Tony Milch says he wants to bring back the glory days of Jewish boxing after he won his fifth professional fight on Thursday night.
Fighting at a Pro-Boxing Dinner event at the Park Lane Hotel, at an event in support of Michael Watson, the 33-year-old defeated Bulgarian Teodor Stefanov on points.
While the four-round encounter may have been bordering on the scrappy side, Milch was just happy to be back in the ring following an eight-month lay-off having injured his hand in his last fight.
He told jewishnews.co.uk: “I was happy with how I fought considering it has been such a long lay-off, was happy to get the rounds out. and in a way I was happy I went the full distance as it helped me brush off the ring rust. I was in there with a tricky opponent, a tricky customer and he was elusive. He made me work for the four full rounds, but I felt very composed.
“I was told he had a big right hand on him and was a wild swinger, and that he was going to come forward, as it turned out he didn’t want to engage. I was waiting to let a few counter-punches off and so I had to dictate the pace of the fight, I was happy and strong enough to push him back and was controlling the fight from the centre of the ring, something which I’ve been working on with my trainer – so I was happy with that aspect too.”
Still a fledgling in terms of his professional career, and saying there’s plenty more to come from him, he says: “I’m going to get better with each fight. I’m still a novice pro, this was only my fifth fight so you’re not going to see what I’m fully capable of for another two or three fights.”
And already raring to go for fight number six, he says: “All being well I’ll be fighting again in the middle of next month, it could even be three weeks from now, this is the reality of it. Nothing much goes on in December, so I want to keep busy. I’ve had the lay-off and this fight was about brushing off the cobwebs.
“In fact, in a way this felt like my debut. Hand on heart, the whole evening felt like my first fight, and my debut – like this one – wasn’t a great fight. I was feeling excited beforehand and I’ve got to pick the positives out from it, I’ve come out, won the fight and am only going to get better.
“Tonight also saw me working with a new trainer and we’re just getting to know each other. We’ve been together for three weeks now, I felt really good, ready to go, felt strong and felt it showed.”
And while also keen for fight number six, he also wants to get the Jewish community more behind him – and hopefully rekindle the glory days when Jewish boxers thrived in the sport. “We have such a rich heritage in the sport”, he says, “there have been so many famous Jewish boxers – there aren’t any in England right now – maybe amateurs but not pros. I want to do things in the Jewish community, I want to get more Jewish people to my fights, I want to get the Jewish community behind this and ultimately bring back the rich heritage to us.”