Ossie Jervier

Spencer Fearon
It was only 6 years ago that Ossie Jervier made his return to the boxing ring.  He had tried his hand at many sports over the years he tells me; “I started boxing late, but I boxed when I was a youngster” says Jervier.  “I’m a very sporty person – sports is my thing.  When I was boxing before I used to box, play football, I would swim and play badminton, basketball – I used to do a lot of things.  It was all these things, then I just decided to box and apply my discipline.”
 
It was boxing where Jervier has placed his chips.  At the age of 28 his focus became clear – it was in the boxing ring that he wanted to be.  He applied himself in a way that others at that age may struggle to do and committed fully to the task in hand.  He spent a full 12 months in the gym before considering getting in the ring, as he tells me.  “I came back to boxing in 2008, I didn’t start competing again until 2009, so I trained for a whole year before I actually got back in the ring at St Pancras.  I did a season out in Denmark and won a tournament out there and came back, then after that I was in the novices.”
 
Once back in the UK the amateur career continued with great success.  It became clear that Jervier had made the right choice to focus on the single sport, as he claimed repeated success in Europe’s largest Senior open boxing tournament.  “I won the Haringey Box Cup twice, getting to the final three years in a row.  I won that in 2011, runner up in 2012 then in 2013 I won it again” reflects Jerview.  “In 2014 I was supposed to do it but got a fractured nose – it was better but I didn’t want to get in there worrying about it getting hit so I pulled out.”
 
With over 25 wins in his amateur career and the disappointment of not being able to defend his title, it was time the man from Willesden made the transformation from successful amateur to professional prospect.  For many fighters it may be daunting to turn over to professional at 33 years of age, but for Jervier he sees it not as detrimental but possibly beneficial.  “With me, my mind is such an important thing.  I don’t think about age – if you’re willing to learn and willing to succeed and treat your body right you’ll get far.  It’s about hard work and dedication.  With me, that’s where my mind’s at.  I just want to get to the top”
 
Jervier has already proven outside of the ring that he has the determination and focus to help himself fulfil his potential.  Having gained qualifications in both nutrition and physiology it is clear that he has the learning capacity required to apply his hard work out of the ring when he steps in to it.  So how does someone who is trained to look after both body and mind feel that his 34 year old body will hold up as a professional pugilist?  “I feel fresh.  With the youngsters they end up burning out when they’re 30 because they’ve been doing it since the age of 8 and their body has gone through it” Jervier tells me.  “My body hasn’t – I’m a healthy person, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t eat red meat – I keep myself fit.  I’m with this body for the whole of my life so I’m looking after it more than I look after my car!  People need to look after the inside of themselves, make sure they’re healthy and fit.  If you get ill, money can’t look after you – look after yourself now.  My body, mind and spirit all come first.”
 
It is a reflective view from the 34 year old.  He doesn’t feel that his late introduction to professional fighting will hold him up – he is happy to set high goals for himself.  He is competing within the cruiserweight division, where fighters are known for lasting in to the later years than their lighter counterparts.  How far does Jervier believe he can go?  “I want to get to the top, I want to be a champion.”
 
It is a bold statement.  To help achieve it, he has build a solid team around himself.  His promotional duties have been entrusted to Goodwin Promotions, renowned as an outfit that look to invest in and support their fighters in reaching their goals.  How did the linkup come about?
 
“I had a friend called Dominic Phoenix, he put me in touch with Steve (Goodwin).  I gave him a call and we chatted, then I went up to his offices at Leighton Buzzard and had a very thorough talk with him, Kevin Champion and his son Josh.  We had a long talk and they gave me time to think it over – after two weeks I signed the contract and became a professional.”
 
