Brad Pauls

Brad Pauls is an exciting prospect. Only 22 years old and with an amateur record of 44 wins from 56 fights, the middleweight with a Cornish twang in his voice is gearing up towards what could be an exciting professional career. Gym stories have emanated from the South coast about this young man being one of the hardest punchers in the gyms he has been using, backed up by Southern Area lightweight holder Floyd Moore, a man who has shared training space with Pauls. Now, on December 5th, we will get to see if the heavy hitting fighter from Essex, by way of Cornwall and Southampton, can translate that same power into the professional ranks. So how has preparation gone for making his bow?

"I'm in my training camp and training is going well, I'm excited. I've been ticking over all Summer but I've just settled into my new gym, KO Club with Terry Steward" he tells me, sounding like an excitable dog being prepared to be let off the leash. Have the nerves kicked in yet that his professional boxing dream is about to start a (hopefully) long and successful journey? "I'm not nervous at all, I'm just so exicted! Because I haven't boxed since March, just the anticipation and missing fighting people properly is getting me excited. It's also different, it's on a different level, it's more showbusiness with the lights and action - I'm just excited about the future and that next step."

Now based in Essex, every decision and every move appears to be part of a well planned strategy from Pauls to ensure he has given himself the best possible chance to succeeding in the sport. Originally from Cornwall, he tells me that it was a decision based on aspiration that lead him to make his first move. "I went to university to get me out of Cornwall because I knew it was going to be better for boxing" says Pauls. "Everything is geared toward my boxing, I've made sacrifices as an amateur and done my apprenticeship and now I want this as my full time job and go as far as I can go. I want to be the best that I can be."

University meant a new location, and he chose Southampton Solent as the place to further his learning as well as his boxing. As he tells me, "Cornwall usually breeds surfers, not boxers!" - so a move up the coast beckoned where he completed two years of a personal training course. "My heart was never in it, although the course tied in with my boxing, but it has lead me to here; everything for a reason" he reflects, acknowledging that although university may not have given him the career that he aspires for it has given him the foundations that he can start to build upon. "My amateur career went to the next level in Southampton, I got a national title and did really well in the ABAs, it's where I excelled."

From his 44 wins in the amateurs Pauls tells me that there were quite a few knockouts, which is impressive given the more points orientated nature of the sport over the more knockout-centric professional setup. It is that hard punching ability which he now believes is going to be important in building up not just his fighting record but equally importantly, his name and profile within the sport. "I like to come forward, power punches. I watch a lot of Gennady Golovkin - he's my weight class but I'm not calling him out just yet! I like his style, seek and destroy, I try to model myself slightly on that and get on my front foot, wear the opponents down and let my power shots go." The Kazakhstan wrecking ball may be a step beyond where the current ambitions lie for Pauls, but he is not a man short in confidence in his own ability and just as importantly, is aware of the business side of the sport as much as the in ring action. He believes that his natural style and power can help him attract all types of fans as he tells me:

"If you look at a lot of the famous fighters around the world like Mike Tyson or Gennady Golovkin now, knockouts bring in casual fans and excite people. I want to be modelled on that. Everybody has natural attributes; some people don't have power, some people have better speed and technique. I'm just using what my natural strengths are to the best of my advantage. Naturally I do hit quite hard and I want to show it and prove it."

The opportunity to prove himself will come on the 5th December on the show put on by his promotional team, Goodwin Promotions. The 'Night of War' card at York Hall has two Southern Area title fights as well as some proven and established names that Pauls will be making his debut alongside, the likes of former Commonwealth welterweight champion John O'Donnell and Prizefighter winner Wadi Camacho. Given that Goodwin Promotions are based in Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire and Pauls has his roots on the South coast, how did the two cross paths to create a relationship? 
Arv Mittoo
"I've moved to Essex and boxing out of there now. A few fighters from Portsmouth recommended Steve to me while I was looking for a promoter, the likes of Tommy Watson and a few guys in my gym. I was toying with a few ideas and didn't know too much about any of the promoters and they were singing his praises. I met up with Steve, we had a good long chat and he told me everything I needed to know then from that it seemed like the right place to take my career."
Back in October the UKs third biggest promoters unveiled a new and ambitious setup at York Hall, transforming the traditional small hall leisure centre setting into what feels like a much bigger 'event'. Lights, music, smoke machines, ring walks - what does the young man with the Cornwall accent think of it all? "I've seen all the videos and pictures and heard amazing things about it. They brought Las Vegas to York Hall didn't they?! It's all Hollywood now, glitz and glamour, but I suppose that goes hand in hand with all that's going on and it must have been successful as the event in October sold out and moved Goodwin Promotions from fifth to third in the rankings."
When I ask Pauls what his motivation in the sport is, the answer by now is somewhat inevitable. Single minded and focussed, he is quick to tell me that boxing is his life, his dream since he started at ten years old. He may for now work as a personal trainer but as he puts it, he is doing what he needs to do to keep going with the single aim; following his heart and becoming a full time boxer.

Pauls is respectful of boxing. you get the sense that because of his deep rooted desire to ingratiate himself into the sport, he wants to feel and achieve the same as those that have trodden the path before him. When I ask him about the routes that he sees himself as being able to take in the sport he is clear and adamant about how he wants his career to pan out. "I think it's all experience. I can't say I want to do this and that when I haven't even had my debut yet. Obviously I want to go out and build a profile like anyone should; I want knockouts and to excite people. People love knockouts, everyone talks about knockouts. I want to be different and people to talk about me then once I've built myself up in the right way then look at the Southern Area title and English title, take the traditional route and get as much experience as I can. I trust Steve (Goodwin), whatever he thinks is best for me he will do the right thing."

Pauls is hopeful that he will be bringing fans from his various home locations for his fight on December 5th; a coach is booked from Cornwall as well as some friends from Southampton and those that he has met in Essex. Already he has a fan base that covers from the East of London down to Devon and on the night he makes his debut, he has the opportunity to impress those that enter the 1,200 capacity venue at York Hall. If he can bring the power that he is notorious for in the gyms of the South coast with him to the home of English boxing, he might be leaving with a few more names in the fan club.

Brad Pauls wished to thank his sponsors Central Pub in Cornwall who have helped support his career.