Ollie Pattison

Ollie Pattison
There is no good way to lose a final at any sport.  For Ollie Pattison, he twice reached the final of the ABA championships without returning home victorious.  However he takes solace that one of the losses came in controversial circumstances as he tells me:  “I just fell short of winning the ABAs having lost two finals which was disappointing.  I got disqualified in one – I went low twice but it was a bit harsh as there were only about 15 seconds to go but it’s one of them things.”
 
The amateur career of Pattison consisted of 59 fights with 42 wins.  Having taken up boxing at the age of 12 he had a path in mind to transition to the professional sport;  “I wanted to take my time.  I won a few things as an amateur and I always had it in my head I wanted to turn over at 24 or 25.”  As with any fighter taking the leap it was important that Pattison had faith in the team around him.  Just like the decision to turn over from the amateur sport had been a process of thought and consideration, so too was the choice of promotional team to support him.  So who did he go with?  Goodwin Promotions.  Pattison tells us why:
 
“I spoke with a few people prior to Steve but I got a good vibe from him.  My dad came with me, who is also my trainer and he has a good sense of who is in it to push me in the right direction” he tells me.  It’s an exciting time to be part of the setup at Goodwin Promotions – on October 17th a new set is to be unveiled at their fight night home of York Hall in Bethnal Green.  Head of the team Steve Goodwin has promised a new fan experience on the 17th and onwards, so what does Ollie make of it all?  “It’s quality, it shows how far Goodwin have come and it’s exciting for all of us fighters.  It adds to the entertainment factor.”
 
York Hall was where he made his bow as a professional back in July of this year.  A victory over Iain Jackson (4-27-2) of Brighton was a good way to start in the paid ranks for the man from London Colney but the preparation wasn’t as smooth as he had hoped for.  “Was I happy?  Yes and no.  But I didn’t think I would be able to fight as I got a chest infection at the start of the week and was in hospital for two days.  That was maybe 10 to 15% of what I’m capable of and I still won the fight clearly so in terms of that I’m happy but I know I’ve got a lot more to give.”
 
10 to 15% was good enough on the night against a journeyman who couldn’t handle the schooled boxing skills of the light heavyweight Pattison.  The opposition will step up in future fights but for now it is a case of ensuring his landing in the pro sport is sensible and controlled.  “I was fine and the amateur experience helped going in to my debut.  It is obviously a bit different and daunting, the gloves feel tighter.  There was expectation but I really enjoyed it.”  In reflective mood on his debut inside the packed York Hall Pattison has already highlighted some of the key differences he will experience now that he is being paid to fight.  Still only 25 years old Pattison is well spoken and thoughtful when discussing his fighting upbringing.  It is his father who is pivotal to his career as both picker of promotional teams and trainer.  How does that relationship work?
 
“He’s based in Finchley and I’m in London Colney.  We train at other gyms when we need sparring but there’s a gym at home which we built.  It’s ideal for two or three men but I have it to myself.  We go to Don Charles’s gym in Finchley where Jose Lopes trains and go to my old club Finchley ABC” says Pattison.  It sounds like an advantageous set up, allowing a unique blend between gym and parental guidance while also allowing the ability to venture out when needed.  So what kind of boxer is being moulded in the gym at the Pattison household?  “I’m 6 foot three and a bit and try to make super middle but I can’t!  As an amateur I was a counter puncher, try to wait for the opponent, draw them on and then fire.  But as I’ve grown up and filled out a bit I’ve started trying to mix it up.  I like to think of myself as a boxing fighter who can mix it when I need to but I prefer to box” he says.
 
Those skills will be next utilised against Croatian Gordan Glisic (6-25-2).  Glisic is no stranger to the UK, having travelled here twice in 2015 so far.  Without a win since September 2009 he will be a long shot to cause Pattison problems on October 17th, but this fight represents an opportunity for the Londoner to fight with a clean bill of health and display some of the pedigree he is carrying with him from the amateurs.  How studious is he when it comes to looking at his future opponents?  “I’ve done a bit of research, he’s tough and game as well.  He’s there to try and upset you if he can and I know he will be a tough opponent but I’m hoping I can get the stoppage but won’t push for it”.  It is more evidence of an old head on young shoulders.  There is a calmness to Pattison that belies his age.  He is likely to come through this next fight without too many problems but still has ensured that he has the requisite knowledge and preparation in the bank.  Does the trainer/father get involved in the process of learning about opponents?  “I’m a bit more technical than him, he doesn’t know how to use the laptop!  I don’t like to over analyse as you can hinder your performance so I like to just get a bit of the background on them.” 

Dad’s skills may be best suited to pads and not laptops but it is clear that he has on his hands a bright prospect.  There wasn’t the rush to start earning money from the sport that some fighters feel, more a balance to achieve between amateur experience and new challenges sought.  Moving in to the professional side of boxing of course presents its own new challenges and opponents; being realistic, has Pattison planned a 12 month strategy for himself?  “Keep winning and staying focussed is my main objective at the moment.  I aim to improve in every fight at the moment and then start pushing towards titles.  Steve’s clever and knowledgeable so I will leave that decision to him while I focus on my fighting.”  Again this displays the aged head on the younger man, allowing a clear delineation between those guiding his career and himself.  His focus for now is solely on doing the business in the ring while others sort their side of it outside.

“When you’re young and start boxing you think of the legends and imagine being one of them.  The titles would be lovely and just boxing for a living is a dream for me” says Pattison as we end the interview.  There is no rush from him to reach for the titles yet.  The light heavyweight scene in British boxing has a lack of top name fighters at present and those at the top will likely have moved on by the time Pattison’s career is guided down this route.  One fight in to his career it would be premature to consider a route towards long term success but if the foundations of the career are established in the first 12 months, then Pattison and his team may be heading in the right direction.
Ollie wished to thank his sponsors Alliance Intelligence Scaffolding based in Watford for their continued support.