Leaving the nest at Rotunda ABC and embarking on a professional career that would hold surprises and unimagined experiences, was Liverpool’s Brian Phillips. Amassing a record of 6-1 with two KO’s, the Liverpudlian served as a sparring partner for Isaac Lowe and reaped the benefits of being inside Tyson Fury’s camp in preparation for Deontay Wilder. Before all of this, Phillips had his own battle to face. His first loss as a professional came at the hands of the unbeaten Nick Ball back in 2018, but the 25-year-old sees the setback as very much part of the learning curve.
Coming back to his winning ways, Phillips secured a points victory over Liam Richards on June 8, and looks to pursue bigger opportunities in 2020. Phillips told Boxing Social in an exclusive interview:
“It was good [to get the victory]. I’ve been training hard and enjoyed it, it was just another day in the office. There’s another showing at the end of September to get out there, and at least once more in November. I want to finish the year off with four wins, and next year I’ll be getting a little plan going.”
Phillips found a new approach to his career after expecting a quick progression through the paid ranks, not only from his entire change of team, but also invaluable experience shared with ‘The Gypsy King’. The 6-1 prospect found himself at a crossroads – thinking his career was over after losing to Nick Ball by a controversial stoppage – pushing his career back by at least a year.
“It was originally meant to be for a title. I think I was eight or nine months into being a professional, so the titles have come sooner than I thought, but let’s go for it.
“I took the fight and the title was like a challenge belt, but they took it away a few weeks before for every weight. So we said we’d just get it on for the scheduled eight rounds.
“It went ahead but it wasn’t my day that day. It was a controversial stoppage and it’s set me back, but I believe everything happens for a reason. It worked out brilliant. At the time, I thought it was over and my career was finished.”
Phillips soon understood that had he won that fight, he would never have noticed what he was missing. An opportunity arose to become a better fighter and soak up all the knowledge that he could from the sport.
“My first loss opened many doors and it was brilliant. It was a move that needed to be made and I was never going to make it if I kept winning. When the loss came, I made the move and switched my whole management and training team and I learned a lot. I went over to California too and I learned a lot over there.”
Phillips is constantly looking to improve himself as a fighter, and losing his unbeaten record was just one of those things that had to be done as part of the learning process.
“To be honest, I felt invincible. I was flying in my career. No-one could beat me at the time, whatever weight where they were from. My mentality was, ‘No one is beating me. This is my dream and no one is taking this away from me.’
“Maybe I did overlook him a little bit, but I don’t know, it was just one of those nights.”
Coming close to a year on from that defeat, the Liverpudlian returned in March with a completely new view on his professional career. The unbeaten record can be glorified for all it is but, as Phillips has learned, it isn’t everything.
“A defeat doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. There’s no pressure. I’ve tasted defeat and it was bitter at the time but now it really doesn’t mean anything.
“There’s so many people who forget about whether you win, they forget about it like [last] Saturday I just won and they forgot about me already. I lost and they forgot about me again, they just get on with their lives and every week is to start again whether you win or lose.”
Article by: Chandler Waller
Follow Chandler on Twitter at: @ChandlerWaller