Devine ready to show he has upped his game

Luton boxer Michael Devine
Luton boxer Michael Devine

Luton boxer Michael Devine admitted he was close to quitting the sport for good after being fined by the British Boxing Board of Control earlier in the year.

The 28-year-old had been in line for a number of title fights after beating Ben Day back in December 2016, his 15th victory of a seven year career.

However, Devine was then penalised and telling the News/Gazette why that was, said: “I was mandatory for the English title at super featherweight and got offered the Commonwealth title at lightweight and lightweight is my original weight.

“I did accept the English fight and was going to go down in weight, but it was just too hard for me.

“I can’t make that weight any more, it’s been a few years since I did it.

“So the best option was to go for the Commonwealth, it was a bigger title, more money, so I went for that.

“But then under the Boxing Board of Control rules, you’re not allowed to do that, so I ended up with no fight and a fine.

“Then I’d had enough of the game really, so I was like, ‘you know what, this is it, I’m packing it up now.’

“I’d tried my hardest and felt hard done by a bit.”

However, fast forward a few months and Devine is now gearing up to return to the ring this evening, fighting at Wembley Arena no less, on the undercard of the George Groves versus Jamie Cox bill.

The bout forms part of the World Boxing Super Series event and on how he finds himself on the show, Devine continued: “I took a few months off and then Marco Robinson from the Channel Four TV show, he got in touch with me and I went to one of his business seminars.

“He rang me up from Malaysia and gave me an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down. He he was going to sponsor me so I can train and straight away I got back to work.

“I wasn’t going to move back up to Manchester, because my family’s down here and the second time I went up to Manchester, it wasn’t the same as the first time.

“I missed my family too much and my normal surroundings, so I’m training in London now with Don Charles and I’m loving it.

“There’s Dereck Chisora in the gym and I’m learning so much, just taking on tips, warming up, warming down, my nutrition, everything’s spot on.

“I’m really looking forward to it now as it’s been a long time since I’ve fought.

With the new training regime, Devine believes he is already reaping the rewards, as he added: “I’m buzzing and I really, really have improved.

“I know people always say that, but I’ve had better camps, although I’ve improved loads in this time.

“I’ve had a few injuries, nothing too bad and my sparring has been really good, but I’ve really upped my game

“So you’ll definitely see it on Saturday as I didn’t have a massive amateur background, as in the past, I always looked to always get the rounds in.

“But now if I hurt them I’m getting them out of there.

“I’m feeling strong at the weight, I’m not crash dieting, you’ll see massive improvement with my strength in the ring and my punch power.

“I’m not looking to the knock out but if it comes I’ll make sure I get the job done.”

Devine is now just ticking over ahead of the fight, but is already planning beyond Saturday night too, adding: “I’ve got my last little bit training to do and then just controlling my weight with water intake and foods.

“I’m 28 now, but I’ve got a good bit of experience as a pro. I’m just outside the top 10 in the country, so we’re not too far off English and British title level now.

“I’m going straight back into another camp, fighting in December, they’re looking for a really big fight in March, one that will whet the appetite.”

Devine’s record currently stands at 15 wins and five defeats from his 21 bouts, although he has won his previous two fights against Day and Vitalijs Usovs.