Treasure hunts British title
PUBLISHED: 18:00 09 February 2011
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KILBURN’S Ashley Theophane is determined to win a British title for his old mentor at All Stars ABC by beating Lenny Daws at Wembley Arena.
Theophane, who learned his craft under the tutelage of All Stars founder Isola Akay MBE, is back on home ground when he challenges Daws for the British light-welterweight crown on February 19.
And the 30-year-old, nicknamed ‘Treasure’, wants to emulate his former trainer’s son, the late Tee Jay Akay, who won the British cruiserweight title in 1987 and also fought twice for the Commonwealth belt.
“The last time there was a British champion from Kilburn was Tee Jay Akay and I remember watching him on TV as a kid,” Theophane told the Times.
“I started out at All Stars when I was only little and I’ve spent time training and working out there throughout my professional career. It doesn’t matter if I go to New York or Los Angeles – All Stars will always be my home base.
“I’m still part of the club, I know loads of them are coming to Wembley Arena and hopefully Mr Akay will be there too. It’d be nice to bring back the British title as it’d mean a lot to them and to me.
“I’ve got loads of friends from Paddington and Kilburn, where I was born and raised, and this part of London is home, even if I spend a lot of time training in the States now. It’ll be nice to box locally – Wembley’s a great place to fight.”
Theophane has boxed just once in his home city since June 2009, but has been preparing for the Daws clash locally with All Stars coach Dave Brown and also Don Charles, who works with British heavyweight champion Dereck Chisora.
The Londoner, who has won 28 and drawn one of his 33 professional bouts, has been steadily building a reputation, with victories over the likes of DeMarcus Corley and Delvin Rodriguez.
His only defeat in the last three years was a split decision against highly-rated unbeaten light-welterweight Danny Garcia in El Paso, Texas, and Theophane added: “Garcia still says I’m the hardest fight he’s ever had.
“Lenny Daws is a good boxer and there’s no doubt he’s got a good record on paper, but when you look at who we’ve both fought and beaten it’s a different matter. I’ve been in at a higher level.
“The pressure’s on Lenny – he may be the British champion, but he’s trying to be where I am and if I beat him, he’ll be stuck in the British scene. It’s a ‘keep busy’ fight, as I say, until a better one comes along.
“My last fight was at welterweight, but coming down to 10 stone is my natural boxing weight.
“I feel comfortable with that and I’m focused and working hard to take Lenny Daws’ title off him.”
Daws, who hails from south London, has been beaten just once in 24 fights – a split decision to Barry Morrison, who he then defeated in a rematch to claim the British championship.
The clash is part of a star-studded Hennessy Sports bill that also includes John O’Donnell’s rematch with Craig Watson for the British welterweight crown and undefeated heavyweight prospect Tyson Fury.
Tickets are available from the Wembley Arena box office on 0844 815 0815, or you can visit www.wembleyarena.co.uk for further information.
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