Amron Sands is an 11-0 undefeated heavyweight prospect from the Bahamas who Deontay Wilder used as a sparring partner before facing Tyson Fury.
How did sparring go with Wilder?
Amron Sands: In the first round I was nervous to be in the ring with Wilder, a hard hitter. It was overwhelming to be in there with the WBC champion of the world. For me, it was a learning experience.
They wanted me to move. I can move, I am a mover, which is why they brought me in. I have good head movement, good feints. They liked my work with him.
He caught me with his right hand. He is a strong person.
Wilder lost to Fury…
Amron Sands: Everybody knows Wilder has problems with guys who move. He is used to throwing his one punch and knocking guys out.null
But to face Fury, a 6ft 9in guy who can move? That is a problem for him.
Did you sense Wilder’s struggles with ‘guys who move’ in sparring?
Amron Sands: Yes. If they decide to do a trilogy fight and Wilder doesn’t change, Fury will win again. He struggles with movement and that’s what Fury does.
You have won all 11 fights in a three-year pro career. Describe your style…
Amron Sands: I put my combinations together. I don’t like the one-punch style. What happens if your one punch doesn’t get him? You miss your opportunity.
I am an offensive person. I have no problem going forward. I am a fighter that likes to put my foot on the gas – go, go, go.
My coach is stronger on the defensive side because he used to play professional football. He was in charge of the defensive line. He is better on defence and that was the weakest part of my game.
How did you discover boxing in the Bahamas?
Amron Sands: My mother is an American citizen and she sent me to college in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on a basketball scholarship. It went very well. I was supposed to go to Oklahoma State University on a scholarship but I tore my ACL and MCL.
It turned me away from basketball because my vertical jump wasn’t as high any more. I wasn’t as fast anymore.
Then I went home but had a motorcycle accident.
My basketball coach told me to try boxing. I said: ‘Me? Boxing?’.
I started training just for fitness but learned some stuff, enjoyed it, and liked the rush that it gave me.
I did my first amateur tournament and, by my second, was fighting without headgear in Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela against some top guys. I trained with Cuba’s Olympic team.
I gained a lot of experience in a short amount of time.
You must have known you were a tough guy…
Amron Sands: No! I wasn’t aware!
I didn’t choose boxing. Boxing chose me. I never pictured myself in a boxing ring, never in a million years.
But I tried it and was good. My first amateur fight was at 18. I would study then ask my coach how to do things.
I became light on my feet. I would always practise things over and over and over. That’s what got me ahead.
If you survived sparring with Wilder you must have a strong chin…
Amron Sands: In my fourth fight I fought a guy who was 40lbs heavier. He wasn’t accurate but he connected! I heard the 10-second bell and relaxed but he hit me.
I wobbled but didn’t drop. I smiled and said: ‘You almost got me!’
I’ve had my chin tested in the amateurs and pros. I have a really strong chin.
Dubois would have a problem with my movement because he is flat-footed
Are you watching the British heavyweight scene?
Amron Sands: The British boys have all the belts, so of course.
I keep an eye on Daniel Dubois, Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua.
I know me and Dubois will fight one day in the future. I heard of him last year – he’s young and explosive.
But he would have a problem with my movement because he is flat-footed.