Christopher Lovejoy on his 19-fight win streak ending: ‘I changed my life. I’ve got to come back and prove myself now’

Life is rarely dull for the heavyweight division’s most mysterious enigma and, this week just hours after he was interviewed by Sky Sports, he revealed he had been arrested.

‘Oh no,’ we thought. ‘Something we said?’

But Christopher Lovejoy is safe and well, he updated us. Phew. So the biggest problem he now faces is merely how to come back from the abrupt end to the puzzling 19-fight undefeated streak that made him notorious.

Lovejoy has vowed ‘to prove himself’

We had never seen Lovejoy throw a punch despite a record that read 19 wins, 19 KOs, 17 in the first round because of a lack of footage. After he lost his first major fight, against Mahmoud Charr earlier this month, we still have not seen enough evidence of his boxing skills.

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Lovejoy’s fearsome-looking record evaporated just moments into the second round of a bizarre heavyweight scrap for a forgotten version of the WBA title against an opponent who won the belt four years ago and had not defended it since.

For his critics, it was proof that Lovejoy was all talk.

The American had travelled to Germany for the fight alone – no trainer, no cut-man, nobody at all – and admits: “I overlooked the situation. You need somebody in your corner for motivation.”

He was also nursing a shoulder issue but says “there would have been so much embarrassment if I pulled out”.

He weighed in at 306lbs (nearly 22st) but the strangest event was to happen en route to the venue.

Boxen: ECB Fightnight, K..ln, 15.05.2021.Manuel Charr (GER) - Christopher Lovejoy (USA)... Torsten Helmke
Lovejoy was KO’d by Charr

“There was a misunderstanding with my driver from the hotel to the venue,” Lovejoy tells Sky Sports.

“I arrived late.

“I thought: ‘Why is this happening?’

“I only had my hand-wraps five minutes before I walked out.

“I did a few jumping jacks backstage then, when I walked out, I wasn’t even sweating.

“I usually don’t warm-up because I feel like it’s a waste of energy.”

Lovejoy was barrelled to the floor in the opening round and hurt his shoulder, and the end was nigh.

“I didn’t want to go too hard in the first round,” he says. “I didn’t want to waste energy. I wanted to size him up, feel him out.

“The shoulder threw me off. My mind was thinking about it. It was a lack of experience.

“When I was dropped I was only dazed for a couple of seconds.

“On my knee, I was in shock – ‘wow, this is my first time getting knocked down’.

“Then I realised the referee had counted me out.

“‘Damn, I blew it. I messed up’.

“It was a flash knock-down. It was a lack of experience because I had never been in that position before.

“No excuses, man. He deserves it.”

Lovejoy then did a two-hour gym workout straight after the fight to release some energy, he says.

Charr had shared a ring with Vitali Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin but was inactive since 2017. Lovejoy says: “He’s good, better than I thought. He stood in the pocket and threw shots. He’s up there with the top guys, he’d be a good fit against Anthony Joshua.”

It is difficult what to make of Lovejoy’s claim that he is a legitimate heavyweight danger man.

He was scheduled to fight Dave Allen last year in Britain but it fell through due to a legal issue with his own promoter, the legendary Don King who previously oversaw Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson.

Lovejoy insists the build-up to his fight with Charr was dominated by the legal issue. He had no option but work his day job for a security firm until a week prior to travelling to Germany.

But he insists that, finally, he can afford to become a full-time boxer. His $200,000 earnings will be reinvested into himself.

“I changed my life. Not just financially. I don’t have to go to my job anymore, I can focus on boxing,” he says.

“I don’t drink or smoke, I don’t party, I don’t like fancy clothes or cars. I do like to eat good! But I’m a low maintenance guy and I will put my money into my boxing.

“I’ve had no amateur fights, no trainer, no promoter.

“There are guys who have been boxing their whole lives who don’t get a shot. So I have to pat myself on the back.

“Win, lose or draw? It was a win-win situation for me.”

Lovejoy is based in Los Angeles and will train at Henry Tillman’s gym where Roney Hines and Jean Pierre Augustin are the resident heavyweights. Down the road at Buddy McGirt’s place, he can find sparring with Gerald Washington and Scott Alexander. He has vowed to trim down by 20-30lbs.

The strange world of heavyweight boxing means Lovejoy’s name is now out there.

He will not be taken seriously by everybody, but he is likely to at least get a chance again.

“There is added pressure because I’ve got to come back and prove myself now,” he says.

“[The Charr fight] was to get my foot in the door, to let everybody know that I will go anywhere to fight anyone under any circumstance.

“No matter the situation, I will fight.

“But it’s up to me to work and show everybody that I’m here to stay.

“I know that I’m a good fighter. But they think I’m a pushover. I’m getting called out now more than at any time.”

British heavyweights Solomon Dacres, Johnny Fisher, Fabio Wardley and Nick Webb were mentioned as targets.

Ambitiously, he says: “Me and Joe Joyce are a fight or two away from meeting down the line.”

The issue with the law that cropped up just hours after he spoke to Sky Sports has been resolved, he says, meaning the heavyweight division’s most curious contender can get back to doing what he does best.

Or so he says.

“I am 100 per cent legit. I showed I have some skill, I will stand in the pocket, I won’t run,” Lovejoy warns.

“My next fight? It will be like night and day.

“They don’t know what’s coming, man. I will be a whole different animal when I’m in the ring next time.”

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