BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Ted Cheeseman has described his performance in his failed European title challenge as “rubbish” – and reckons another repeat display will spell the end of his career.
The 23-year-old was clearly outpointed by champion Sergio Garcia in February as the Bermondsey super-welterweight suffered the first defeat of his professional career.
Cheeseman still holds the British title along with the WBA international belt.
“I boxed rubbish – it’s embarrassing for me to watch the fight,” the former Fisher amateur told iFL TV. “If I have another performance like that I know it is game over.
“If people have seen my 15 fights before that they know I never boxed how I should have boxed. That wasn’t me in the ring that night.”
Cheeseman claims there were issues behind the scenes which also led to his flat display.
“You can train all you want and feel the best you can in the gym but if your head ain’t right then your head ain’t right,” he said. “I’m not going to come out and tell everyone my life story and my business.
“There was no slipping, no movement, no countering and no punching off the gloves.
“I know another night I can beat that fella if I do what I usually do.
“I’m 23 – I’m still British champion and WBA international champion. Hopefully I box in June, get a defence of the British and then fight whoever wins out of Anthony Fowler and Scott Fitzgerald. There are lots of big fights out there for me. If I was 27 or 28 then I’d start worrying. But I’m 23, there is so much more to come.”
That isn’t to say Cheeseman (15-1) did not take the reverse to the classy Spaniard badly.
“After that you think it’s done – I’m finished,” he said. “The whole world has collapsed on me.
“But there is good stuff. At my age I have topped the bill at the 02 Arena, just a stone’s throw from where I live.
“But it guts you and kills you. The only reason it does is because I’m a winner – I don’t want to lose. For weeks it killed me, but you have to go back in the gym.
“You’re only as good as your last fight and that means I’m terrible – because I boxed terribly. But once I get another win it will be forgotten about.”
The question is whether Cheeseman was thrust into European level too quickly.
“No, because anyone who is close to me in the gym will tell you that I can beat that fella,” he said.
“I’m not a delusional fighter. I wasn’t boxing well and after six or seven rounds I thought ‘let’s put my hands down and have a fight – if it works, it works’. If it doesn’t then at least people know I tried.
“I lost a 12-round points decision to a boxer ranked number three in the world.
“I’d love to fight Sergio Garcia again but that ain’t going to happen overnight. I know I’ve got to build up again but I’m not that far away.
“A lot of other fighters wouldn’t have taken that chance I took.
“I want to go all the way and I still believe I can go all the way.