Shem Rock is full of confidence ahead of his upcoming title fight at Contenders 33 this Saturday against Harry Davies.
The Next Gen representative will have the opportunity to leave with the lightweight strap on fight night. Before that, those attending can expect a fun-filled night of combat sports action.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Shem Rock ahead of battle. Read the full interview below.
Interview With Shem Rock
We are just over one week out from your first outing of 2022 after a small break. How are you feeling, and was there any reason in particular for the long lay-off?
Feeling the best I’ve ever felt in my career, fighting at 70kg means no big weight cuts. I can be fully fueled during all of the camps and lift weights right up until to end. I’m the best version of me iv ever been. The long layoff was because I was in jail. I got arrested the day after my last fight, spent six months on remand, got a not guilty and finally, after ten years away back in my home town.
The last time out, you faced the first defeat of your professional career. With some time to reflect, how did you deal with that loss? What have you taken away from the fight with Nate Kelly?
I don’t take anything from the fight just wasn’t my night, that’s. All keep moving forward.
Shem Rock Talks Next Gen Takeover
I want to touch on the NextGen takeover. The gym is flying and really beginning to establish itself as one of the best in Europe. How motivating is it to feed off that good team morale in the gym? From the outside looking in, it looks more like a tight family than a “gym”. Is that an accurate assessment?
Iv been following all the lads and girls of Next Gen and the coaches from before I ever trained. I had also had a good relationship with most of them during my career and had family members training there before I ever entered, so it only makes sense for me to make it my home now I’m back in Liverpool. The gyms flying and it’s for a reason top methodical coaching and athletes who are hungry. It’s definitely a close-knit gym and a family.
In terms of preparation, who has helped you the most in this camp? Any bodies that you’ve worked with more than others to ensure the best version of Shem Rock turns up on Sept.3?
Iv’e has been working exclusively in Next Gen with all the fighters there; Nathen Fletcher, Luke Riley, Liam Molloy, Paddy & Molly, Matt Bonner, Matt Camileri, Ben Petches Kelly, Adam Cullen, Adam Wilson, Joel Downey Cave, Eric Barabo, there too many good fighters to mention and I’m sure iv missed some lol, and under the tutelage of Rimmer, Ellis and Adam iv had an amazing camp and been working my condition with John Kuafman who’s took me physically to a level iv never reached before and Hannah Doran for the yoga helping me keep supple and stay fresh iv been feeling better than ever in my career.
You’ll meet Harry Davies on fight night for the lightweight title. Does a belt on the line add any added pressure or motivation for you? What changes with a title being on the line if anything?
The belt doesn’t mean anything. I don’t care for titles only thing that’s different is it’s five rounds, and I’m prepared for that. I understand there’s added pressure on me my first fight fresh out of jail, but I’m sure Harry feels some pressure to fighting in his home town and coming off a bad run-off form, as you said. This is the fight game. If you can’t perform under pressure, this ain’t for you. I feel tho I thrive off the pressure. It helps me perform. I rise to it.
Davies has had a tough run of results lately and perhaps could be riding a stint of low confidence. What are your overall thoughts on him as an opponent? What do you see when you look at his game?
I haven’t studied my opponent. I’m just coming in to get back to what brought me to the dance and doing what I do best. All I know is he’s a tough guy to finish, and although he’s lost some fights, he never gets finished but that being said, I see the fight going my way, me taking his back and finishing him early on.
When you look at this fight on paper, many will anticipate you running through Harry with ease. What would you have to say to those people?
I wouldn’t say anything to those people. I couldn’t care less. There still going to tune in and follow the results and talk about whether they watch me lose or watch me win. They are still watching.
A win on Saturday see’s you return to the win column and attain the title. Have you mapped out an ideal plan for the end of the year or 2023, or are you just going to roll with it?
I’m trying to stay active and go on a run of form to get me to the UFC.
Lastly, can we get an official fight prediction?
The fights gonna go my way from the off-set. I’m going to touch him early on, take his back and choke him out.
Featured image credits to Shem Rock