Johnny Garton

"People pick too many easy fights these days, it should be about getting in there and having a go." 

How many times do you hear that from fight fans?  But this view isn't coming from the man in the seat next to you at a venue, this is the view of one of the men in the ring.
Johnny Garton (14-1-1) is 16 fights in to his professional career at welterweight.  By his own admission the he is still a work in progress.  "I've still got a lot to learn.  I was rugged as an amateur and still got loads to improve on.  But I believe I can get to English title level and I think I can get higher to get myself in the mix for the likes of Sam Eggington and Glenn Foot."
In fact Garton, 28, has already shared a ring with Sam Eggington, the current hot prospect of the domestic welterweight scene.  That loss came in one of the MatchRoom promoter PrizeFighter tournaments.  "It was gutting and I still am gutted I lost, nobody likes to lose" Johnny tells me.  "He has gone on to show how good he really is.  It's PrizeFighter, I knew three rounds wouldn't suit my style as I get better as a fight goes on.  My coach asked me for weeks not to do it because it wouldn't suit me.  He was on at me for ages not to do it but it was too good an opportunity so I went through with it.  You have to take these risks every now and then and it didnt work out.  At that time you look at my record I was fighting journeymen all the time and I wasn't getting up for fights any more, I was getting fed up.  I wanted a challenge."
It was a risk that didn't pay short term dividencds but has paid off longer term . After the disappointment of the exit from the tournament, Garton changed his management team from the renowned Adam Booth to the up and coming Goodwin Promotions.  Perhaps as much of a risk at the time as his decision to enter PrizeFighter, Gharton has been delighted with the results to date. 
"After PrizeFighter Steve Goodwin wanted to manage me too, so I had a word with him and we worked out a plan.  We planned to have three fights, three wins then go for the Southern area.  He got me one fight then the Southern area straight after, so he's done more than he said he would.  Steve does everything he can for you and sticks by his word, that's all you want really.  Where he's up and coming as a Promoter he has that drive.  When we spoke he realised I wanted to be the best I could be and get the titles I could - he wants to deliver that for me."
We often hear that Steve Goodwin delivers over and above for his fighters.  Goodwin Promotions run a large number of shows out of York Hall, which is convenient for Garton.  "It's easy to get to for me so my supporters can get there easily - I tend to get 150 per show, I have wicked support!" he tells me.  "I loved it as an amateur fighting there, it's a great boxing venue, and I really enjoy it now.  Any fight fan loves that place."
Johnny Garton
Garton balances his fight career with his job out of the ring being a mechanic.  When I spoke with him he was taking a break from "the grafting".  But the sharing of his time between professional boxer and mechanic hasn't hindered him to date.  " Whether I win or lose I don't care, I just want to get in to get those fifty fifty fights.  People pick too many easy fights now, it'about getting in there and having a go.  Everyone wants a nice record, but turning pro I never thought I would win the Southern area.  Now I'm on the verge of an English title so I'm loving it and want to get the big fights."
The big fights are out there for him.  Eggington is a loss he would love to avenge - but Garton's focus is on his next fight, a rematch with Martin Welsh.  "I vacated the Southern Area title and I'm fighting Martin Welsh in a rematch in September - it's a final eliminator for the English title in September."  Their first scrap ended in a draw in May, which disappointed Garton.  "I thought I was winning by two or three rounds, when I watched it back I definitely thought I won it.  It left a bit of a bitter taste as I thought I won it on the night.  I'm actually friends with Martin, we're really good mates.  I think I showed him a bit too much respect at the start of the fight!  I'll put it right in September.  Adam Little has the English title, so hopefully I get him after his next defence."
It's a long journey from amateur to successful professional.  Johnny Garton has the tools to keep a motor going the distance, and so far has shown he has the requisite skillset to push his boxing career to the next level.  He has great leadership in Goodwin Promotions and is pointing towards the English title.  His hopes of picking his career back up with Sam Eggington may not be so far away.
Johnny Garton asked us to thank his sponsors  Sugar Ray's.