BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Ted Cheeseman believes he can still be a world champion as he approaches the two-year anniversary of beating a gambling addiction.
The 25-year-old revealed in June 2019 that he had lost in the region of £1million around the time he got beaten on points to European champion Sergio Garcia.
Cheeseman’s rebuild in the ring has not been straightforward. He drew with Northampton’s Kieron Conway after he returned from being outclassed by the Spaniard before losing his British super-welterweight belt on a narrow unanimous points decision to Scott Fitzgerald.
The former Fisher amateur star, from Bermondsey, outpointed Sam Eggington in August to collect the IBF International title and gets the chance tomorrow in Gibraltar to regain the British belt when he faces Liverpool’s unbeaten James Metcalf at the Europa Point Sports Complex.
“I want to go all the way in the sport still,” Cheeseman told the South London Press. “I’m still a baby, I’m only 25. I’ve picked up a lot of experience.
“I’ve had my bad times and stumbling blocks but I’ve improved. I think you’ll see a lot better performance this time compared to the Eggington fight. Because when I was in the bubble last time before Fight Camp I was thinking all week ‘bloody hell, if I lose here my career is over’. I’d have had to have started all over again. When you have got a young family and a baby it is hard to do that.
“Now I am coming back in as a winner and believing in my ability. I can box and I can fight.
“On April 6 I am two years bet-free. It is a long period of time that I have changed myself and my life. I’ve changed the way I care about boxing. I’m a whole different person all round, not just as a fighter.
“You have resentment for the sport when things aren’t going right for you. So you don’t get the results or perform to the best of your ability. But now, with my full confidence back and believing that things are starting to go right for me, it is my time to shine.”
Cheeseman won the domestic strap with a unanimous decision over Asinia Byfield at the Copper Box Arena in 2018.
“It will mean everything to get that British title back because I don’t believe I deserved to lose it,” he said.
“I only deserved to lose the fight against Sergio Garcia.
“I should be 18 wins and one loss. But you move on. As long as you keep pushing you can get back to where you want to be.
“I can’t look beyond this fight. James Metcalf is a 21-0 fighter. I’ve done it a million times where I’ve said: ‘I want this person and that person – I want this title and that title’. All I know is winning this fight is going to get my British title back and push me into the top five of the IBF rankings.”
PICTURE: MARK ROBINSON/MATCHROOM BOXING
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