Archie Sharp is living by a simple mantra as he chases down world title honours in the super-featherweight division. ‘Trust the process’.
The undefeated 26-year-old has fought just once over the last 19 months with a return at the beginning of June against Marcio Soza in Telford postponed when his Mexican opponent withdrew from the contest after testing positive for Covid.
A few hours after getting the news, Sharp was instead on the way to hospital to be there for the birth of his third child.
‘That day I was meant to be in Telford. But I wasn’t, I was home, I was there to see my little girl born,’ Sharp told Metro.co.uk.
With an ever-growing number of mouths to feed at home, there has been a clear mentality shift for the south Londoner who is no longer fighting for himself and his own goals.
‘I’ve got three kids and the missus in doors so I’m no longer just fighting for myself, I am fighting for them,’ he continued.
‘It is weird, there are things in life that give you more purpose to fight for. It’s more important now, it’s almost like a warning. My kids are going to be able to do whatever they want to do because of my boxing career and how far it goes.
‘The mentality coming into the fights is totally different now. It used be, ‘I eat or they [my opponent] eats. Now, it is my kids eat, or they eat. My kids come first so I will fight until the end for them.’
With Soza still feeling the effects of Covid, Sharp will now test himself against Diego Andrade Chavez on Saturday with the vacant WBO Global belt up for grabs back at the Royal Albert Hall, where he scored a career-best KO over Declan Geraghty back in 2019.
Ranked no4 with the governing body, Sharp is confident another victory will take him that step closer to the world title currently held by Jamel Herring with American superstar Shakur Stevenson another in his crosshairs.
Trusting the process will be key to securing those dream fights for Sharp, whose last outing against Jeff Ofori drew criticism from fans, pundits and himself. By his own admission, he had got too comfortable.
Since what he describes as the worst performance of his career, Sharp has shaken things up behind the scenes, parting company with long-time trainer Richard Sawyer and linking up with the respected Al Smith.
‘I feel like I’ve been there the whole time, at the new gym with Al. I don’t feel like I’ve been anywhere else.,’ he said. ‘It is strange, being with Richard from such a young age and being with him so long, it became more than the relationship between boxer and trainer, it was more family.
‘But you need someone to tell you what to do. Me and Richard were so close but it got complacent and it showed in my last couple of performances, we got very complacent. Whereas now, Al tells me what to do, he tells me where to be and that is what I’ve got to do.’
Like Sharp, US star Stevenson came in for criticism after his rather lukewarm performance last time out in his win over Jeremiah Nakathila in June. The 24-year-old is now in advanced talks for a meeting with WBO champion Herring with Sharp hoping to stay in the hunt for a meeting with the winner by the end of the year.
‘By the end of this year, 100 per cent I want to be fighting or at least negotiating for that title shot,’ Sharp said.
‘Right now, there are a few spots between me and Shakur. And once I pick up another belt on Saturday in the Global title, that will push me up higher again.
‘It’s all exciting times and once I’ve picked up this belt I could be no1 or no2 and Shakur knows I am on his tail anyway. He knows he’s got a target on his back.’
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