Hillyard: best is yet to come

15.05.07 - Light middleweight George Hillyard believes that he has had the best preparation of his career ahead of his appearance on the Hennessy Sports ‘SENI:BOX’ promotion at ExCeL London in Docklands on Friday night.

The 22-year-old appears on the undercard of the clash between Ipswich’s Steve Spartacus and Portsmouth’s Tony Oakey for the vacant British Light Heavyweight Championship.

Hillyard knows Spartacus well. The two both train at the same Wanstead gym under Tony Sims and have shared many sparring sessions.

“We have worked together a fair bit for this show,” said Hillyard. “We were both preparing for fights on the undercard, but Steve is topping the bill now and I’m made up for him. He’s in great shape. I think a lot of people will see him as the underdog, but I think he can pull it off.

“I always get great sparring. For my last fight I was doing 12 rounds in the gym with Howard Eastman. It was hard going, but invaluable experience.

“I have been working with loads of others guys from the Hennessy Sports team this time round. As well as Steve, Dave Stewart and Darren Barker train at our gym and then Lenny Daws, David Walker and Matthew Thirlwall have been coming over.

“They are all at Championship level and with there being so many of us, we can rotate round. It gets you really sharp and strong working up and down the weights. I have got a lot of rounds under my belt in the gym; I feel like I have had the best training of my career.”

The Canning Town favourite, who is always supported by a legion of fans, intends to put his preparation to good use on the launch event for the seni07 Sports Combat Show.

“I’m boxing over eight rounds for only the second time,” he explained. “The longer distances suit me much better. I’m used to doing a lot of rounds in the gym, so four and six round fights don’t really give me the benefit of that.

“I feel like I get better as a fight goes on, when my fitness comes more into it. Even though I didn’t get the decision, I thought I won the majority of the rounds in my last eight rounder against Marcus Portman and really started to get on top late on.”

Most agree with his account of the Portman fight. Whilst his opponent threw more leather, Hillyard was by far the more accurate as the TV statistics proved. He suffered another contentious decision last time out when he was only awarded a draw against Tony Rendall, but gets the chance to set that right on Friday night.

“I’ve had a few problems, but they are behind me now and I’m not going to let them get me down. It’s time to get the ball rolling again on a big show, just down the road from me. It’s time to get back to the kind of form I showed in the ring when I turned over. I have a lot more potential than everyone has seen yet,” he finished.

Article posted on 15.05.2007

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