Blackpool’s Jack Arnfield (19-1, 4ko) is looking to seize his late call-up shot at British middleweight champion, Nick Blackwell tonight in Bristol (18-3-1, 8ko), and halt the rise of the man they call ‘Bam Bam,’ live on Ch5.
Blackwell had been set to face southpaw, Elliot Matthews, until a cut suffered in sparring ruled the Watford fighter out late doors, meaning a call-up and quick turnaround for the Jennings Gym man, who last boxed on October 24th when he shut out Lithuania’s Deividas Sajuaka over 8 rounds in Manchester.
“I got the phone call from Steve Wood, my manager, who told me Matthews was out and I was in – I was over the moon. I was ecstatic,” Arnfield said.
“I’ve been working towards an opportunity like this my whole career. I’ve had some rough spots but these past 12 months have been great.
“I’ve been back in the gym, working hard, enjoying it and this is the best time for an opportunity like this to come along.”
“I have stayed in shape because I knew there was a chance something like this could happen. I wanted to be ready if the chance came along. So, after my last fight two weeks ago, I had two days off and was then straight back in the gym. I had an inkling I’d be fighting again pretty soon.
“I’m in really good shape. I don’t struggle to make middleweight – I make it really well. I’m fit, I’m strong and I’m ready for Saturday night. I’m raring to go.”
There’s no doubt that Arnfield will enter as a pre-fight underdog against the emerging Blackwell, who captured the (vacant) Lonsdale belt in May with an upset stoppage win over Islington’s John Ryder, though it’s tag that he is happy with and while he is under no illusions about the size of the task he is facing, he is quietly confident.
“Blackwell is aggressive and very, very fit. You can’t take that away from him. He’s always there for the full 12 rounds no matter who he’s up against,” he said. “I know it will be a hard night’s work but people underestimate how fit I am. I don’t stop from the first bell to the last bell.”
They were sentiments shared by Arnfield’s trainers, Michael and Dave Jennings, who said to Viptv.
“Jack’s a very good boxer,” said former British champion, Michael. “I know he’s not stopped many people out but he hits harder than his record suggests. When he turns his shots over … no matter how big or light a puncher you are, if them knuckles connect in the right areas you’re marking people up and that’s what we’re looking for with Jack.
“Hopefully we’ve the right tactics on the night and Jack can go out there and implement them and get the win,” Dave added.
Blackwell v Arnfield is live tonight on Ch5 in the UK, at 10pm.