Joshua Buatsi has vowed to ruin Liam Conroy’s dream of becoming the first man from Barrow-in-Furness to win the Lord Lonsdale Challenge Belt at London’s Copper Box Arena on Saturday.
Buatsi has won all nine of his fights, seven inside the distance, since turning pro in 2017, while Conroy has spent five years longer in the paid ranks, winning 16 fights and claiming the English title against Joel McIntyre in 2017.
The 26-year-old, an Olympic bronze medalist, won the WBA International 175lbs title against Andrejs Pokumeiko at The O2 last year and is keen to add domestic belts to his collection before targeting World honours.
“It’s something I must add to my cupboard, I’ve got space in there to add another trophy and that’s the next one I’ll be doing,” said Buatsi. “He’s won his last 10, knocked out his last five. This is his dream to become champion and I’ll be there to stop it.
“Most importantly champions that have come out of this country have pretty much gone that same route. They have won the British title before and have gone on to win big things. So for me it’s important to kind of follow that step, just to show that ok ‘he’s conquered Britain’ and then I will look elsewhere.
“It will be World titles after that but it’s for the team to sit down and come up with the best route possible for myself but most importantly it’s all focus for Saturday night to make sure I win that title.”
Liam Conroy says he is ready to make history at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday by becoming the first ever man from Barrow-in-Furness to win the prestigious Lord Lonsdale Challenge Belt.
The former English Champion takes on Rio 2016 Olympian Joshua Buatsi for the vacant British Light-Heavyweight crown in East London and is determined to silence his doubters, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Despite heading into this weekend’s domestic showdown in the form of his career with five successive stoppage wins, the bookies have the 26-year-old down as a huge underdog against rising star Buatsi, a label that he insists he will thrive off.
“I’m feeling brilliant,” Conroy told MTK Global. “I’m living the dream to be boxing for a British title. I’m so inspired and I think you’ll see an extra level to my boxing this weekend as a result of that.
“The bookies have him a clear favourite. I was insulted at first but then I look back on times I’ve done this before – I’ve had brilliant wins being the underdog. With it being on such a big scale and on such a big platform, it’s going to be even sweeter when I do it.
“Having so many people from Barrow there will give me a massive push. I’ve sold loads of tickets even though it’s nowhere near London. I think they’re as excited as I am!
“I’m the first Barrovian to box for the British title and I’ll be the first one to win one as well. Everyone is absolutely buzzing so it’ll be a brilliant atmosphere in there and I’ll feed off it on the night.”
British light-heavyweight title challenger Liam Conroy has heaped praise on trainer Johnney Roye ahead of facing Joshua Buatsi on Saturday night.
The hard-hitting Barrovian is on a run of five straight stoppage wins and is determined to upset the odds at London’s Copper Box Arena – live on Sky Sports.
With his power still developing, Conroy is quick to hail the work with Roye in the MTK Manchester gym.
He said: “Johnney has been a massive influence throughout my career. He’s got such positive energy and believes in me.
“The advice he gives me – not just inside the ring but also outside the ring has been brilliant. I’m so lucky to have him in my corner on fight night.
“Achieving this will be a dream for me. Johnney and I started in a little gym in Preston and we’ve just been grafting ever since.
“From being on small hall shows, we’ve now come this far and reached this point and I still want more. It’s incredible and I’m so glad to be on this journey with him.
“Now I’m here, I want to stay on these massive shows and winning will provide a springboard to that and moving on to even bigger and better things.”
Conroy stars on a glitzy Matchroom bill that also includes world champion and MTK Global team-mate Charlie Edwards and rising Welsh star Sean McGoldrick.
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