Over at Roker Report, we work hard behind-the-scenes to bring you the very best interviews possible, and today’s is most certainly a ‘knock out’.
It’s not every day that you get to speak to an Olympic medallist, so when the chance arose to have a few words with bronze medal-winning boxer Tony Jeffries, I jumped at the chance. Sunderland through-and-through, currently unbeaten in professional boxing, and one of the nicest sportsmen out there (but I doubt his opponents would agree), Tony was happy to catch up with us, and share a few thoughts about his beloved Sunderland FC
‘Get on with it’, I hear you call. And that’s exactly what I’ll do now. ‘Seconds out’ (ok, that was the last terrible boxing pun), let me present to you... Roker Report meets Tony Jeffries.
Hi Tony, what is your first memory of supporting Sunderland?
Tony: I remember going to Roker Park with my Dad , we saw the TV camera men outside the stadium and they filmed us walking in. We watched it on TV that night to see if they showed us, but don't think they did, I was about five years old.
You’re a big Sunderland fan but a world-famous boxer, but which do you prefer, Boxing or football?
Tony: Definitely prefer to watch football.
How easy do you find supporting the lads from training camps abroad?
Tony: With social media like Twitter and all the other websites available now, it’s pretty easy to follow the team and what’s going on, it’s hard to watch the matches though.
Are you friends with any of the squad?
Tony: Yeah I speak to a few of the lads - Anton, Meyler, Bardo and Jordan. Actually, Titus got in touch with me recently because he's in LA (where Tony’s training camp is based – Dan), he's going to come over and watch me train.
Did you ever want to go into football when you were younger, or was it always boxing?
Tony: "Yeah I think at some point in every Englishman’s life they've dreamed of being a footy player. I played for my primary school team on the wing, but I was never that good at it to be honest."
Who, in the current squad, do you think would give you the best fight in the ring?
Tony: Ha, errrmm , none of them. I've sparred with a few of the lads at my boxing gym and to be fair to them, they were decent, but it’s like if I went on a pitch with them, they'd run rings around me.
If you could punch one Premier League player, who would it be?
Tony: Any of the players who love themselves and think they’re too good to speak to you. That Pascal Chimbonda seemed a bit of a p***k, I'd be happy to slap him.
How do you rate this season, overall?
Tony: The best start possible, then it went terrible. But I was happy to finish in 10th.
Do you have a favourite player in the team right now?
Tony: Bardo, he tries very hard in every game.
Do you think Steve Bruce is the right man for the job?
Tony: I don't know enough to answer that. I trust Quinny knows what he's doing. If he wasn't the right man, I’m sure Quinny would sack him.
If we could sign any player in the world next season, who would you choose?
Tony: Any player? Then it’s got to be Leo Messi - he's unreal, but to be fair, I think we've got more chance as the Queen dressing up as Samson The Cat.
And finally... Make the choice. Winning the World Title with a first round KO, or scoring the winning goal for Sunderland in the FA Cup final... Against the Mags.
Tony: World title.
And with that, I’d like to thank Tony for taking time out from his training schedule to talk to us at Roker Report. As I said, it’s not often that you get to talk to a medal-winning Olympian, and it really was a pleasure to speak to him. If you fancy the chance to do the same, Tony makes an effort to answer all questions on his Facebook page, find it here - www.facebook.com/Olympian.Tony