British and Commonwealth welterweight champion Chris Jenkins believes his achievements are widely overlooked and that he has been avoided by many of his more celebrated rivals.
The Welshman isn’t one for self-promotion or social media chatter, which may explain his under-the-radar profile compared to others in Britain’s bustling 147lbs division.
In 10 days’ time, Swansea’s Jenkins will seek to highlight his credentials with a defence against Queensberry Promotions stablemate Ekow Essuman (14-0, 5 KOs) at the SSE Arena in Wembley, live on BT Sport (July 24). It will be Jenkins’ third defence of the British crown he claimed against Milwall battler Johnny Garton in March 2019.
“I am the boogeyman. I don’t think I get the respect I deserve, but I come through the fights,” said Jenkins (22-3-3, 8 KOs). “I wasn’t meant to beat Johnny Garton or Paddy Gallagher, but managed both.
“I don’t know why I don’t get respect because I have been fighting at the top end of domestic level since the first fight against Tyrone Nurse six years ago. I have had several major championship contests and I’m never in a dull fight even when I was in the ‘Who needs me club’, and took fights at two or three weeks’ notice.
“Maybe it is because I get cut, don’t bother with social media or perhaps my face doesn’t fit. I am happy in life though and it doesn’t get to me. I have got a thick skin. I think there are fighters who have done a lot less than me and get more respect, but nobody is going to be everyone’s cup of tea.
“Hopefully, the respect will come after I beat Essuman, but if not I will still sleep well in my bed at night because life is good.”
The Welshman has, however, been plagued by inactivity due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and injury, having been inactive since a November 2019 technical draw against Liam Taylor following a bad cut over Jenkins’ left eye. He was previously scheduled to meet Essuman in March but ruled out through a perforated ear drum. Nottingham’s Essuman subsequently questioned the validity of that injury.
“He can say what he wants about my injury. I was examined by a British Board of Control doctor. I wanted to fight on, but the Board is rightly safety first so I couldn’t be passed fit,” said the champion.
“I’ve got a family to care for. Does he think I want to pull out injured? The ambition is to beat Essuman, shut him up and move on.”
Main Image: Alamy/Press Association.