Craig Morris vs. Ryan Fields on Feb.18

CRAIG MORRIS (7-0) makes a first defence of his Midlands Area welterweight title on Hatton Boxing’s ‘Time To Shine’ show at Fenton Manor, Stoke, this month

The Ludlow boxer lifted the strap at the same venue back in October in a fight-of-the-year contender against fellow unbeaten prospect, Nathan McIntosh. Morris claimed a deserved 98-94 points victory to take the belt in only his seventh professional fight. It was a dream come true for the likeable 24 year-old.

“At the time it was all a blur to be honest,” he revealed. “I didn’t really take any notice of the ring walk or the building and the crowd; I just wanted to get the job done. It was definitely good to watch it back and relive it on BoxNation!

“It was a very proud moment for me. I didn’t expect to even have a chance to go for a Midlands belt until at least the middle of this year. To win it was unbelievable, a dream come true.”

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Morris will make a first defence of his Midlands title against Derby’s Ryan Fields (9-3-1) on Saturday, 18th February.

Fields has already held the Midlands title after stopping Birmingham’s Karl Wiggins at the Genting Arena in March 2016. He gave up the strap to challenge Johnny Garton for the English title two months later but was on the wrong end of a fourth round stoppage.

“Ryan is a tough opponent,” added Morris. “I don’t know loads about him as I don’t tend to look into opponents too much really. My trainer does that kind of work and I just do what he says and stick to the game plan. I’m expecting a tough fight but at this level now, no fight is going to be easy, so whoever comes up I will just have to deal with it fight by fight.

“I’ve known for a fairly long time that I’d have to defend the title by the end of February, so I was able to stay in shape over Christmas and I’ve really knuckled down since the turn of the year.

“I’d like to keep progressing and moving forward to see how far I can go but my only objective right now is to make a successful first defence of the Midlands Title. It’s great to be involved on another Hatton promotion and I’m hoping to put in another performance that will keep everybody talking.”

The February 18 card is entitled ‘Time to Shine’ and is hosted by Hatton Boxing, the company founded by four-time world champion Ricky Hatton that also manufactures premium boxing equipment and trains thousands of fitness professionals each year through its Academy.

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Top of the bill sees heavyweight sensation Nathan Gorman lock horns with Georgia’s tough Gogita Gorgiladze while Reuben Arrowsmith faces Ryan Toms features for the super-welterweight Challenge belt in a supporting contest alongside Craig Morris’s Midlands Area welterweight title defence against Ryan Fields and Kieron McLaren’s super-lightweight Challenge belt encounter with Michael Mooney.

Also on in action on the bill will be fellow Hatton Boxing prospects Sam Evans and Jake Haigh as well as Stafford’s Rob Hunt, Cheshire’s Nathan Clarke and former amateur standout Luke Caci, who will be making his pro debut.