is only technical issues that stopped his charge from taking the EBU crown from the clever Spaniard Garcia.
Cheesemanâ€™s constant forward march was met with smart footwork from Garcia, taking a half step backwards or to the side, and leaving the slightly slow-footed Bermondsey man leaning past his front foot and exposed to the Spaniards fast counter punches.
Tony Sims is a lifelong boxing aficionado, he eats, sleeps and lives boxing and I am sure Cheeseman has been shown his Achilles heel by now. Whether he can learn and change his style to compensate, we will see in time. It is worth remembering that Sergio Garcia is a quality operator who should fight for a world title in the next 12-18 months.
In Kieron Conway, Cheeseman meets a light-hitting stylist who has good footwork. At just under the 6-foot mark, Conway will try to keep the champion at bay behind his long left jab. It is unlikely that Conway can back Cheeseman up so he will have to try and take the centre of the ring and try to catch the champion with counters as he attacks. With only 3 stoppages in 12 wins and a single loss, Conway will struggle to get the respect of Cheeseman.
A young and confident challenger such as Conway should never be written off too lightly, this is his opportunity to burst onto the scene and make his name amongst a very good domestic 154lb scene that includes, Liam Smith, Scott Fitzgerald, Brian Rose, and Anthony Fowler. However, Conway just doesnâ€™t have the experience or physical attributes to deal with a young but seasoned campaigner like Cheeseman, and I can see the champion retaining his title in the first 6 rounds.
Conor Benn vs Jussi Koivula
10 x 3 mins
WBA Continental Welterweight Championship
Ted Cheeseman vs Kieron Conway
12 x 3 mins
British Super-Welterweight Championship
Craig Richards vs Andre Sterling
12 x 3 mins
Final Eliminator for British Light-Heavyweight Championship
Duane Sinclair vs Anthony Fox
10 x 3 mins
Charles Frankham vs Ilgvars Krauklis
4 x 3 mins
Shannon Courtenay vs Flora Machela
6 x 2 mins
Reece Bellotti vs Josue Bendana
6 x 3 mins
Otha Jones III vs Michael Horabin
6 x 3 mins