By Mark Turley: Canning Town’s easy-going Catalan Cruiserweight, Wadi ‘Machoman’ Camacho (10-2-0), has had some thinking to do. The 28 year old Prizefighter champion returns to action at London’s Excel arena on Saturday for the first time since being outpointed by Romford’s Tony Conquest in October. After putting Conquest down in the first and second sessions of a thrilling fight, his tempo dropped, allowing the Romford man to take advantage.
There’s no trace of bitterness in his voice and he speaks calmly about the defeat, despite feeling that the judges scored punches for Conquest that he was blocking.
“Particularly in the middle rounds, I was taking a lot of his shots on my arms. He wasn’t landing as much as people thought he was. But they can only judge from what they see at ringside. That’s the way it is. They see the sweat fly off your hair or whatever and think a shot has landed. But most of the time he wasn’t getting through.”
Seeing it all as part of a learning curve, Wadi is keen to show the world he has learnt from his mistakes. Blessed with power, particularly in his straight lefts and hooks, southpaw Camacho says it is time to start playing to his strengths.
“Well, I don’t need to tell anyone I won the first two rounds against Conquest. My game plan was simple, really. I knew he wouldn’t be able to take my power so I just wanted to get in there and land my shots. Obviously it worked. At the end of the second I went back to my corner and Don (Charles, his trainer) said to me ‘look, you’re four points up, don’t do anything silly, don’t take any risks and its your fight’.
“I tried to follow the advice but it just didn’t suit me. I found myself standing off a bit and pausing when I should have been throwing. That gave Conquest the chance to get back into it. I’ve spoken with Don about it a lot afterwards and we’ve both said it was the wrong tactics. I should have gone out in the third and gone after him again.”
“The thing is, I’m a big cruiserweight and I’m heavy handed, so I’ve got to use my natural advantages. There’s no point fighting a fight that suits my opponent.”
So far Wadi, who has dual nationality, has fallen just short of championship level. The Conquest defeat was a British title eliminator and the other loss on his record, to China Clarke in March, was for the vacant English belt. Yet the Machoman feels he has developed as a result of the setbacks and new title attempts will be just around the corner.
“I obviously had to learn the hard way. But I’ll be honest, I don’t really believe they beat me. In both fights, I beat myself. I hadn’t trained properly for China Clarke, my head wasn’t right. With Conquest I had him basically, that was obvious, but my tactics were wrong.
“That won’t happen again. Jess (Hardy, manager) has told me that although the defeats have set me back a bit, its not disastrous. I’ve worked a lot with Don on tightening up the defence and using a high guard. The idea will be to come in behind that and bully opponents using my strength. A couple of quick wins and I’ll put myself right back up there. I’m confident of beating anyone on the domestic scene, Dawson, Conquest, Cleverly, whoever. If I fought Tony Conquest again there’s no way he would last five rounds.”
Camacho is clearly looking forward to getting back in the ring and getting things moving back towards his primary goal of a British title. “I’ve said from the beginning my biggest aim in boxing is to be British Champ. After that, we’ll see.”
And as for the critics who doubt his credentials: “They’re going to see a new Wadi Camacho. Two losses and no more to come.”
Camacho was originally due to face Swindon's Lawrence Bennett on Saturday. However, BoxRec News understands that Bennett has withdrawn from the card. Camacho will instead be fighting an as yet unnamed replacement.
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