WHEN SAM BOWEN returns to the ring this year it will be as a new member of the lightweight division.
The former British and WBO Intercontinental super featherweight champion, who was parted from his titles following a gruelling battle with mandatory challenger Anthony Cacace in December, believes he did not possess sufficient energy levels when it came to the business end of the fight in Birmingham.
Knowing full well that his forthcoming challenges are not going to get any easier as his level increases, Bowen is taking the logical option of moving up to a weight where making the limit does not diminish his resources.
“I just felt really drained throughout,” admitted the very likeable 27-year-old. “I don’t know because I felt really great in the gym and had a lot more energy in sparring, where I was nothing like what I was in the fight.
“I had a bit to lose in the last few weeks before the fight and I just didn’t recover quickly enough after the weigh-in. Moving to lightweight makes sense for me because I am not going to kill myself if I am not going to perform when I fight.”
Most fighters have a strong inkling of when their time is up in a weight category and it is normally a defence of a title that prevents affording themselves some leverage on the scales. In Bowen’s case it was not something he was contemplating because he was rarely extended to the later rounds.
“Because I was stopping lads I wasn’t aware of it. If I had stopped Anthony Cacace in round four or something I wouldn’t have known and would have been none the wiser.
“Obviously my opponent level has gone up and I have to be on my game more than I was against other people. It has shown that I didn’t have the energy needed to do what I normally do in the gym.
“In the gym I am different and it is really confusing. If you’d watched me sparring against heavier lads and compared it to the Cacace fight, I was nothing like it.
“It is bizarre and I am disappointed because I wasn’t tired at all going into the 11th or 12th round, I just didn’t have the energy.”
Meanwhile, Bowen added that he is now reconciled to having a first blemish on his professional record and is confident that carrying an additional five pounds will see to it that normal service is resumed when he is back on the title trail in the near future.
“It was on my mind a lot for the first few weeks. There is nothing I can do and I’m not going to dwell on it. When I was in bed for two weeks after I kept playing it over in my mind even though I was trying to forget it.
“I just think now that I did everything I could preparation-wise and it was purely down the weight I had to lose in the last few weeks. I am not going to do that again and box the top lads if I can’t perform.
“I don’t think I will be big for the weight but I would rather fight and be how I am in the gym than be a big super featherweight and just not perform.”