Stephen Simmons threatens Wadi Camacho over photos

Edinburgh cruiserweight Stephen Simmons completely overshadowed world champion Ricky Burns at yesterday’s press conference to announce the latter’s defence of his WBO lightweight title at the SECC in Glasgow on 1 March.

Wadi Camacho and Stephen Simmons square up in Glasgow. Picture: Getty
Wadi Camacho and Stephen Simmons square up in Glasgow. Picture: Getty

Simmons will defend his WBC international silver cruiserweight title against London’s Wadi Camacho on the undercard, but the 29-year-old came close to bringing that fight forward. The two men had to be separated as Simmons screamed: “I’ll rip your head off” and “I’ll smash you up” while his rival, dismissed as “a bum” by the Scot, taunted him back.

All good knockabout stuff, although Simmons’ promise to send the Spaniard home in a coma is likely to see him disciplined by the British Boxing Board of Control.

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However, when he spoke with the written media afterwards, Simmons, normally an unruffled individual, revealed that his opponent has been posting sexually explicit photographs of women on social media with the face of Simmons’ fiancée photoshopped on top of the women’s bodies.

“He’s been really disrespectful on Twitter, he’s been getting personal by bringing my family and my fiancée, Nicole, into it,” he said. “He’s been putting dirty pictures up – sex pictures – and putting Nicole’s face on them. He also did it with the missus of one of my friends.

“It’s disgusting. If I was to show you the photographs he’s been posting you’d be appalled. What’s this all about?

“This has been going on for about a year. I really dislike the guy and I’m looking forward to ripping his head off.

“He can trash talk me, I don’t mind that. But my fiancée has nothing to do with this. I’m the one who does the fighting.

“So he’s going to get it. My trainer, Danny Vaughan, knows what we need to do and we’ve been working on it.”

Simmons immediately regretted losing his composure on the podium and promised that he would not allow his distaste for Camacho to affect him when fight night comes around.

“Of course, it’s important that I control my aggression,” he said. “I got a bit heated there but that’s because he’s so annoying.,

“At the end of the day, though, I’m a professional and that’s how I’ll go into the ring. It would be great to do it now and the temptation was there but I would never do that.

“If I did it now then nobody would see it. I’m prepared to wait so that everyone sees what I’m going to do to him.

“The whole of Scotland will be behind me and most of England, too. No-one likes him down there. When the fight was announced on Twitter on Friday not one person said a nice thing about him. He’s obnoxious.

“Look what he was like after his last defeat, shouting that he should have won. He might have put Anthony [Conquest] down but he still lost it.

“All he has is a mouth but I’m going to shut that mouth up.”

Boxing has never been short of grudge fights but the sleazy tactics adopted by Camacho has guaranteed that the enmity is genuine.

“I normally respect my opponents and do my talking in the ring but he’s really got under my skin and I’ve been training like I never did before,” said Simmons. “I’m a different animal now. I’ve been boxing for 17 years so I’ve been in grudge fights before. I’ve learned from those mistakes so I won’t lose my composure against him: it’s not going to happen.

“What will happen is that I’ll use my aggression in the best way possible. I’ll teach him a hard, valuable lesson.

“Even without all this, I’m several levels above him. That was also the case when we were amateurs.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn, confident in the knowledge that the altercation will help the box office, offered words of advice for Simmons.

“It’s going to be a great fight but Simmons has got to keep his emotions in check, because he said some things he shouldn’t have there,” he said. “On the night, that’s when he needs to be in control. If he loses his head, Camacho can really punch.

“I hope he doesn’t get fined by the BBBC because he’s young and he’s learning. When he goes away, he’ll know he’s said some things he shouldn’t have.

‘When he goes away, I’m sure people will complain on his behalf. But this is the fight business, they’re going to have a fight with each other – sometimes emotions run wild and people make mistakes, especially young people without the experience.”

Burns, meanwhile, in his first fight since breaking his jaw in the disputed draw with Raymundo Beltran, faces a potentially treacherous opponent in unbeaten Nebraskan Terence Crawford.

“I started sparring last week and haven’t taken that many shots yet so, fingers crossed, we don’t have any accidents in the build-up,” said Burns.

“It’s in the back of your mind: ‘What if it goes again?’ But the surgeon said I just need to forget about it and now that I know it’s okay, if it happens again it happens. There’s no more chance of it happening now than there was before.

“When I got it checked a few weeks ago they X-rayed it and said the bone has knitted back together. We gave it an extra couple of weeks to be on the safe side.”