Back in September last year Slough’s Ian Bailey faced highly rated, unbeaten prospect Lewis Pettitt, for the vacant Southern Area Featherweight title. All the smart money was on Lewis being crowned Champion, however a few even smarter cookies, such as TRAD TKO supremo Johnny Eames, Barry McGuigan and Carl Frampton, knew that if there was one person in this business you just don’t underestimate, it was young Ian.
Barry McGuigan protégé Carl and Ian participated in one of the best fights of 2010, when the pair went toe to toe for six totally committed rounds. OK, Carl won, but the King’s Hall, Belfast crowd showed their appreciation by giving Ian a highly vocal standing ovation for his gutsy performance – that’s how good that battle was.
Back to September last year, Ian once again put on another truly sensational performance, this time ripping the heart out of Lewis Pettitt, before stopping him in the ninth round.
For his first defense, at the Johnny Eames’ latest offering ‘Turf War’ at York hall in London on Saturday 27th July, Ian once again finds himself against another true battler, this time in the form of Gants Hill’s Dan Naylor.
Following another full on training session, at the TRAD TKO gym in Canning Town, Ian took a little time to talk about his championship winning performance as well as his upcoming title defense.
“It’s good to be fighting in London, of late I haven’t fought in London that much.
I won this title here, but most of the time the fights are up north, now and again there’s a Scotland, but usually it’s Liverpool or Manchester, so it will be really great to be fighting in London.
It’s great that I’ll be on the same show as all the guys that train here at the TRAD TKO, it’ll be a change that I know everyone in the changing room, they’re all friends, it’s like fighting for the same team really.
As I said, last time I fought in London, in fact last time I fought at York Hall, I beat Lewis Pettitt to win the title.
That was a good fight for the people watching it. I’d done a lot of sparring with Ben Murphy leading up to it, so the pace was really hard and fast.
I was super fit so I knew that the way things were going from round four, five, I knew that he was going to get worn out.
He was throwing less punches, he had less power in the punches, so I knew the end was coming.
I’d left it quite late, but then again I probably wasn’t in the best shape I could have been, due to my messing up the weight and all that business.
It was a good fight, yeah, a real good fight for me.
I think that the fight against Dan Naylor will be very similar. Fortunately I see Dan fighting the other weekend. I turned on BoxNation to watch Vassell and Gavin and he was on there fighting Joe Murray.
I had seen him fight on YouTube, but it was a little bit grainy, not that clever.
Yeah, he’s a southpaw, he’s not terribly awkward, he’s very tough and I know he’s going to be very fit.
He tends to mix things up, goes forward and then goes back, he’s a good body puncher.
This all makes for a really good fight, he’s not going to run away or anything.
I’m just going to do what I normally do, obviously this time I’ve had a lot of preparation, but I’m just going to go there be as tucked up as I can and put pressure on this guy.
It’s going to be a brilliant fight, I think I’ll grind him down and stop him sometime after the fifth.”
Ian Bailey versus Dan Naylor Southern Area Featherweight title clash, headlines the Johnny Eames TRAD TKO Events promoted ‘Turf War’ at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London on Saturday 27th July 2013.
Tickets, priced £35 (Standard Seated) and £60 (Ringside) are available on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com or in person from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town or from any boxer on the event. For further information call 07960 850645 or 07557 641597.