Bascome has no interest in trash talk
Nikki Bascome says he has precious little interest in exchanging verbal barbs with his opponent Ryan Oliver in the build-up to their bout at the Fairmont Southampton on Saturday night.
He said he has “nothing bad to say” about Oliver in response to the Englishman's claim that he will burst the Bermudian's hype bubble when they meet in the main event in Fight Night Champion.
“He's a good fighter, a basic fighter, with good fundamentals, and he's tall,” Bascome said.
“I've got nothing bad to say about him. I'm just prepared for whatever he brings to the table.”
Bascome uncharacteristically shed his cool and calm exterior during a fiery weigh-in with Fábio Costa in November 2017, reacting angrily to the Portuguese's jaw-jacking with some strong words of his own.
The 29-year-old let his emotions get the better of him during their fight and suffered the first loss of his career, a brutal knockout in the fourth round.
Much has changed since then for Bascome, who insists he has learnt from past mistakes.
He split with his long-time coach and father figure Allan “Forty” Rego, whose death at the age of 82, three months after the Costa fight, left Bascome devastated.
Bascome, who became a father soon after that defeat, has also spent extended periods in Las Vegas during the past few years working under esteemed coach Jeff Mayweather.
Victories over Mexican David Martínez to claim the vacant IBA International welterweight title, before dropping down to super lightweight to defeat Filipino Alvin Lagumbay have helped Bascome rebuild his reputation and restored his confidence.
“Since Mr Rego passed away, I've had a lot of people helping me, like Anthony Stoneham, Pelon [Andrade], Ascento [Russell] and Jeff [Mayweather],” Bascome added.
“It was definitely a learning experience [losing to Costa]. I definitely got emotionally involved that night and there were other things going on.”
In the absence of orthodox sparring partners on the island, Bascome has reunited with Mayweather and spent the past month training at the renowned Mayweather Boxing Gym and said he is feeling razor sharp.
“I went out to Vegas for sparring and Jeff was helping out when he could,” Bascome added.
“It was hard work and it was different from any other training camp I've been part of. I trained a little bit earlier than I'm used to and had to make some adaptations.
“I know I have a tough opponent [in Oliver]. I'm not saying Alvin [Lagumbay] wasn't a tough opponent, but he was a southpaw and I had two southpaws to spar with in Bermuda [Andre Lambe and Tyler Christopher].
“The reason why I left this time was for sparring because I don't have any orthodox sparring partners here who are at a level where they can make me better.”
Bascome, who has ten bouts under his belt as a professional, said he has analysed footage of Oliver, who has a similar record with one loss in eight fights.
“I watch some [footage], my coaches watch some of it, and I listen to what they tell me and do my best,” Bascome explained.
“I'm just going to go out there and do my best and listen to my corner.”
Oliver, 25, warmed up for the bout with a points win over William Warburton in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, last month and considers his match against Bascome, which will be contested at a catchweight of 144 pounds, to be a genuine “50-50” fight.
Lambe, Bascome's stablemate at Forty Rego's Gym, and Michael Parsons will both be making their professional debuts against Canadian opposition on the undercard.
Lambe has been pitted against Mat Hinchey, who will be stepping into the squared circle for the first time, while Parsons, of Controversy Gym, will meet Daniel Roach.
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