DAVID ADELEYE would be forgiven for doing a double take on his ring walk when he sees several thousand fans this weekend.
The Notting Hill banger was Britain’s most active boxer during lockdown, fighting FIVE times behind closed doors.
When Adeleye (6-0, 5 KOs) boxes at SSE Arena, Wembley on Saturday (July 24) it will be the first time he has fought in front of a live crowd since his professional debut in December 2019.
Excited Adeleye, 24, said: “It’s going to be electric fighting in front of a few thousand fans. I am going to thrive off the atmosphere.
“I am not used to a crowd anyway. When I was an amateur I was always last on when people were going home, so the behind closed doors shows were like being back in the amateurs in that respect.
“Now, I have to get used to fighting in front of crowd and I am going to love every minute of it.
“I will go out there enjoy it, have fun. A lot of fighters don’t enjoy big nights. They look back on it when they retire and regret not enjoying these big Wembley nights.
“I heard I was the busiest boxer in Britain when there were no fans in. Credit to Frank Warren. He kept me active and I am grateful.
“I would love to be 10-0 by the end of the year. Then, we can start looking at some of these boys and start fighting for some titles.”
When he boxed before fans on his debut, Dmitrij Kalinovskij was blown away inside a round and Adeleye predict’s an explosive performance, live on BT Sport this weekend.
Kamil Sokolowski took him the distance in his last fight and Adeleye brushed off unfair criticism after his six round points win against a solid opponent.
Adeleye who is trained by Frank Greaves added: “I am looking at getting back to knockout ways. That is in my nature.
“My brother was at the last fight and he said afterwards that it was the worst he has seen me perform amateur or professional.
“There were some underlying problems, but that is no excuse. This week, I will show my skillset and go from there.
“A lot of things have gone better. We hit a few brick walls but we got through it. It was tough getting sparring partners as the country was locked, but we got the good work in and I’m raring to go.
“Heavyweights knock someone out and people moan, ‘You aren’t learning,’ or go the distance, and critics say, ‘You’re no good.’
“Heavyweights get ridiculed, but I do not let it get to me.”
David Adeleye: “I’m The Real Deal”
DAVID ADELEYE reckons Heavyweight rivals will quickly realise he’s the “real deal,” when they feel the power of his punches.
The Londoner dismissed criticism he received after his points win against Polish star Kamil Sokołowski last month.
Matchmakers had found it tough to match Adeleye (6-0, 5KOs), but the Londoner believes opponents might now be more willing to face him after that narrow points win.
He said: “A lot of fighters who were turning me down before will be getting confidence, but reality will hit then when they get in there with me.
“It might be the best thing that has happened.
“When I get in there and when they see what I do to them people will say, ‘Wow, David Adeleye is the real deal.’”
Adeleye insists he wasn’t stung by the knockers after being taken the distance for the first time as a professional.
“The flak is part of the game to be fair,” added Adeleye. “I am thick skinned so it doesn’t even affect me. If people watch that fight in silence they will see I was the rightful winner.
“The commentators are used to seeing me on my front foot but being on the back foot was part of the game plan.
“My corner thought I won clearly. I thought I won. If I had any fear that it wasn’t going to go my way I would have put my foot on the gas and stepped it up.
“The commentators are doing their job as they see it and I am not here to knock them.”
Adeleye, 24, is hoping to return to action this Summer after recovering from a shoulder problem and he would love Sokolowski again to be in the opposite corner.
He says: “If it was to down to me I would have the rematch right away, but that isn’t down to me. Who I fight is down the people who are good at doing their job.
“Everything is analysed these days. We live in a world where everyone has an opinion and some just give negative feedback which is part of the world we live in.
“If I bang someone out I am hammering them too soon. I go the distance, instead of looking at positives they say; ‘David should have knocked him out.’
“If I drank a Pepsi, someone would ask, ‘Why aren’t you drinking Coca Cola?’ You can’t win.
“The thick skin helps because I can brush it off.”
Joe Joyce v Carlos Takam for the WBC Silver and WBO International titles takes place at the SSE Arena, Wembley on July 24.
Hamzah Sheeraz (12-0, 8 KOs) makes the third defence of his WBO European title against Spaniard Ezequiel Gurria (15-1, 3 KOs).
Swansea’s Chris Jenkins (22-3-3, 8 KOs) will finally defend his British and Commonwealth welterweight titles against Nottingham’s Ekow Essuman (14-0, 5 KOs) after recovering from injury.
In a well matched fourth title fight, Peacock gym ace Chris Bourke (9-0, 6 KOs) defends his WBC International super-bantamweight title against Bloxwich’s James Beech Jnr (12-1, 2 KOs).
There is also heavyweight action featuring David Adeleye (6-0, 5 KOs), while Mill Hill’s George Fox (3-0) will make his Queensberry debut. Reading super-featherweight hope Charles Frankham (2-0, 1 KO) has also been added to the stacked bill., along with ‘The Gent’ Micky Burke Jr (4-0, 1 KO) who also returns after his first stoppage victory in November last year.