SAM MAXWELL BECAME an internet hit on Saturday night when his thud to the jaw of showboating Frenchman Sabri Sadiri snatched victory from the jaws of a presumed defeat. It was a traumatic then ecstatic experience for the likeable Liverpudlian, whose celebrations were later curtailed by a visit to A&E, as he explains in his latest Fighter Diary…
FIGHTER DIARY BY SAM MAXWELL
IT IS DEFINITELY safe to say that the dangers my opponent, Sabri Sadiri, brought into the ring in Leicester on Saturday night far exceeded my expectations. I wasn’t prepared for the intensity he brought straight away from the first bell and it was a big mistake on my part for underestimating him.
I’d only seen a few clips of him and he looked awkward with fast hands. A bit tricky, but nothing I hadn’t seen before and I was confident I would go in there and my boxing would be far too good for him.
He was wild, carried power and he threw every shot with bad intentions. He caught me cold in the first round and changed the whole fight. I was just moving off to the left, with my guard up and everything not too bad, then he throws this left hook and I am on the floor on the end of a heavy knockdown.
I thought it was the worst possible start and I would have to win every round, then it happened in the next round as well. It was a new experience for me in my pro career so far where I have not been in any kind of trouble, so to be in such bother early doors was something very new to me and I am glad I got through it.
I wasn’t fearing the fight being stopped because, especially after the second one, my head was clear. I knew, with him being wild, I needed to be a bit more smart and start to see them coming. I also knew he wouldn’t catch me with too many if I didn’t stand there, so I put a focus on trying not to be caught with more than one at a time.
I was confident I wouldn’t get stopped, but naturally I would be down on the cards.
It was just the intensity of it that knocked me out of my stride. I went in there to keep my shape, use my jab etc, but I needed to be much faster early on to counter what he brought, but I just wasn’t on the night. I’ve watched the fight back and my shape is not too bad and my jab was working quite well, although I should have put more snap into it.
Instead I had to try and avoid massive lunges and hooks from mad angles and, when I thought I was out of distance, it turned out I wasn’t.
He made a big mistake in the final round when I got caught again and he, for some reason, chose to posture instead of pushing on. The golden rule is, if you’ve got someone hurt, you should take advantage and he decided not to.
I think he must have been a bit tired himself because it seemed like he was just happy to move and save his energy. That played into my hands and I remember thinking that I just needed to land one big shot on him, especially after he did that silly dance, just one shot and it came with 10 or 15 seconds to go and I couldn’t have been more happy.
It was such a relief to see him go down and go down heavy. I can’t explain it and there are no words for it, it was just pure emotion. More so when I looked out into the crowd and there were all these Leicester people who didn’t really know me – not just my people – that were willing for it to happen.
Everybody in the arena wanted me to land that shot on him and it happened. It was just electric in there.
If it hadn’t been waved off I probably wouldn’t have had time to finish him off and, although people have said I would’ve got it anyway, it would’ve left a bad taste with the feeling he had been robbed.
It needed to be finished and I am so happy he stumbled when he got up. I would have gone viral for a different reason if it had gone to the scorecards and that is why this is the fairy tale ending for me.
The drama wasn’t quite over for me when I got back to the dressing room after my mate gave me an ice cold glass of water with loads of ice and, because I was a bit thirsty, I just downed it in one.
I then got uncontrollable shakes, which was to do with taking on the ice on an empty stomach. The doctors saw me and took me to hospital as a precaution. I stopped shaking in the ambulance, but they still wanted to get me checked over.
The hospital was packed and I was there for about four hours in the end because I had to wait for the results.
I’m fine now, it is all a bit surreal and it feels like a dream. This was supposed to be my breakout fight to get a bit of publicity and, in terms of that, it couldn’t have gone any better.
If I had dominated him and smashed him in every round I wouldn’t have got the exposure I have had. The numbers that have watched the clip on social media is insane and doesn’t feel real.
Title fights are not meant to be easy and I have learned that the hard way. We have seen people step up to European level in the last year and get beaten and I am glad I have kept myself off that list by pulling one out of the bag.
Onwards and upwards now and hopefully Frank has got something big in store for me so I can build on this.