DUCOR SPORTS INTERVIEW: Masters Belt Holder Sambou Fired Up With Three Belts On The Line: ‘This Fight Means Everything to Me’
Sporting a hairstyle breaded in a ponytail and sweating profusely, Matar Wade Sambou throws imaginary punches in an intense workout session. His intentions are clear –defend his title and win whatever else there is on offer.
Charter Hall, located around the Colchester area, will be the venue with hundreds expected to flock in and watch.
It’s not an episode of Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko’s magnitude but this Saturday’s cracker has every bit of a high profile boxing showdown.
A Senegalese-born, Matar has his gaze fixed on scooping all three belts on stake on the night –the World Boxing (WBF) European Super Welterweight, the International Masters Super Welterweight Bronze and the British Masters Super Welterweight Bronze Championship belt.
But he must jettison off Tommy Jacobs for a second time tomorrow, an opponent whose master’s belt he snatched only six months ago.
In the run-up to that classic encounter, the 34-year-old African had merely nine days to prepare against a man dubbed Sweet T, boasting a wealth of experience in the ring.
Photo: Matar here rattles a punch on Jacob in their first meeting
For those looking in then from outside, the clash was a miss-match but Sambou, being the natural underdog, surprisingly kept a cool head through it all, and along the way emerged supreme. It was his third professional win in four with the weekend’s duel to make it five.
Wade, whose moniker is Tiger, knows Jacob will be out to avenge his defeat last October and will have home support roaring him.
But Matar is ready to stifle whatever his adversary throws at him.
“This win means everything to me. I want to make my fans proud and show them that I am the best,” he tells Ducor Sports from his camping base in England.
That tussle was marred by point-deduction with The Tiger said to have hit Tommy on the back of the head. Vile racial slurs were aimed at Sambou and his entourage at conclusion of the October nail-biting event.
He expects even bigger hostility this time giving he’s fighting in Jacob’s home town.
“This time I will be going to his hometown to fight on his own promotion. So I’m expecting a lot of hostility. I’ve got a lot of support coming with me and a good team around me to keep me safe,” he says.
The Kent-based star needs to put on four more kilos ahead of the fight and is resorting to eating four meals a day.
Photo: Matar is declared winner over Jacob Tommy by the referee
“For this fight I need to gain four kg. So I am eating porridge in the morning, then a fruit and veggie smoothie mid-morning. Meat or fish for lunch, traditional African food for dinner and maybe a light snack before bed.
“I have had a lot more time to prepare this time. I have been training extra hard and eating well.
Having had only nine days, I was not as prepared as I am now with a full training camp. This time the fight will be even better,” Sambou, who idolises Mike Tyson, continues.
A win on Saturday will sure have the erstwhile African Games medal winner’s stock rising and will see him become the first ever Senegalese-born to reach such heights.
Years ago, Wade’s career wasn’t this glamorous. Heavyweight ring star David Haye was influential in the African’s fortunes change. The Haymaker was out scouting in Dakar in a local tournament in which Sambou was one of athletes competing.
The Senegalese heeded David’s advice to move to London. Soon he raked up sixteen (16) semi-pro fights drawing one and losing twice. The rest, they say, is history.
Replicating last October’s feat tops the man’s priorities but he goes into this weekend’s with a somewhat tinge of pressure borne out of desire to win.
“I feel a little bit of pressure but as soon as I’m in the ring my focus will be on victory,” he tells Ducor Sports.
Featured Photo: Matar is fired up on winning the WBF Euro belt