British Super-Featherweight Champion Gary Buckland aims to cause double Welsh heartache for challenger Stephen Smith on Saturday 17th August at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.
Cardiff hero Buckland trains alongside Lee Selby who inflicted the first defeat to Smith’s record in September 2011, sensationally stopping the Liverpool star in eight rounds and taking his British Featherweight title.
Buckland, who features as chief support on the card headlined by Nathan Cleverly’s WBO World Light-Heavyweight title defence against Sergey Kovalev – courtesy of his promoter Ricky Hatton who won the purse bid to stage the fight – has taken advice from Selby, but is still cautious.
And the 27-year-old who won the title against Gary Sykes and has made defences against Paul Truscott and Stephen Foster Jnr. knows a win will make the prized Lonsdale belt his own property.
“My gym mate Lee Selby fought Stephen Smith and said I’ll be too strong for him, but I’m not anything for granted because I know Stephen Smith is a good boy and he’s coming in there to take my title so I have to be at the top of my game,” Said Buckland.
“I’ve always wanted to box in Cardiff and now I’ve got the opportunity. I’ve now got to make sure I box the best I can and get that British title for keeps.”
Buckland also aims to emulate Welsh legend Joe Calzaghe and become a big star in the Principality.
He added, “You’ve got to be pretty special to be like Calzaghe, but I hope to be the next big thing really. We’ve had a lot of boxers in Wales who have gone far and to win the Lonsdale belt outright will be a big achievement and hopefully I can go onto European level and then maybe world level,”
“When you’re top of the bill in front of a sell-out crowd, the place is buzzing and that’s where I want to be. The sky’s the limit and I’ll take any challenge that comes my way,”
“I’m not getting any younger, I’m 27, so it’s about seeing how far I can go in this game. In 18 months I want to be at least the European champion and I want to be looking at challenging for world titles.”
Remaining tickets, priced from £40, are available from:
Cardiff Motorpoint Arena Box Office
02920 224 488
0844 249 1000
Cleverly v Kovalev is live and exclusive in the UK on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). Join at www.boxnation.com