Slate: Prizefighter is the perfect birthday present

Essex fighter Billy Slate celebrated his 29th birthday yesterday (25 January) but said the champagne is ice until he lifts the Prizefighter Light Heavyweights II crown on Saturday in London live on Sky Sports 1 and HD1 and in 3D for the first time.

Slate takes on Margate’s Jack Morris in the opening quarter-final of the 16th edition of Matchroom Sport’s eight-man, one –night tournaments, and the Romford hitter has shunned marking his birthday with family and friends in order to scoop the £32,000 winner’s cheque.

“My birthday has been cancelled this year, just like Christmas and New Year was,” said Slate – unbeaten from his first two pro fights. “I'm in fight mode now so the celebrating can wait until after Olympia – the trophy will be a perfect present and the party will be big if I win.”

Slate was featured in the Matchroom Sport preview show Prizefighter: Last Man Standing that aired on Sky Sports earlier in the week, but said that in the build up to a fight, he prefers to stay out of the limelight.

“I don't want to be around anyone at all really – I'm pretty anti-social before a fight to be honest,” said Slate. “Normally I love it when the cameras are out I'm on a night out or the video camera at Christmas. When it comes to the boxing though I'm a little bit different but with something as big as Prizefighter you have got to do it and get on with it so it's been good.”

Should Slate get past Morris he could face unbeaten Coventry fighter Llewellyn Davies in the second semi-final – if Davies can see off unbeaten joint-favourite Travis Dickinson in quarter-final two. Davies has stoked the fires of that potential clash, saying that Slate was the only man he didn’t click with at the recent Sky Sports promo day.

“When we went to the studios, he was moaning about having to sit around in between interviews and I told him: ‘This is a chance of a lifetime. You could be a star,” Davies told Matt Bozeat in the Coventry Telegraph. “But he didn’t seem to understand. He was the only one I didn’t get on with.”

On the other side of the draw, the two most experienced fighters on the bill meet in the third quarter-final as former British champion Tony Dodson faces Surrey-based Pole Michael Banbula. The winner of that bout will face either unbeaten Kent boxer Menay Edwards or St Albans 7-1 man Joe Smyth.

Prizefighter Light Heavyweights II draw:
Billy Slate v Jack Morris
Llewellyn Davies v Travis Dickinson
Tony Dodson v Michael Banbula
Joe Smyth v Menay Edwards

Tickets for Prizefighter Light Heavyweights II are available at £30 unreserved and £50 ringside at or through Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900. The £20 unreserved, £40 ringside and £120 VIP are now all sold out.

Article posted on 26.01.2011

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