Boxing: In conversation with... Chris Kongo
One of Britain's most exciting fighters and best welterweights sits down with bet365's Alex Olds to discuss his upcoming fight with Sebastian Formella and much more.
AO: How are you feeling? How has camp been?
CK: I’m feeling great. Camp’s going well as usual…I know it’s very cliché and everyone says it, but this has been my best camp because I’ve worked a lot smarter than usual. I just can’t wait to perform now.
AO: A tough test lies ahead of you in the shape of Sebastian Formella… He’s only lost to Conor Benn and Shawn Porter.
Do you think you can be the first man to finish Formella inside 12 rounds?
CK: I hope so. But you know what - I’m just going to go in there and take it round-by-round. I know he’s tough and in my mind, I just want to show something that nobody else has shown.
The people that have beaten him (Shawn Porter and Conor Benn) haven’t shown the kind of versatility I believe I will show. That’s my aim.
If the stoppage comes, then great. But I am just hoping to show how much my skills have improved.
AO: How have you enjoyed training with Ben Davison?
CK: It’s been great…I’m learning every day. There’s always something to correct, to pick up or maintain.
We are always working. Like I said before - this is one of the smartest camps I’ve had.
AO: Has it been equally insightful working with Lee Wylie on the analytical side of things?
CK: Yeah. I watch his breakdowns regularly… I watch back all of my sparring too. I’m constantly learning from this process and you can see that in sparring.
Everything that’s happening in sparring, I’m going to bring into this fight. I can’t wait to showcase it.
AO: Do you get to spar often with Josh Taylor? How do you fancy his chances of being successful in moving up to Welterweight?
CK: I always spar Josh. For this camp, as Formella is not a southpaw and fights more on his bike, he is different…
But like I said, I’m always in the gym and so if Josh needs the sparring, I’m always there for him.
In terms of moving up, he’ll do well - very well in fact. Obviously he’s done very well as a light-welterweight. I think he is going to stay at light-welterweight for the moment - he has his eyes on the rematch but also the Jose Zepeda fight is something he’s looking into, I’m assuming.
AO: As a Forest fan, I hope Leigh Wood has been giving you some stick for being a Millwall fan…. Fancy your chances next season?
CK: He has been giving me a bit of stick…but not too much. Leigh’s such a lovely guy.
Next season I just hope that we start getting off to winning ways and just go from there. We need to take every match as it comes.
As long as we start the season winning, we’ll be all good.
AO: What comes next? I’m gonna throw a few names at you….
CK: First of all, I’d just like to make it clear that I’d fight anyone.
AO: Florian Marku
CK: To be honest, he’s probably top of my list… ‘Mr Big Mouth’. He’s always calling for everyone yet he doesn’t fight anyone… He won’t even fight the other guys, never mind me.
We’re with the same broadcaster and promoter - it’s the easiest fight to make out of all of them out there for me.
AO: Michael McKinson - The only man to beat you as a pro…
CK: He is definitely up high on my list as well. I would love to avenge that defeat because I know where I went wrong and I’d love to put it right.
But if that doesn’t happen, it’s all good because I’m still gonna go on and do what I know I can in my career.
AO: Josh Kelly - He beat you as an amateur…
CK: He’s there as well, for sure…
I’m not sure if he’s going to campaign at 147 (lbs) again or not. But if he is going to, that fight is there.
AO: Ekow Essuman
CK: Ekow has the British title…It’s crazy because of all these years I’ve been chasing the domestic fights and domestic titles….Southern area, English and British…
But due to various withdrawals, I’ve never been able to fight for any. I do think that has left a sour taste for me…
Having said that, if the opportunity did come around, I’d be all over it.
AO: Conor Benn
CK: I’ve been calling his name for years. It has gotten to a point where I just can’t be bothered anymore…
Obviously if the fans want it and we can make it happen, of course I’ll take it.
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