FightStar Championship host their fifth installment on Saturday 11th April 2015 and competing for the FSC British Welterweight Championship is Josh Stacey Mcmanus.
Josh is one of the countries most experienced and talented competitors who went to Las Vegas last summer to compete in the IMMAF Amateur Championships and he pulverized through his competition to reach the final. Unfortunately he was defeated in the final, but that didn’t take the shine off a fine competition.
This weekend he takes on a competitor he has fought before in James Duckett, in what is another enthralling encounter placed on the card by the guys at FightStar.
With just five days to go until the event, Josh kindly took some time out to answer my questions.
Thanks for your time Josh. Last time we spoke was before your FCC match up with Chris Senior. How much did you take from that fight and getting the chance to compete on FCC?
“Since that fight I have come on massively in all areas of my game! I took and learnt a lot from it and as I proved in my fights after it. FCC is a quality promotion without a doubt one of the best if not the best in the UK and was a awesome experience to be able to fight on such a big stage as it was on Chris’ home ground as well”.
After that you headed to Las Vegas and took part in the IMMAF, getting to the final. Firstly well done, sounds an amazing week. How much did you take from competing out there and against people from around the world?
“The amount I learnt from going over to Vegas and competing was unreal and for all amateurs if you get the chance take it!! The quality of fighters was amazing as you would expect and fighting what was supposed to be the winner of the tournament in the semi’s and beat him since that my confidence has gone through the roof, but also seeing the other team and countries fight it also made me see where UK MMA is really slacking on, with our wrestling when coming up against the USA team and some eastern European countries. So since then I have upped my wrestling training massively”.
What did you take from the coaching of Luke Barnatt and the other UK team guys?
“Luke was awesome out there preparing us for the fights, to have someone like him as the head coach and in your corner was a massive confidence boost. Me and my team mate Dan Cassell went out there by ourselves whereas the other team members had there coaches out with them. It was a strange experience for me and Dan having completely different corner men than back in the UK but Luke did an amazing job making us feel comfortable and instructing us”.
In the final you took on Aleski Nurminen. Is there anything you think you could have done better in the fight?
“There’s such much more I think I could have done in that fight but you can pick stuff out from every fight you have you wish you could or should of done win or loss, but I’ve learned from my mistakes and improved as a fighter”.
All that has lead to your next match up which comes on the FightStar show. How much do you know about fightstar and the shows they have previously run?
“I know a few guys that have fought on the show before and heard a lot of good things from fighters, coaches and spectators. I’m really looking forward to fighting on the promotion and I’ve watched past fights on the internet the show have put on and it looks a quality set up!”
You get the chance to fight for the welterweight championship. How much would it mean to take home the belt?
“It would so much to me to take the belt home that night as I’m looking to go pro after the fight so what a way to finish off my amateur career than to take away the belt!”
In your way is James Duckett, who also has a lot of experience. Have you managed to see much of James in action and what are you expecting from him?
“I have fought James before in the fight UK last man standing tournament at the start of 2014, losing by triangle choke. He’s a quality fighter and I’m looking forward to getting back in there to avenge my previous loss to him!! I think hes going to look to wrestle me and take the fight to the ground but I think since our last fight I have improved massively and he wont trouble me anywhere”.
You have a bit more experience than him. Do you think this could play to your advantage?
“Without a doubt, since me and him last fought I’ve had over six fights and been training at various other gym with some of the best guys in the country. I’m a completely different fighter now to what I was on our first meeting and I cant see any way of him winning the fight”.
And finally, is there anybody you would like to thank/give a shout out to?
“Everyone down at 1st legion fighters gym that help prepare me for my fights, my Dad who is my head coach, Chris Slomka at optimal strength, Paul Daley, Victor Estima and Dave Sweeney.
Then all my sponsors who give me constant support and help in my journey: monkey nutrition, XS mouthguards, optimal strength, katchicks foods – the butchery, pitspincher clothing, carpet cavern, black dog beard oils and caterfest”.