Huddersfield boxer Fes ‘The Terrier’ Batista has a dream – to be the knockout star attraction in a fight at his beloved John Smith’s Stadium.
The 30-year-old Huddersfield Town fan is still cherishing the dream as he strives to be the best he can be inside and outside the ring.
The self-proclaimed ‘boxing terrier’, Fes encompasses everything great about Huddersfield and will stop at nothing to show his pride for his hometown.
On his dream of a title fight on stage at the John Smith’s Stadium, Fes said: “My biggest ambition is to bring a big name superstar to the stadium and win by a knockout in front of a Huddersfield crowd. I want to see how they’d handle that intimidating Yorkshire atmosphere.
“Think about it – a lad from Huddersfield goes to America to fight and makes it to the top and brings a big name down to Huddersfield and beats him. How good would that be?
“Imagine being a kid watching that? If you are a kid in Manchester you have Ricky Hatton or London you have Anthony Joshua. Huddersfield doesn’t have anyone like that, so I want to make it happen.
“I said it when I started boxing, one day I want to fight there. I can visualise bringing a big crowd there and winning a fight.
“It would need to be a 12-round fight if we do it, typically you go up in twos so from four rounds to six and so on. I don’t want to fight at the John Smith’s Stadium in a meaningless fight, I want it to be a title fight.”
Fes has had to be based in the UK for the past 12 months due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19 put paid to some exciting plans for the powerhouse puncher.
On those derailed plans, Fes said: “It has been very frustrating. I was due to go to America last March. I would never have thought a year later we’d still be here in lockdown.
“What I have been doing is rebuilding my body and getting it stronger than ever before, I have been working with a conditioning coach called Callum Hirst who is also from Huddersfield. We have been working on building up my legs and my overall fitness.
“We wanted to get five fights in 2020. That was the number my US-based trainer Roy Jones Jnr mentioned to me and we were ready to go but then obviously the pandemic came. It would have been an amazing year for me in the States promoting Huddersfield. However it didn’t happen and so we are hoping to transfer those plans from 2020 to 2021.
“We are doing a lot of work here in the UK so that when I can get out to America I am nearly ready to fight and then it’s up to Roy Jones Jnr to see where we go from there.
“I really want to get the fights in now and I’m very lucky to be working with Roy Jones Jnr. He’s very big in America and knows what we’ll need to do next. I have shown just shades of my potential in fights so far, I haven’t shown what I can do yet. I’m really excited for what the future holds.
“I want to make a statement. I want to show people that I am a strong prospect and that I can reach the top. I am really looking forward to making that aggressive statement in my next few fights.”
One thing that Fes has taken away from his time in America is that he needs to adapt to any situation. The Coronavirus pandemic has thrown up one of those situations but instead of getting down about it, Fes has turned his training and mental focus into a positive.
“I speak to Roy Jones Jnr every day, but it is very frustrating,” said Fes. “I wish I could be there, he is my trainer after all. No one trains me like Roy Jones Jnr so it’s not as if I could go and just get a trainer here in the UK because Roy is the best and he has certain ways of training me.
“When I was at Floyd Mayweather’s gym in Las Vegas there was a huge sign on the wall and it said: ‘A true champion can adapt to everything’ and those are Floyd’s words.
“I’ve followed that advice and adapted to what challenges Covid has brought and now we are working towards me coming back stronger, better and more positive than ever before.”