It is a familiar story with the team at Goodwin Promotions who pride themselves on not approaching fighters, but fighters approaching them.  “I don’t have any bad words to say about Steve, he’s good to me and has helped me out with what I want to do.  It’s a great team I have signed with – Steve, Kevin, Olivia and Josh.”  So what are the plans that Steve, Kevin and Josh have got in mind for Ossie?  “We discussed my aims, where I wanted to be.  The plan is that in a years time I will be fighting for the Southern Area title.  He said he will keep me active and I can get on other shows – I’m not afraid to fight anyone!”
 
 
Goodwin Promotions have a stable packed with cruiserweight fighters, including current Southern Area champion Lawrence Bennett who challenges for the English title in October as well as a number of prospects and established fighters such as Louie Darlin and Wadi Camacho.  There is also another fighter in the mix who Jervier is already familiar with – highly touted Jose Lopes.  “I beat Jose Lopes in 2011 in the Box Cup final” states Jervier.  So is it inevitable that with the two in the same weight division under the same promoter that we will see a second meeting?  “It will probably have to happen again now we are both professional as I’m looking to go far and he is the same.  The best have to fight the best.”
 
Before any talk of that fight happening again Jervier is due to fight on the Goodwin Promotions card at York Hall named “We Never Stop” on October 17th.  Hosting 5 title fights and a large undercard, Jervier will be making his second professional appearance.  There is talk of Paul Morris (5-28-2) being the opponent – can Jervier tell us more?  “I’m not sure yet - all I do is train, I don’t check anything!” he admits.  “I found out with my last opponent a week before who he was, just because they’ve been named I’m not going to pull out.  As you have told me that I’m going to go and check it out!  End of the day I’ll just step in.  I look forward to seeing the Bennett vs Askin fight, I’ll have a look at them.  There’s some great fights on that night, so I want to get out and watch them.”
 
In his first outing as a professional Jervier impressively stopped Latvian Aleksandrs Roldugins (2-1-1) in the second round of a scheduled four back in July.  He has aligned himself with the Peacock Gym down in London, working with Tunde Ajayi and Ade Olayina in London.  “Ade is a new trainer coming through and he trains me hard.  When I first turned professional I was like “wow, this is way different to the amateurs”.  It’s a good setup – Ovil Mckenzie trains there and Romeo Romaeo.  I’ll be getting good sparring when I’m back there next week.”
 
One thing that Jervier acknowledges is that as important as him team are, ultimately the pressure comes down to one man – himself.  “Nobody can argue with you when you’re in the ring – it’s not a team thing.  When I’m training it’s a team thing, we all work together – my coach wants to build me in a certain way.”  Undefeated in his professional career to date, he has tasted defeat before.  Looking back, did it benefit him?  
 
"I have lost as an amateur, I have been robbed a lot of times but there were other fights where I knew I had lost and just had to hold my hands up and say “I have not won this'.  All these things helped me build myself as a boxer.  During the amateurs I have no regrets about my journey.  It taught me how to get back up.  There was one time I got to the novices ABA quarter finals and I lost a robbery – for two weeks I was proper down, didn’t train, didn’t do anything.  But then I picked myself back up and went back to the hard work, that was a good thing for me – I remember it, it was November 2012.  I’m a person who if I can’t change something I just forget about that – I will change what I can change and move forward building myself.  Thinking about what’s happened – I can’t change that.”
 
It is a positive view from Jervier.  He is looking to make quick strides now he has turned over – “I’m thinking of October then December, but it might have to be February.  We’ll see, but Steve might have a plan for me after my next fight.” 
 
Age is not prohibitive to Jervier.  He is intelligent enough to maintain his physical attributes.  He has tasted defeat and success and is mature enough to reflect upon both with a learning mentality.  His ambitions for the next 12 months rest at gaining silverware in the Southern Area – with the team established around him Jervier has a solid foundation backed up by amateur experience and trophies.  Time will tell where this cruiserweight can get to, but he is determined to ensure that he makes the most of mind, body, experience and age.
 
Jervier wanted to than Stamina For Sale based out of Peacocks Gym for their support.