Anthony Fowler has promised to prove he is a level above Scott Fitzgerald by taking him out in five rounds when the bitter rivals clash for the WBA International Super-Welterweight title at The M&S Bank Arena Liverpool on Saturday, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Preston’s Fitzgerald will be aiming to avenge an amateur defeat at the hands of ‘The Machine’ but the 9-0 Liverpudlian, now trained by Dave Coldwell in Rotherham, is determined to finish their rivalry off in style to set-up another huge domestic showdown with British Champion Ted Cheeseman in the summer.
“He’s a dangerous opponent,” admitted Fowler. “He’s had twelve fights and knocked nine of his opponents out. He’s powerful and he’s coming to win. He wants to win this fight more than anything, same as myself. It has all of the makings of a great fight and it’s a fight where I show who Anthony Fowler really is and just how good I am.
“Scott was a hard trainer in the GB squad. We used to spar and I was always that much better than him. I’d win every round of our spars, they were never close. When we fought each other I destroyed him in two rounds. Even though he was a top fighter, I was always an elite fighter.
“As a pro I’ve gone to a great coach and I’ve gone onto that next level again. Now I’m a lot more conditioned, tougher and experienced. I feel like Scott has stagnated a bit. He’s turned pro and he’s had easier fights than myself. He’s stagnated to his level and lowered his standards. He’s going to try and raise it for this fight but it’ll be too little too late.”
Fowler hopes that an emphatic win over his fellow Commonwealth Games gold medallist will earn him further title shots at 140lbs, and a shot at Spain’s European Champion Sergio Garcia, who inflicted a first career defeat on Cheeseman last month, is high up on his wish list
“This fight is a very winnable fight for me and this is the fight where people will give me the respect that I deserve. I’ve boxed two unbeaten kids and knocked them both out and I’ll do the same to Scott. After this fight people are going to say ‘wow, that Anthony Fowler is the real deal’.
“I think early on, Scott is going to get a shock when he realises how hard I hit and how hard I am to hit. His confidence is going to drain away round-by-round and as soon as I start hitting him downstairs and on the chin he’s going to feel the pace.
“I think it’s going to be over within five rounds. I think he’ll be brave and he’ll come to win but there’s only so many shots you can take with those little gloves. After this win everyone knows who I want next, I want Ted Cheeseman for the British. This time next year I want to be a European Champion.”
Fierce Super-Welterweight rivals Anthony Fowler and Scott Fitzgerald put their unbeaten records on the line when they meet in one of the most eagerly-anticipated domestic clashes of the year at The M&S Bank Arena Liverpool on March 30, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
As well as bragging rights, both fighters will now have the opportunity to claim the first pro title of their careers, with the vacant WBA International title also up for grabs, and with it a top 15 World ranking with the governing body.
Preston’s Fitzgerald says he is a “different level” to Fowler’s previous opponents but ‘The Machine’ has vowed to “go through” his former teammate to set-up a mouth-watering summer showdown with British Champion Ted Cheeseman after the BBBofC ordered the Bermondsey man to defend his belt against Fowler next.
“I am a level above Scott, I know that for a fact,” said Fowler. “I always have been. As soon as I was an amateur I was better than Scott and under Dave Coldwell I have just gone to the next level again. I will be ready, 11st on the dot. I’ll be fully prepared and whatever Scott does I’ve got an answer for. I am just a bigger, better, stronger fighter. I’ll finish him in five.
“It’s just over a week until the talking stops and the fists do the talking. As well as taking Scott’s unbeaten record I’ll now be taking home my first belt and a top 15 World ranking with the WBA. There’s a lot on the line, after I take care of Scott, Ted Cheeseman and the British title is next.”
“I’m really happy there’s a decent title on the line,” Said Fitzgerald. “What comes with this title is a top 15 World ranking and that’s another big motivation for me. I feel like the fittest man on the planet and the most focused man on the planet. I can’t wait to get my hands on him and put some hurt on him.
“I’m a crazy underdog and that gives me even more motivation. I feel like the fight will go exactly as I want it to go. I can do it any way I want to. Up until a few weeks ago I’d only ever thought about winning the British title and nothing else, but now I believe I can become a World Champion. I’ll get the British title in the summer and then go for the European belt by the end of the year.”
Joe Hughes is determined to win the British Super-Lightweight title at the second time of asking.
He was left frustrated and angry after 12 battling rounds against former British Champion Tyrone Nurse at the Leicester Arena in 2017 that resulted in a draw. Hughes is still convinced that he won the fight by two rounds and believes his former amateur rival was saved by the judges.
The Malmesbury fighter gets a second shot at the Lord Lonsdale crown when he clashes with current Champion Robbie Davies Jr at The M&S Bank Arena Liverpool on March 30, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Since his first attempt at the British title, Hughes has gone on to claim the European title against Andrea Scarpa in a career-best win on away soil in Italy, but insists the British title has been the belt he has wanted most since turning pro in 2010.
“Winning the British title has always been a goal of mine as a professional boxer,” said Hughes. “Ever since I started boxing it’s been the belt that I wanted. I think it’s the same for all British fighters, it’s the most prestigious belt out there and I’m excited to be going for it again later this month.
“Obviously I’ve won the European title which is a bigger belt in terms of rankings and things like that, but the British belt is special and to win it would be a huge honour. In a way I feel like I’m already a British Champion but it would be nice to finally get my hands on the belt.
“I should already have it. I drew for it last time I challenged for it. I thought I won the fight and most people thought I won the fight. I thought I beat Tyrone by two rounds when we fought back in 2017. He was a 9-1 ON favourite and I think the media couldn’t believe how the fight went.
“I felt I was hitting the cleaner shots and more of them. We wanted the rematch but it never materialised. Now I’ve got another chance to win it and I’m confident of taking it home with me this time. I’m going to win clearly enough so that the judges can’t give it any other way.”
28-year-old Hughes, 17-3-1, has travelled all over the country as an away fighter, winning the Southern Area title against Londoner Phillip Bowes at The O2 and then the English title against Anthony Upton in Walsall, and the Wiltshire man is relishing another away day, this time on Merseyside.
“I’m away from home in his backyard but that doesn’t bother me at all. It’s a huge show for Liverpool and there’s some great Liverpudlian talent on the card. I’m sure the place will be packed to the rafters with scousers and I’m excited by that. I’ve just been to Italy where the place was packed with Italians and I still came away with the win so going to Liverpool doesn’t faze me.
“Liverpool is a great boxing city and I haven’t fought there since I was an amateur so I’m looking forward to going back. Obviously he’s going to have more support in there than me but I’ll be bringing as many as possible with me. I’m not fazed by going away, I’ve done it plenty of times now and it’s nothing new to me.”
Tickets for Smith vs. Eggington priced at £40, £60, £100 and £200 (Inner Ring VIP) are available to Fight Pass members via StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk)