Steve Robinson tells Sky Sports that he imitated Tyson Fury in sparring, discovered his eliminatory power, collected Disney tattoos and his resemblance to “Ivan Drago”.
The Newcastle heavyweight contender aims to deliver an explosive victory for fans in his hometown when he appears on Bill Hughie Fury vs Christian Hammer at the Utilita Arena on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
Robinson has traded blows with Anthony Joshua before and the 6’7 “powerhouse now intends to make an impact on its British rivals …
Did you have an unusual start to boxing?
I played professional football until six years ago. I was in Hong Kong with southern China. I then had an ankle injury and was told I would never play football again.
When I broke the ligaments in my ankle, I took 12 months off and climbed to 133 kg. I came home and joined the local gym, just to get back in shape.
What was your first amateur boxing experience?
I was still overweight, but I stopped the guy in the second round.
I just remember the atmosphere of the place. It was in a social club and there were probably around 150, but being there it felt like I was walking past 52,000 in St James’ Park.
I remember the buzz and the adrenaline rush, and I was like, “This is what I want to do, this is where I need to be.
Can you become Newcastle’s boxing hero?
I would like to hope so. I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t have given up everything that I gave up, if I didn’t believe in myself.
When I joined the England squad, I stopped working and got sponsored. I lost relationships, I haven’t been drinking for six years. I had a bachelor party, drank water in Prague.
If I didn’t believe in myself and people around me believed in me, I wouldn’t be in sports.
What sets you apart from other heavyweights?
Am I the most technically gifted heavyweight? No. But I can guarantee you that if you do six rounds of fighting, I will do eight. If you do 30 push-ups, I’ll do 35. I always think psychologically that I’m one step ahead of anyone I’m going to meet.
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’m hitting hard. I’ve seen it sparring. I know if I land you will sleep .
If you try to put me to sleep, I’ve never been depressed yet. It’s in the sparring, it’s in the fight.
When did you share the ring with Anthony Joshua?
His cousin contacted me [about sparring] on social media and he said, “We’re coming to Fury’s fight.” It was before it all fell apart, before Usyk.
I went down for three days. Anthony and Rob McCracken then contacted me to tell me that I would be part of the full camp. But unfortunately obviously I’m not Usyk, I’m not a left-hander, 15stone, so it failed.
But being told by Anthony and Rob McCracken that it was a fantastic spar and that you will be invited to camp and we really enjoyed that is energizing you. It was a fantastic experience.
What are your title ambitions?
In 18 months, I want an English title or an interim title. In two years, I want this British. If it’s not two years, I want it sooner.
I’m the only one who can throw this away and I’ll make sure I don’t. The faster I can get out, the faster I can show who I am, the faster I can get these title fights.
Can you explain your tattoos?
I’m covered in Disney tattoos. I am just me. Nothing will ever change, no matter where I end up, I’m just me.
I have the Lion King, the Little Mermaid, the Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast. There will be more to come!
And your nickname?
USSR Robinson is my boxing nickname. Basically, every time I went on a trip, everyone would tell me, “It’s Ivan Draco.
I keep asking my mom, “What’s going on? I am nothing like my father, I am nothing like my mother.
Dolph Lundgren must contact me because he owes me birthday and Christmas presents. I keep reaching out to him, but he doesn’t want anything to do with it.
I will be in the Expendables 24 and Fast and Furious 42 when I retire. I can not wait to see him.
Sky Sports Boxe 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 – Best ranking in New York
José Zepeda vs. José Vargas
November 6 – Best ranking in Las Vegas
Mikaela Mayer vs Maiva Hamadouche – IBF and WBO Super Feather Titles
November 6 – BOXXER in Liverpool
November 20 – BOXXER in London
Richard Riakporhe vs. Olanrewaju Durodola
Professional debut of Caroline Dubois
November 20 – Best ranking in Las Vegas
Terence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter – WBO welterweight title
December 11 – Best ranking in Las Vegas
Vassili Lomachenko vs. Richard Commey
December 17 – Top Rank in Montreal
Artur Beterbiev vs Marcus Browne – IBF and WBC lightweight titles
December 18 – Best ranking in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed welterweight title