- David Adeleye hopes to become the next big thing in British heavyweight boxing.
- The 24-year-old has clubbing, cumulative power, finishing all four of his pro opponents to date.
- He returns to the ring Friday, wants to put on a show, and vows to become a world champ in the future.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
LONDON – Unbeaten heavyweight prospect David Adeleye is vowing to become a world boxing champion in the future.
The 24-year-old won accolades as an amateur, made his pro debut at the end of 2019, and has fought every bout since then behind-closed-doors in the pandemic era.
He told Insider this week that it has been a weird introduction to the fight game, but one he is used to as people tend not to turn out for amateur shows anyway. In short, he’s used to performing in near silence.
Adeleye has fought four times as a pro, winning by knockout each time, competing on Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions events in Britain.
It is too early in Adeleye’s fledgling career to get a gauge on how far he can go in the fight game.
But he’s got everything to suggest he could be a great success.
He’s 6’5 tall, possesses a power-lifter’s frame, and has a bruising boxing style. In his fights so far he’s looked the part, and he’s in good hands with renowned British boxing coach Frank Greaves developing his fundamentals.
“I’m a big banger,” he said in an interview. “I’m interesting … I can box, I can move, and I’m slick. Personality-wise, I’m an outgoing guy, humble, and wear my heart on my sleeve.”
Adeleye has a booming London accent to go along with a clubbing, cumulative power that just seems to sap the confidence out of his opponents.
Many of the shots he throws are done so with bad intentions as he looks to dent skulls with looping right hands over the top, and crack ribs with punishing blows to the body.
As a promising prospect, Adeleye adds his name to a gripping heavyweight division in Britain. The weight class is already home to world champions Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, contender Joe Joyce, and young gun Daniel Dubois.
“British heavyweight boxing is at an all-time high and I’m glad to be a part of it right now,” Adeleye said.
Adeleye knows those four fighters well having sparred each and every one of them, and said the camps he shared with Fury and Joshua were learning experiences.
“Both camps were good,” he said. “Fury’s was smaller with his family there, and AJ had a lot of people. I don’t do comparing, tit-for-tatting, I just go in there, do what I do.
“They were definitely both learning experiences. I just went in there as a sponge and soaked it all up. I listened, didn’t speak. It was great.”
‘I want to get in the history books’
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Boxing has been a part of Adeleye’s life for 10 years as a practitioner, but longer as a fan. He counts Muhammad Ali, Roy Jones Jr., and Lennox Lewis as his idols.
“Ali’s charisma, skillset, and courage … the man was doing things at 22 years old that a lot of fighters haven’t even done yet, like beat Sonny Liston and whatnot.
“He’s a man I look up to for what he done outside boxing and inside the ring,” Adeleye said.
“But I also like Roy Jones Jr. because of his speed and his skillset, and I look up to Lennox Lewis a lot, too. They paved the way for me in this sport.”
Adeleye fights Friday for the fifth time as a pro against Mladen Manev at the Copper Box Arena in London, an event broadcast on BT Sport.
He’s not seen too much of his opponent, but will use the bout as a showcase for the latest skills Greaves has given him drilling in camp.
“The aim is to get in some big shows this year, fight for some belts,” Adeleye told us.
“The British title would be good. I could be in line for that very soon, and just start racking all them belts up.”
The traditional route for British fighters is to step-up the level of opposition by challenging for the British title before the Commonwealth, European, and then world titles.
So is that a path Adeleye is looking to tread? “Literally,” he said. “But whichever belt comes first is the one I go for. I’ll take all of them.
“I want to get in the history books as a world heavyweight champion, and deliver some of the biggest fight nights for British boxing.”