Cheavon Clarke reveals that an early dice with death has left him fearless inside a boxing ring as he warns all of his rivals that he’s coming for them.
(Interview by Shaun Brown)
BN: How would you assess your own development in the pro game so far?
CC: You see, it’s not my job to assess it. It’s your job, my coach’s job and just generally the people that are watching. So, I’m gonna turn the question on you. How would you assess my development?
BN: I think you’ve made significant strides. Everyone’s excited about your future and eager to see your next move because you’re mandatory for the British title. Are you excited about that?
CC: Yeah, I’ve been mandatory since June when I beat David Jamieson so now that Isaac’s won it, it should be me and Isaac but the guys over at Boxxer playing [are] blind like I haven’t been mandatory. People just need to recognise that I earned the right to be here and I’m up next.
BN: What did you think of the fight between Isaac Chamberlain and Mikael Lawal, and what did you think of both performances?
CC: Let’s face it, respectfully, Lawal wasn’t there. I don’t know where Lawal was, but he wasn’t fighting. Chamberlain only had to turn up really. It was like a walk in the park for Chamberlain really. Fair play to him because he came prepared and did what he had to do but the Lawal that fought [David] Jamieson is what we expected at least. We was robbed of that. He tried in the last two rounds, but it was way too late.
BN: Is Chamberlain who you want to fight next?
CC: Yeah, of course. Like I said I’ve earned the right to be there as has Chamberlain. It’ll be a good fight and the British fans will love it. I’m sure you’d love it. He’s got skills as you said. Let’s put them to the test.
BN: So, how would your own skills match up against his?
CC: I’d say my skills are superior. I think I’ve demonstrated that since turning pro. Really and truly you guys should call me ‘Mr Step Up’ instead of ‘C4’ because all I’ve done is step up and up. If you look at Jordan Thompson, he fought [Vasil] Ducar and got dropped in the last round. Ducar wasn’t nowhere to be seen [against me]. I made it look easy. Jamieson, I made it look easy, respectfully. People just need to acknowledge what it is.
BN: I read an interview of yours from last year and one of the quotes was, “My ethos is to level up”. Do you feel as though you’re doing that each time?
CC: I’ll have to ask you that. Do you think I’ve levelled up each fight or do I come out here hiding behind people?
BN: I certainly don’t think you’re the type of boxer to hide. I don’t think many are. That’s your quote so what do you think?
CC: Yeah, most definitely. Let’s face it I’ve had seven fights [and] I fought a guy that’s challenged people at European level and given them trouble and [been] causing problems for a long time. Jamieson challenged for the British and let’s not forget I was mandatory for the English, and I would’ve walked that. The ethos is level up and I’ve been doing that. Eddie Hearn can contest to that. It’s just for people to see my value and put the respect on my work because I’ve never always wanted to box. I wanted to play football. When I go out and fight, I want people to look at me like, “Yo, he’s bringing boxing back like the 80s, the 90s era”. When you see me fight, I want you to think, “Oh my days he belongs in that era”.
BN: If you look at the UK cruiserweight scene it’s a great time to be active because it would seem in your future, there are going to be some tasty domestic fights. Is that something you want?
CC: It doesn’t bother me who I face. I came from the international Olympic boxing scene where we turn up at competitions, where you don’t know who you’re going to face. My first tournament I fought the Olympic champion [Evgeny Tischenko], and I should’ve got the decision, but I didn’t. That shows you where my mentality is at. It wouldn’t bother me who I face, I’m used to that.
BN: How much have we seen so far of your own abilities?
CC: You’ve seen glimpses. I think the Jamieson fight was a good fight to say, “Oh wow, he can do that”. When I first came in, I said, “I’m a mixture of Mike Tyson, Roy Jones, Sugar Ray Robinson” and I think you got to see a bit of that in there. And even in the last fight you got to see a bit of the Roy Jones flair and when I was [up] close you saw a bit of the Mike Tyson. Left hooks like Sugar Ray Robinson, too. You see it. I don’t want to say the whole game.
BN: With the exception of winning fights what are you expecting of yourself in 2024?
CC: I expect to be ranked highly in a couple of the [sanctioning] bodies. I desperately want the British and just to keep winning. Do you know what I’d like? To get a little more recognition in terms of this kid is a serious contender. I think because I’m not the type who goes chatting nonsense and ruining the game people don’t hear about me as much. The boxing will do the talking in the end because my style’s exciting and I win.
BN: Looking into your past you fell from your house when you were six and was impaled on a spike. When you were older your appendix exploded. Has surviving instilled a greater strength, a greater mindset and does getting into the ring – because of what happened – not faze you in the slightest.
CC: If you come face to face with death, how can these guys scare you? I dance to the ring; I genuinely enjoy it. You see how I enter the ring. It’s a fun day in the park for me. I don’t consciously think about it, but I suppose it does play a part. It’s just about working hard and using the principles I learned from my grandparents and my parents. Also, continuing the great side of boxing that you saw in the 80s, 90s and bringing that back because I feel like boxing is a bit soft. It’s a bit like, “Oh, I’m a boxer now”. Everybody can be a boxer now. The most important thing is I stay healthy and not get hit. That’s something I invest in but [to] also entertain the people that pay their hard-earned money to come out and watch me. If you’re my fan already I respect you and if you’re not, welcome to the crew.