Team GB Olympic silver winner Ben Whittaker reveals US sparring partners try to 'kill' him | The SunJuly 29, 2022
BEN WHITTAKER loves being a Brit bashing victim with his Olympic silver medal a huge target on his back during US camps.
Since narrowly missing out on gold in Tokyo, the 25-year-old West Brom Team GB ace has joined forces with Tyson Fury’s American trainer Sugar Hill Steward.
The Miami training trips are riddled with cockroaches and lizards – which should prepare him perfectly for the world of pro boxing – and the starlet’s alien accent and amateur success means he is getting bullied by our political pals across the Pond.
Ahead of Saturday's pro debut against Greg O’Neill, Benzo said: “Sometimes when I walk into English gyms I can see people clocking me and showing me respect. Of course it is a nice feeling but I am there to work and train.
“In America, they still look at you as soon as you walk in their gym but they look right through you and then, when sparring starts, they want to batter the English kid with the silver medal.
“I sometimes walk in and see guys tapping each other in their spar and, when I get, those same guys are trying to kill me.
“I like that mindset, it is only going to make me stronger. Being around people who refuse to take it easy on you, or mollycoddle you makes you a stronger fighter.
“I think getting out of your comfort zone, after leaving the Olympics or the Team GB set-up, is the best thing to do.”
Whittaker’s recent Sky Sports interviews have a distinct American flavour, full of trash talk and money matters.
But away from the camera he opens up about missing friends, his own bed and simple trips to Asda for his favourite home comforts.
The Anthony Joshua-managed ace insists he is not acting up, just getting to grips with his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and hard-earned fighting fame.
“I have two sides to me,” he explained. “It might be something to do with my ADHD.
“Sometimes I get in front of the camera and get a bit excited, because I am not media trained, if I wake up with an idea then I usually come out with it on the stage.
“But away from boxing I am a very humble guy. I work hard and am just trying to change the lives of all my family.
“In boxing though, I do sometimes get into a little character and talk some rubbish, there are two sides to me.”
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Whittaker’s Bournemouth International Centre opponent will do well to see the second round but he has a far more worthy future opponent newly signed to the BOXXER stable.
Scotland’s John Docherty knocked the Englishman out of the 2018 Commonwealth Games and a revenge mission is on the horizon.
He said: “I didn’t even realise that he was on the bills as me until this week, it cropped up and I said ‘bloody hell’.
“I think you saw at the Olympics that I am the sort of person who hates losing so if I could get the win back then I definitely would love that".
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