– Photography Credit: Chris Harris Photography
Whilst the dust settles on Luke Campbell’s heroic world title bid there was an interested spectator sat watching quietly wondering if Luke could bring it back, but although he may have been sat quietly his mind was a frenzy of action, ambition and determination.
You see the man watching was Evaldas Korsakas and he harbours his own longing and belief to bring that world title back to his adopted Hull.
Korsakas is the current central area champion which for those who don’t know means 1 below an English title, and the Good News Gazette caught up with him to talk about his recent success in the ring and life in general in his adopted city.
“I came to Hull in 2012 from Lithunia in search of a better life and that’s what I have been working towards for me and my family, I love Hull and feel very lucky and grateful to have landed here”.
Evaldas is not new to boxing though as he explained
“I started boxing in Lithuania in 1999 and had 81 amateur fights winning 65”.
Korsakas then found the Slaughterhouse Gym on Beverley Road ran by local ex kickboxing contender and referee Mel Leathley and started to attend Mick’s Kickboxing which was then ran by Chris Lawson.
“I enjoyed my time at slaughterhouse and with Chris and had another 5 fights under they’re banner picking up wins against the likes of Paul O Brien and Andy Holmes who both ended up in the pro ranks too.”
It was whilst training here that his obvious talent came to the attention of Ivor Clement then one of the coaches at Mick’s Kickboxing he explained
“My son Ben came home one day from training and said he’d been sparring and I needed to go and have a look at this kid, so that’s what I did I took him on pads and his talent was there so after consulting with Chris Lawson I asked Evaldas if he would like to go pro and we could go on the journey together”.
Evaldes didn’t need asking twice “I jumped at the chance of going pro as it had always been an ambition of mine”. With his focus on getting the best for the boxer Clement knew he would need some help in the professional ranks and decided to take his man down to seconds out ran by Jimmy Phelan another local ex central area Champion and Hulls only Professional Coach and Manager.
“I went to see Jimmy and told him about Evaldas, after seeing him for only a short period of time the conclusion was he had raw talent that would need attuning and that is what we work at every day, twice a day”. Korsakas himself is delighted with his team “I have great coaches in Ivor and Jimmy” he also added “Jimmys management has been great too, to have won the title after only 13 fights is great for me”.
It’s also worth a mention Korsakas has won the central area title “on the road” which means he is generally out of town and up against good fighters with home support, Clement also pays tribute to Phelan’s management saying “credit must go to jimmy, we’ve had some tough fights out of town on the way to this title but he’s learnt from everyone”
Phelan concurred “I won the title myself out of the away corner when I boxed from the Ingle camp in Sheffield so I knew it was possible but I didn’t have Evaldas dedication that’s why he will go on from here”, phelan continued “we have other good journeyman fighters in the gym like Luke Allon and Andy Neylon but Evaldas ambition and dedication separate him, he eats,sleeps and dreams boxing”.
Evaldas himself is a humble hard working individual who is quick to put his recent success down to others “I have a great team in Ivor and Jimmy but I must also thank my girlfriend Florida, she is amazing and looks after my diet and everything else I am very lucky to have her by my side”
Clement confirmed his lifestyle being the key “he lives the life of a professional sportsman which so many don’t we train twice a day and I see more of him than my wife, I’d also like to go on record and say I see him as more than someone I coach he is like an adopted son to me, he is family”.
When asked about other fighters from the city around the same weight Korsakas was ready with the answers
“There’s a new Sheriff in town and I’ve offered to box Connor Seymour many times but I don’t think they want that fight or it would have happened already” and on being called out by Tom Knight via social media he responded with
“I’ve offered to box Tom 2-3 times before and they always pulled out, now I am the champ they want the fight but what’s in it for me? His recent record is poor he struggles to sell tickets so I don’t think he deserves it”
Phelan agreed “we’ve tried to work with them before and been let down, Tom’s latest form isn’t great so I don’t think he deserves it at the minute either” but Korsakas did add “If Tom proves himself in a 50/50 fight like I’ve had to then I will fight him”.
It’s true to say since turning pro the “Lithuanian Scorpion” hasn’t had it easy travelling away to take on some of the best up and coming fighters around with the odds stacked against him but has proved you can win titles in the away corner with the right dedication and team. And the collective belief within the camp means they all trust each other,
Phelan said “he’s took fights at an hours notice against any one and never questioned our judgement” so on conclusion we have two very experienced men and one very determined young man all thinking world titles and we get to see if the dream becomes a reality with only one thing for certain, the job in hand will be getting everything they have got.
Korsakas’ a popular guy defends his title on the 27th October at City Hall against Chris Jenkinson a 61 fight veteran and would be grateful for all your support.
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