Two huge domestic Light Welterweight scraps can steal the show at The O2 tomorrow night (January 31) live on Sky Sports.
John Wayne Hibbert defends his WBC International title against Tyler Goodjohn while the vacant English strap is on the line between Tommy Martin and Ricky Boylan.
The 140lbs division in Britain will have a different complexion once those dust-ups are compete and with plenty of needle in both clashes, excitement is guaranteed in Greenwich.
“Tyler has been saying a lot,” said Hibbert. “The one thing I know is that there’s no way that I am going to lose. True boxing fans know that I am a level above Tyler, he’s come out with a lot of nonsense, there’s no history between us and I like that he’s been chucking banter about, it’s making me train hard and beat him up even more on the night. I’m thick skinned and it goes over my head. He’s improved a lot, don’t get me wrong, I am not underestimating him.
“I know that he is a tough, durable boy and he’ll bring the best of his game as he wants to beat me and get to the top, like all the Light Welterweights in Britain do. But he has never boxed anyone like me and he’s in for the worst night of his life with me. He got schooled in every round by Tyrone Nurse and Tyrone is not the heaviest handed Light Welterweight out there, so I am going to make sure I school him and hurt him into the bargain.”
“There’s a lot of history between John and me,” said Goodjohn. “We were mates for a long time but he has had a lot to say over the last six or seven months, too much really. I went on holiday two days after the Boylan win and I text Pete Sims and said ‘Let’s make this fight happen’. It’s time to put up or shut up for him. He tries to wind me up and stupidly I bit a little bit, but if that’s all he’s got, then it’s a bit sad, he couldn’t look me in the eyes when we went face to face at the first press conference either. He knows I am a step up for him, he might have stopped his last four but a couple of them were Latvians and the Argentinian wasn’t up to much, I am a totally different fight for him, he’s 30 years old and I don’t think he’s going to have the legs for it. We got on before but he’s given me no respect and keeps shouting his mouth, he tried to get in the way of my fight with Ricky and I just want to get him out of the way and he can go back to bricklaying.”
“People have been saying that I am too young to fight for the English title – they are forgetting that I was in an eliminator and stopped Matty Tew,” said Martin. “I only had a two week camp for that fight but I have been in training since early December for this one. Why would I not take this opportunity? To be English champion at 20 years old would be great. It’s a fight Johnny Eames had no hesitation in taking and every day I was going into the gym and asking Johnny to get me this fight or that fight and he was saying no, but the second that Eddie Hearn text him about the fight, he took it in a heartbeat and that says everything about how confident we are for this fight.
“Last year I wasn’t as busy as I would have liked to have been but that was just down to some niggling injuries that I was a bit unlucky with,” said Boylan. “Hopefully a good win tonight will see me kick on and have a really good and injury-free year. My profile is getting bigger thanks to fighting on Sky Sports so there’s a big opportunity for me and one I want to take. Eddie Hearn has been great with me, he’s got me out lots and got me title shots, I can’t ask for more.”
The Light Welterweight tussles are part of a huge night of action at The O2.
There huge fights for a pair of London favourites as Kevin Mitchell faces Daniel Estrada for the vacant WBC Silver Lightweight title and an eliminator for the World title and John Ryder defends his WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight title against experienced Billi Godoy.
Team GB star Charlie Edwards makes his hotly anticipated pro debut on the bill, as does Cruiserweight Isaac Chamberlain, as Ohara Davies, Ben Hall and Lee Markham make their first appearances in 2015.
Only £40, £60 and £100 tickets are available for the show at www.theO2.co.uk and on 0844 856 0202.