“Bro, I’m back”, David declared as soon as the tape started rolling. “I’m not retiring; I want to fight again. I’ve had a lot to deal with in my personal life in recent times; but other than one major issue, things are settling down. I’ve got a new partner, she makes me want to get up and train. My head is clear and I want to fight for the next couple of years, at least”.
Never usually one to shy away from the limelight; David ‘One More’ Round (15-17) has been noticeably less vocal over the past 12 months. In fact, only six months ago we were discussing how to break news of his retirement from the sport. After back-to-back losses to Georgi Valentinov and Billy Beaumont at the end of 2015, the wear was starting to show on Round both mentally and physically. Even after picking up a surprise win against the highly ranked Sean Carter on BCMMA in February (after coming into the fight on less than 48 hours-notice), the message from the Round camp was unequivocal, David was going to retire this Autumn.
After a tumultuous period in his personal life, you could easily forgive Round for walking away from the sport he’s dedicated the last seven years of his life to; however, a change in circumstances has brought about a new desire, “I want to be how I was before” he told me. “I want to fight as much as I can. I want to fight abroad more, I want to pick up a few belts and I want to piss off as many people as I can along the way”.
What was supposed to be the curtain call has now become the resurrection fight as David takes on fellow Welshman Jordan ‘Rhino’ James (8-7) at Budo 16 later this month; “Jordan has a boxing background, it’s the fight I’ve needed for a long time. I’m surprised we’ve not fought before, if I’m honest. I’ve nothing bad to say about him, he seems like a good guy. I know he’ll stand and fight me, which I give him respect for. He’s a tough guy and it will take a lot to stop him, as it will me. It’s the perfect fight to headline the show. It’ll be a British version of Shogun vs Hendo!”.
Although he’s recently spent less time than usual creating online beefs, Round had the rare experience of someone else calling him out earlier this year, when rising star Terry ‘The Dominator’ Brazier created a storm telling the community that he wanted to get Round into the cage. Unfortunately schedules and Brazier’s wedding have meant that the two athletes haven’t yet settled the score, “Terry is ducking me now. He’s regretting calling me out and keeps signing up to fight other fighters. As I said at the time, this would be a great fight. Someone like BAMMA should put it on; we’d promote it well and then it would go off in the cage on fight night”.
As Round isn’t retiring any time soon, I asked him who he would like to fight; “Anyone really. Actually, I tell you what would be a fun fight, me against Mehrdad Janzemini. I like him a lot, he’s a good guy, but that would be a good war. So Mehrdad, this is me calling you out; let’s go for it, bro.”
“Once the Budo fight is done, I’m off to Sweden to fight on Superior Challenge October 8th. I’ve got another fight on the continent at the end of November. It’s agreed, but I’ve not had the paperwork back yet. All I can tell you at the moment is that there will be a lot of ‘Pride’ in that fight! Hopefully we can get something in for December too.”
“I’m loving it at the moment. I’ve just spent a week over in Gloucestershire with Sam Clark, training at John Pitman’s Fight Factory. My strength and conditioning has come on loads under Lee Riley too. It’s been a tough year, but without the darkness I wouldn’t see the stars. I’m definitely back”.
David would like to thank his sponsors for their ongoing support; Bear Hug Sports, Links Taxis, Astoria Nightclub, Granicol Ltd, Greggain Builders, Badboy Supplements & Tensai. A few tickets are still available for Budo 16, you can purchase them directly from the athletes.