Watford middleweight Elliott Matthews meets British champion Nick Blackwell on November 14 at Bristol’s City Academy and describes the opportunity as his ‘big day’, the moment he’s been waiting for.
The 34-year-old puncher has been a professional since January 2012, is unbeaten in sixteen professional fights and holds the Southern Area middleweight title. But November 14 marks his first stab at the big prize – the coveted Lonsdale belt.
“I wanted to win the British title when I turned pro,” he said. “That was my main goal. And I’ve still got the exact same goal today.
“The difference now, though, is that I want to win the British title and then use it as a stepping stone to even bigger things. I want to use it as a starting point. I really think my career will properly take off once I’ve won the British title on November 14. It will act as a springboard for me.”
Matthews has yet to fight outside London as a pro, but is excited to make the trip to Bristol in less than two weeks and expects many of his loyal supporters to follow him.
“I hope a few will come down and support me,” he said. “It’s only two hours away. Otherwise I’ll be a bit lonely in there on the night. I think they will, though.
“This is the moment I’ve been working towards since I turned pro. There will be a lot of people who will want to be there to see me do what I’ve always said I’d do.
“This is like a wedding for me. It’s a really big day for me. I’d like to think everyone I know, and all their friends, will turn up to see me become British middleweight champion. And if they can’t get down to the venue to watch it live, I hope they’ll all be watching it live on Channel 5.”
Though unbeaten in sixteen fights, Matthews has yet to come up against a fighter as formidable as Nick Blackwell. Nevertheless, it’s a test he relishes and one he expects to pass with flying colours.
“I believe that this fight has come at the right time for me and that everything happens for a reason,” said Matthews, known as ‘The Knockout King’. “If it’s meant to be now, it’s meant to be now.
“You can’t go through life waiting for the perfect time because that time may never come around. All I know is I’m unbeaten, I’m experienced, I’m confident and I’m ready to become British champion. What else do I need?
“I’m going to grab my chance with both hands, give it everything I’ve got, and I’m sure that my 17 years of hard work and dedication will pay off in the end.
“I feel like it’s my time and that Nick Blackwell is an opponent I can beat. I’ve got no worries about stepping in there.
“When you fight for the British title, you’re never going to have an easy night. It’s always going to be tough.
“We both want to have that belt and we’ll both fight tooth and nail for it. I’m not expecting to blow him over or have an easy night of it. He’s certainly going to earn his money, just as I’m going to earn my money. It’s going to be a cracking night for everyone.
The challenger added: “When I win that British title, it will make me well up big time. It will be the best feeling in the world.”
*** For tickets to BANG BANG: The Knockout Kings, please contact the Ticketline Box Office on 0844 888 4402, the Sanigar Events Box Office on 0117 949 6699 or visit www.hennessysports.com ***
*** Blackwell vs. Matthews will be televised live and exclusively on Channel 5 from 10pm, Saturday, November 14. Meanwhile, Hughie Lewis Fury, Craig Kennedy and a pick of the Bristol undercard will be televised earlier in the evening on Spike ***