Chantelle Cameron - Professional Dreams
  
On June 10th, Danny Couzens looks to secure a chance for a tilt at a title that has eluded him in a 20 fight career.  As many ups and downs as he has had, the Portsmouth boxer has found himself perhaps unlucky to be challenging for Southern Area honours in an era when the belt has been tied to fighters in his weight divisions that have gone on to become household names.  Three challenges he has made, two at cruiserweight and one at light heavyweight, he has come up short against the like of Leon Williams, who went on to win the British title and Prize Fighter winner Wadi Camacho.  But now he has the opportunity to secure his fourth shot at the prestigious belt and he is determined to take it with both punching hands.
 
To get that title shot, he will have to get past Londoner Ossie Jervier in the final of the Fascia and Glazing Fight Cup on a Goodwin Boxing show.  A well decorated amateur, Jervier has won four of his six professional bouts and in that time secured a reputation as one of the most exciting cruiserweights in the country to watch.  Not a fight goes by where he doesn’t display his propensity for landing big shots off a powerful right hand, but also has shown that he is succeptible to being dropped himself.  So is Couzens looking forward to the challenge on June 10th at York Hall?
 
“It’s exciting ain’t it?!” he laughs down the phone.  “It’ll be a good fight.  I’ve got nothing bad to say about him, I’ve seen him fight a couple of times and I know it won’t be easy at all, I’m preparing for a hard fight.  I do believe I will win and obviously he will as well, but that’s what makes it so exciting.”
 
One of the men to beat Jervier was Karl Wheeler Myers; the two fought a hellacious battle that saw both men hit the canvas in the fight and the crowd enthralled from start to finish.  “Karl told me he doesn’t think he takes a great shot.  I know Karl put him down and he has been down before and I think I can punch a little bit so who knows” says Danny when we discuss the chances of testing the chin of Jervier. 
 
There have been difficulties for Couzens in the build up to this fight.  Scheduled bouts that never happened have meant that training camps have gone to waste, but he sounds upbeat and lively heading into the fight, even if he was disappointed with the cancellations.  “It’s been very frustrating.  I’ve had basically two camps back-to-back, plus I was meant to have a warmup fight in Portsmouth but that got cancelled because of injured fighters pulling out.  My last fight was December and I’d have liked to have had two fights since then.  With the Ryan Crawford fight I was training my ass off when he pulled out two weeks before, that was disappointing.  I’d like to have beaten him to get to the final of this than be given it.”
 
That sums up the warrior attitude of Couzens, a man who never ducks an opponent or turns down an opportunity.  He would rather have fought his way to a final place than be handed it as he has, but that is through no fault of his own.  Now that he has the chance though, he has secured the help of a top training partner and someone that in 2013 he shared the ring with for 10 rounds in their native Portsmouth.  That person is current English light heavyweight champion Joel McIntyre, a man who has aspirations of his own to go on to British title level.  “I’ve been sparring Joel Mcintyre and he’s a strong, come forward, quality fighter.  He’s not as heavy as Ossie but as a boxer he is great.  Joel is so sharp and a lot quicker, we’ve done loads and loads of rounds together; it’s the best sparring I could ask for and it helps him out too.”
Couzens is realistic and reflective when he looks back at his previous opportunities to take home the Southern Area belt.  Never outclassed and always one to give a good account of himself, he is also honest in his appraisal of the fights.  “When I’ve fought for the title I’ve been in with top, top fighters.  The likes of Wadi Camacho, Leon Williams who went on to win the British title.  There’s lesser opposition out there that you can end up boxing for the Southern Area.  I can win a Southern Area but when I’ve boxed for it I’ve been in against the top boys.  I’ve done alright against them, although Wadi will tell you differently!  I put it on him a bit and he didn’t like it, there were a few times in that fight when he held on but he got into his rhythm and he beat me, no arguments with it.  We’re OK now and he’s going to come support me and thinks I’ll win as well!”
 
It shows a great humility and camaraderie between boxers.  Two men who displayed little love towards one another before, during or in the aftermath of the fight are able to reconcile their differences in the cold light of day.  No bitterness, just support.  Camacho still has that belt around his waist though, so should Couzens come through against Jervier, would he be looking to get his Manager Steve Goodwin to push for that fight straight away even if with his former foe?  “Hopefully he does.  I think I’ll win this and if I do I want a straight shot at that Southern Area title.  I don’t know who it would be against.  I know Wadi holds it but I think he’ll give it up.  I wouldn’t turn down another shot at Wadi if that chance came up, but maybe that fight won’t interest him.  He should be moving on now anyway, he’s won it twice and is moving onto the English title.”
 
There are unknowns of how the title landscape will sit on June 10th, but there is one certainty for the date.  A lively crowd.  I don’t know how they breed them down in Portsmouth, but their fighters are always guaranteed a loyal support from the fight fans of the city.  They may have to make a lengthy journey up to London to support their man, but for those that do, they know how to make themselves heard.  “It’ll be brilliant.  I’ve got quite a few people coming up again so they’ll be nice and loud again” Couzens tells me.  I query if his fans overlap with fellow Portsmouth boxer Floyd Moore, a man who similarly has an overwhelming following.  “They all know each other, they’re all the same, bloody nut jobs!” chuckles Couzens, who is also highly appreciative of the effort and expense they go to in following his career.  “I couldn’t do it without them, they are fantastic.”
 
How does he see the fight itself panning out once the ring walks are completed and the crowd have taken their seats at the famous old venue?  “People tell me I need to use my skills as I can box nicely and others are telling me I should scrap it out.  I plan on doing a bit of both to be honest.  I’m ready for the ten rounds and it won’t be an easy fight – if it needs to go ten rounds then I’ll go ten rounds.  You do need build up fights, I had one last year to get back on track, but I love a hard fight.  You can’t just go and have wars every time, but I enjoy the big fights and it gets people excited as well.”
 
It promises to be just that. “a war”.  Two tough and skilled men who have aspirations to go on to challenge for that Southern Area title.  Couzens is a lovely man, relaxed to talk to and never far from a contagious chuckle.  You feel that for someone who has served the sport so well and now into his 30’s, he deserves to have another chance to challenge for the belt that has escaped him so far.  He knows that June 10th is a hard task, by no means a ‘gimme’ fight.  But that’s what he wants to be remembered for, taking the fights that some of others with more protected records may avoid.  For that you have to admire everything Couzens has achieved so far and the names he has shared a ring with.  He is hoping that by winning the Fascia and Glazing Supplies Fight Cup on June 10th, it opens up the door to one more chance to add to his boxing legacy.
 
Danny wanted to give a special mention to the sponsors who have supported his boxing career and continue to do so.  These are Mainline Baits, Boxfit UK, Slate Insulations, Replacemyboiler.com and Anglers Charity Auctions.​