Nicknamed ‘The Real Thing’, Josh King is a proud North Queensland product who is steadily making his way onto the world boxing scene. With a record of 16-3, 8KOs, he is a former Australian and WBF champion and currently holds the WBO Oriental Lightweight title and a number 15 world ranking.
On a four fight win streak, King will look to keep climbing the rankings when he makes the first defence of his title in front of his home crowd of Townville on June 7 against a power punching Japanese opponent.
I was fortunate enough to have Josh answer a few questions about his career, recent move down to Lightweight and his upcoming bout.
When and how did you get into boxing?
About 16 years ago in Charters Towers, I was 12. There wasn’t much to do out there and from memory there was an ad in the paper about a boxing gym opening up. Kym Hunter the legend was my first coach.
What was your amateur career like? I heard you once won the junior and senior Aussie title on the same weekend?
Had a pretty good amateur career I guess. Fought around 70 fights with 20 losses. I hold the record for Scorpio Lodge Boxing Club for most wins in a row, was about 22 or 23, I was on a roll till I went to Association and lost a few.
I got a walkover I think as an intermediate fighter that time, so stood up to the open adult class and won that fight against a tough guy. Think his name was Chris Peters from Victoria.
As a professional you spent a lot of time at Light Welterweight, winning a National and a WBF title; you even campaigned at Welterweight, what made you decide to drop to Lightweight?
At this level I can’t fight at these weights and mess around. Joey Pennisi asked me if I was going to give this a real red hot go and if I was I need to be a Lightweight. I said man I want to really give this a go and not die wondering! So now I diet and make Lightweight easier than what I made the heavier weights and loving it.
Do you feel comfortable in the division? Is Lightweight where Josh King belongs?
I now look like a world class fighter. The weight cuts are easier and I feel fast, powerful and super confident at this weight! Even if I got offered a good fight at Super Feather I’d take it.
Is diet and nutrition now a more important part of your career and do you stay on track more between fights?
Big time. I can do all the training in the world, but without the right food I could not make weights easy. Big thanks to Brett Johnson for helping with knowledge of the body and food. Yeah I try to, but I like to have a little break too.
You’ve been to Thailand in preparation for your previous couple of fights and sparred two division WBC champion Sirimongkol Singwancha (78-2, 50KOs), what have those experiences been like?
Sirimongkol would have to be the best guy I’ve sparred. He just does everything right, not wasting anything, and I learn loads every second I’m in there with the legend. Thanks to Joey, Brendon Smith and David Treharn his trainer for giving me this opportunity to spar a guy with his experience.
You take on a Japanese opponent Koichi Ito who has 8 stoppages in his 9 victories, what do you know about him and what are you expecting?
I’ve had footage from him but was 5 years ago, so only watched 20secs of it. Mate, he’s 100% coming here to try and KO me and take this awesome WBO Oriental title back to Japan. But I’m too fit, strong and smart to let this Japanese guy take my title! I’m expecting him to come out swinging… So I just can’t wait to punch him and hurt him!!
On the other hand, what can we expect from Josh King?
You will see a very fit and focused Josh King. And I’m just going to have loads of fun!
With your Oriental title you are ranked 15 in the world by the WBO, what are your goals over the next couple years?
My biggest goal is to fight for the WBO world title. But all I want to do is to get a fight in the States, man I love that place!
Who has been the most influential person in your career?
Joe Pennisi has been the most influence on my career. Not only boxing, but with the way I look at life. He is there every time with just a text or phone call.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Keep your hands up at all times. Also be good to your mother.
What is your fondest boxing memory to date?
Would have to be winning the WBO Oriental title. Be even better when I win this Saturday.
What do you love most about the sport?
I love boxing man, and it takes so much self control to get to the top. But running into the ring fit as and ready for a 12 round war is by far the best feeling I’ve felt!
Manny Pacquaio! I need to watch this guy Live before I die!
I would like to thank Josh for answering these questions and wish him the best in his upcoming bout, and his future march towards the top.
People of Townsville get along to the Aitkenvale PCYC on Saturday June 7 to see Josh headline a card stacked with local talent top to bottom, including Les Sherrington, Jordan Gee Hoy, Lloyd Bagley, Kolby Johnston, and Chris Khan.
Tickets can be purchased at the Aitkenvale PCYC, A Mays Inn Meats, Boat and Tackle Boundary St, or Body Torque Gym.
Live streaming for the event will also be available for purchase at: http://fightwebshop.com/livestream/goldenlionpromotions-7th-june-2014/