Lennox Clarke believes sparring with one of the country’s hottest prospects can only help him fulfil his own boxing potential.
The Halesowen super middleweight was recently invited to the prestigious Gallagher’s Gym to spar with WBC International Super Middleweight Champion, Callum Smith (pictured l-r Callum Smith, Lennox’s younger brother Ben Clarke & Lennox Clarke).
It was a great honour for the 23 year-old, who has recorded four consecutive victories since switching from white-collar boxing to the professional ranks last year. Now, with that experience under his belt, Clarke is determined to hone his craft as he bids to one day share a ring with Smith and fighters of his calibre competitively.
“As an experience it was bigger than any fight I’ve had so far,” admitted Clarke to www.uko-boxing.com. “He’s a powerful boxer with unbelievable talent so I was as nervous as I am before a fight. I got in there though and I didn’t feel that I shouldn’t have been in there with him.
“It’s given me loads of confidence. If I can hold my own with boxers like Callum, one of the hottest prospects out there, it gives me belief that I can get to where I want to get to.
“I see him and think ‘I want to be in there with you properly one day’. After sparring with Callum I’ve got an insight in to what is required from me to be fighting that level of boxers.”
Clarke puts his unbeaten record to the test on Saturday evening when he takes on Lincoln’s Ryan Clark. His 25 year-old opponent has already notched up 65 fights and represents a tough test for the Errol-Johnson trained prospect.
Clark recorded three consecutive victories in 2012. Since then he has lost his last three fights but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Two of those fights have been against highly-respected duo Martin Concepcion and Jahmaine Smyle. Last time out, July, he lost a points decision to Richard Horton, who was himself returning from a five-year ring absence.
He will come to win and that’s exactly what Clarke wants as he looks to muscle in on the domestic super middleweight scene.
“Ryan is a decent lad,” he added. “He’ll come to win and that’s how I like it. I need pushing and I need a test. Stopping Joe Walsh in my last fight was good for the fans but I needed a bit more. I didn’t get out of first gear.
“This guy will come forward and try and put it on me, so I will have to step it up. I’m looking forward to it. I want to progress and make a name for myself.”
The fight takes place at Bedworth Civic Hall this coming Saturday, 27th September on the undercard of Troy James and Ronnie Clark’s British Super Featherweight Title Eliminator.
Also featuring is Stafford welterweight, Rob Hunt, who steps in with Keith Sheen and Coventry duo Joe Sheriffe (light heavyweight) and Jordan Cooke (super featherweight) who make their professional debuts against Jamie Ambler and Michael Stupart respectively.
Coventry middleweight, Mike Byles, completes the card as he takes on unbeaten Dudley dangerman, Jamie Gelder.
Tickets, priced at £35, are available by calling Bedworth Civic Hall Box Office on 024 7637 6707