British Champion Martin Power Training Hard For Munyai Rematch

02.01.07 - On a cold and foggy East End morning, British Bantamweight Champion Martin Power was busy preparing for his rematch against Commonwealth Champion Tshifhiwa Munyai on Friday, January 26 at the Goresbrook LC in Dagenham, England. Having been stopped by Munyai earlier this year after the lanky South African stepped in at the last minute to replace the injured Ian Napa, Power has been sparring with larger opponents such as Ashley Theophane, Robin Deakin and Jamie Radford in an attempt to nullify his opponent's size advantage..

"I would have liked to fight Lee Haskins for a defence of the British title, but the only two people my promoter Frank Maloney could get me were Ian Napa or Munyai," said Power from his London gym. "I didn't beat him but I feel like I can do a lot better against Munyai. I got more to prove against Munyai then I have with Napa."

Given the one-sidedness of their first meeting and the physical disadvantages the Londoner will again be facing, the announcement of the rematch has understandably sparked a groundswell of concern. But Power is quick to point to the unfortunate sequence of events that severely marred both his preparation and performance.

"A lot of people have said I'm a bit mad having this fight but I believe I wasn't properly fit enough for the fight last time," explained Power. "It came too soon. I remember the fight (in June) was canceled and then put back on and then there was a change in the opponent. Then I was supposed to fight Napa and then all of the sudden this kid (Munyai) comes in who was meant to be the same size as Napa but ends up being six foot tall."

Under no allusions as to what he is up against, Power claimed yesterday that he will be far better prepared for Munyai this time around, his words exuding optimism and enthusiasm in equal measure.

"I'm sparring with tall fighters," he said. "I have to take my pace with the sparring but it will be worth it on the night. This time I am a lot fitter. As I've said, Napa and Munyai are two different opponents. Napa is six inches smaller then me whereas Munyai is roughly six inches taller. So this time I have been training with bigger guys in sparring.

"With them being taller, I've been punching up instead of punching down. I've been working on my movement. I've been bobbing and weaving instead of leaning back on the back foot and getting away from the shots like I did for Napa. They are two totally different types of fighters.

"I have been working on different things with Peter Swinney and Johnny Eames and I believe, hopefully that when the night comes I will be fully fit and that everything will go according to plan and that will be to win the Commonwealth title.

"Munyai is very tall and awkward. It looks like he's got nothing in his punches but his punches did sting. Against Haskins, I think he underestimated Munyai. Haskins blew himself out too early. In the start of my fight against Munyai, he did the same thing. He let me work away work away and then came on strong (towards the end) which is exactly what he done with Haskins.

"So what I'll do with this fight is just win the rounds. I won't win the rounds by a mile but I'll be conserving energy so when he does step up the pace I can step up with him. There's a lot things that we've got to go over yet but I'm feeling confident about the fight. No predictions. Just a win."

Frank Maloney Promotions presents "Payback or Playback", the Tshifhiwa Munyai vs. Martin Power Commonwealth Bantamweight Championship rematch at Goresbrook LC in Dagenham, England on January 26, 2007. Undefeated Gary Woolcombe challenges English Light Middleweight Champion Andrew Facey and Brian Magee faces Andrew Lowe in a Final Eliminator for the British Light Heavyweight title. Tickets are available by logging onto or by calling the Box Office at 0844 477 6466. Sky Sports broadcasts live on SS1 starting at 22:00.

Article posted on 02.01.2007

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