Interview: English middleweight champion Erick 'The Eagle' Ochieng

Interview: Erick Ochieng
© PA Photos
Erick 'The Eagle' Ocheing talks to Sports Mole ahead of the third defence of his English middleweight title on Saturday, December 8.

All-action middleweight Erick Ochieng has made significant strides in 2012, picking up his first professional title and scoring eye-catching victories over Nick Quigley and Ryan Toms.

'The Eagle' continues to move towards British title contention when he defends his English belt on the 'Christmas Cracker' card at the London Olympia on Saturday, December 8.

Ochieng talked to Sports Mole about his plans for domestic domination and standing out from the crowd.

You fight for a fourth time this year on December 8. How are you feeling after a busy year in the ring?
"I'm feeling great, I've been back in training and it's been going very well. I feel strong and I'm looking to put in a good performance as usual. I expect a great performance and I plan to win with style. I'm coming to the end of 2012 and I want to finish strong."

On a packed card with so many guys competing for exposure, how important do you think it is to maintain an exciting style?
"I always think its very important to look good. You can win, but you want to win looking good and that's what I try to do. I perform better under pressure. I feel like the harder my opponents get, the harder I will train because I want to be at my best."

Are you a fighter that puts yourself under extra pressure to perform?
"I try to use pressure to my advantage. Rather than let it get the best of me and be an obstacle, I want it to motivate me to push harder in my preparation. I know if I'm fighting a guy who is dangerous I can't be sleeping, I need to be on point."

Have you been frustrated at any point when attempts to get bigger names and fight for more prestigious titles have failed during 2012?
"If you look at it, I'm coming up to my 13th fight and I've got the English title so I'm pretty happy with the progress at this stage in my career. Obviously in boxing timing is everything. Eddie Hearn is bringing me along and choosing the right fights, that's his job. My part is training hard and beating whoever they put in front of me. I want the British or Commonwealth belts but we've had people ducking and diving and I think I'm overdue. Actually they are already my titles so when I get them they will be much warmer."

You've been lucky enough to fight close to home in the capital twice already this year, how much of a factor is having hometown support once again on December 8?
"Absolutely it's important, I cannot wait to see all my fans. I am enjoying building my fanbase with each fight. People watch me and see that not only do I look good, I can fight too. I am blessed because I've got both and that's what you will see on December 8th."

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