Full Contact Contender returns for it’s 11th installment this Saturday and up for grabs is the vacant FCC Amateur Middleweight championship.
Aiming for the belt is FCPC’s Steven Henshall who takes on Dan Stoddard in what will surely be an eye catching match up.
Henshall is the current Rage in the Cage middleweight champion and he is looking to add a second title to his collection in just five and a half months.
Under the tutelage of Martin Stapleton and the whole FCPC team, you know that Henshall will be ready for this one and I caught up with him to get his thoughts.
Thanks for your time Steven. I wanted to start by going back to the last time I saw you compete, which was Rage in the Cage when you took home the Middleweight title. Having had chance to reflect on winning that belt, how good does it sound to be their champion and have that belt?
“I am very happy to be the champion of a promotion like rage in the cage, they have some good guys competing on there”.
On the night you defeated Jacob Wise via KO in the second round. You showed such control and fludity with your wrestling in the fight. Would you say it was your best performance to date and what did you take from the fight?
“I wouldn’t say it was my best performance, I was happy overall, his height and range threw me off my standup, it’s hard to find a 6ft7 sparring partner so I wasn’t used to it! So I had to use my wrestling to control the distance between us”.
This has led to another championship shot coming your way, this time at FCC 11. FCC are one of the best promotions in the UK, so how much would it mean to win another championship belt?
“The FCC title is, in my opinion. the best amateur title to have in the country, so to hold that puts you at the top of the division, plus it would be great to hold two titles!”
With the belt being vacant and the shot being offered to you, how much confidence does that give you in your ability as promotions are noticing the talent you have?
“I’ve always been confident in my ability and I wouldn’t be trying to get titles if I didn’t believe I belong at the top of my division, and I’m at a great gym where I’m constantly improving”.
Standing opposite you on the night is Dan Stoddard who also fought on the Rage in the cage show. In that fight he utilised his wrestling to dictate the fight. Is that what you are expecting from him in this one?
“I’m not expecting anything, I just worry about what I need to do, I believe my wrestling is much better than his. Any position I’m going to be in I’ve been in 100’s of times in training, as I train with high level grapplers everyday”.
Are there any other challenges you think he could pose you on the night?
“Again I don’t worry about my opponent and what he wants to do, I’ve had at least 10 opponents pull on me in five fights, so I prepare everywhere because you never know who you will actually be facing on the night!”
Taking away his strengths/weaknesses, where do you feel you will be the stronger on the night?
“I think I’m well rounded enough to take the fight to him wherever it goes, the only thing I can control is how fit I am and I’m always ready to push the pace for the full five rounds”.
For anyone who hasn’t seen you compete before, what can they expect from you on the night?
“I’d like to think I’m a fight finisher, I’ve only been to a decision once and I don’t intend to let that happen again; I’m always chasing the finish”.
How long have you been in training for this match up, how long does a typical training camp last, and are there any particular parts of training which you aren’t the biggest fan of doing?
“I train year round, the main thing that changed is the drills and sparring get a lot more intense, and I stop the drinking and eating bad foods about 10 – 12 weeks before a fight.
The ‘shark tank’ at FCPC is the by far the worse part of training camp haha! A fresh opp every minute for 5 rounds trying to finish you isn’t easy! But if you can through that every week your fight ready come the night!”
And finally, is there anybody you would like to thank/give a shout out to?
“Yes, I want to thank the full team at FCPC, fighters and coachs who are constantly making me improve, to many to name they know who they are, my supporters who travel to come and watch me and cheer me on, Adam Teh for the opportunity, and of the course the Mrs who has to put up with me all through the fight camp”.