Steve Robinson talks about trading punches with Anthony Joshua and his collection of Disney tattoos ahead of heavyweight fight in Newcastle


Steve Robinson tells Sky Sports about mimicking Tyson Fury in sparring, discovering his knockout power, collecting Disney tattoos and his resemblance to ‘Ivan Drago’.

Newcastle’s very own heavyweight contender aims to deliver an explosive victory for his hometown fans when he appears on the Hughie Fury vs Christian Hammer bill at Utilita Arena on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.

Robinson has already traded punches with Anthony Joshua and the 6’7″ powerhouse now intends to make impact on his British rivals…

You had an unusual start to boxing?

I played professional football, up until six years ago. I was over in Hong Kong with South China. I then had an ankle injury and was told that I would never play football again.

When I snapped the ligaments in my ankle, I took 12 months off, and I went up to 133kgs. I came home and joined the local gym, just to get fit.

What was your first experience of amateur boxing?

I was still overweight, but I stopped the guy in the second round.

I can just remember the atmosphere of the place. It was in a social club and there was probably about 150 there, but being there, it felt like I was walking out in front of 52,000 at St James’ Park.

I remember the buzz and the adrenaline rush, and I was thinking, ‘This is what I want to do, this is where I need to be.’

Image:
Robinson is ‘covered in Disney tattoos!’

Can you become Newcastle’s boxing hero?

I’d like to hope so. I wouldn’t be doing it, I wouldn’t have given up everything that I’ve given up, if I didn’t believe in myself.

When I got into the England squad, I gave up work and got sponsored. I’ve lost relationships, I haven’t had a drink in six years. I’ve been on a stag do, drinking water in Prague.

If I didn’t believe in myself and have the people around me who believed in me, I wouldn’t be in the sport.

What sets you apart from other heavyweights?

Am I the most technically gifted heavyweight out there? No. But I can guarantee if you’re doing six rounds of sparring, I’ll be doing eight. If you’re doing 30 push ups, I’ll be doing 35. I’m always psychologically thinking I’m one step ahead of whoever I’m going to come across.

I have the ability. I’m 6’7″. I work well on the back foot, I work well on the front foot, and I know I hit hard. I’ve seen it in sparring. I know if I land, you’re going to sleep.

If you’re going to try to put me to sleep, I’ve never been down yet. That’s in sparring, that’s in fighting.

Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk
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Joshua gave Robinson crucial advice

When did you share the ring with Anthony Joshua?

His cousin contacted me [about sparring] on social media and he said, ‘We’re coming up to the Fury fight.’ This was before it all fell through, before Usyk.

I went down for three days. Anthony and Rob McCracken then had contacted me to say I will be part of the full camp. But unfortunately obviously I’m not Usyk, I’m not a southpaw, 15stone, so that fell through.

But to be told by Anthony and Rob McCracken that it was a fantastic spar and you’ll be invited to the camp and we really enjoyed it spurs you on. It was a fantastic experience.

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Sky Sports Boxing catches up with Hughie Fury, the cousin of Tyson, as he prepares for his fight this weekend

What are your title ambitions?

Within 18 months, I want an English title or an interim title. Within two years, I want that British. If not two years, I want it earlier.

Only I can throw this away and I’ll make sure that I won’t do it. The quicker I can get out there, the quicker I can showcase what I’m about, the quicker I can get these title fights.

Can you explain your tattoos?

I’m covered in Disney tattoos. I’m just me. Nothing will ever change, no matter where I end up, I’m just me.

I’ve got Lion King, Little Mermaid, Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast. There will be more to come!

Steve Robinson
Image:
Robinson is unbeaten (via @StevenRobinson_USSR)

And your nickname?

USSR Robinson is my boxing nickname. Basically whenever I went travelling, everyone was just like, ‘It’s Ivan Drago.’

I keep asking my Mum, ‘What’s going on?’ I look nothing like my Dad, I look nothing like my Mum.

Dolph Lundgren needs to get in touch because he owes me some birthday presents and Christmas presents. I keep reaching him out to him, but he wants nothing to do with it.

I’ll be in Expendables 24 and Fast and the Furious 42 by the time I retire. I’m looking forward to it.

Sky Sports Boxing schedule

October 16 – Top Rank in San Diego
Emanuel Navarette vs Joet Gonzalez – WBO featherweight title

October 16 – BOXXER in Newcastle
Savannah Marshall vs Lolita Muzeya – WBO middleweight title
Hughie Fury vs Christian Hammer
Chris Eubank Jr vs Wanik Awidjan

October 24 – Top Rank in Atlanta
Jamel Herring vs Shakur Stevenson – WBO super-featherweight title

October 31 – Top Rank in New York
Jose Zepeda vs Josue Vargas

November 6 – Top Rank in Las Vegas
Mikaela Mayer vs Maiva Hamadouche – IBF and WBO super-featherweight titles

November 6 – BOXXER in Liverpool

November 20 – BOXXER in London
Richard Riakporhe vs Olanrewaju Durodola
Caroline Dubois professional debut

November 20 – Top Rank in Las Vegas
Terence Crawford vs Shawn Porter – WBO welterweight title

December 11 – Top Rank in Las Vegas
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Richard Commey

December 17 – Top Rank in Montreal
Artur Beterbiev vs Marcus Browne – IBF and WBC light-heavyweight titles

December 18 – Top Rank in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight title





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