JACK MASSEY BELIEVES that a couple of recent high profile fights in his weight division have potentially given the cruiserweights a bad name.
The 14-0 Massey, who goes by the name of ‘One Smack’, is keen to propel himself into the thick of things and returns to action on the mammoth Manchester Arena card on December 22 as one of the support acts to Josh Warrington defending his IBF world featherweight title against two-weight world champion Carl Frampton.
Fights that have been given the big build up, such as Lawrence Okolie-Isaac Chamberlain and Matty Askin-Okolie, have failed to live up to their billing and Massey fears the boxing public could be turned off from the 200 pounders.
“Yeah, a little bit, I definitely think so myself,” considered the 25-year-old. “You don’t want people to watch fights like that and think it is what boxing is about. Matty Askin is a talent, so is Chamberlain, but Okolie is just awkward and holds a lot.
“He made them look mediocre as well as himself,” added Jack, who says the hype around these fights was not justified in the ring.
“No, not really, but there is a lot of talent in the cruiserweight division at the moment with a lot of good up and coming young fighters.
“If you saw the Okolie-Askin fight it was a bit of a stinker and you don’t want people to watch that and think that is what the cruiserweights are about. You want people to be interested in the cruiserweight division and see some good fights.”
Massey views himself as the man to restore the sparkle to the division and would willingly put himself forward to challenge Okolie. However, he suspects he is not viewed as an ideal candidate for a voluntary defence of a title and he will have to force the issue by earning mandatory status.
“I definitely think it is time to step up and obviously fight for some titles – we need a big title fight now. I feel like I am ready for that.
“My last fight – against Ian Tims – was a bit of a step up and, from what I am hearing from my management, a lot of people don’t want to fight me now and are ducking and diving a little bit.
“It seems like it will be harder to get a title shot unless I get into a mandatory position. So I just need to crack on and get some good fights, starting on December 22. I need to get cracking up the rankings then see what we can get.
“It is a great show to be on with some top fights on it and I think my tickets are going to fly out for it.
“We’d like the Okolie fight and he’s now got the target on his back, hasn’t he? Obviously styles make fights and it would be an awkward fight, but we have had a look at him and seen a few things.
“He has won the British and Commonwealth so he is the one you are going to target and we would like that fight. If not, we will go back to the drawing board and see what is best for us in getting up the rankings.
“It doesn’t sound like Okolie will take the fight so I can’t see it happening any time soon.”
IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington takes on former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena on December 22nd live on BT Sport Box Office. JJ Metcalf will defend his WBC International super-welterweight title against Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Mark Heffron will challenge for the British middleweight title.
Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) also features on the bill along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0).
Tickets are priced at £50 Upper Tier, £80 Tier, £100 Tier, £150 Tier, £200 Floor/Tier, £300 Floor, £400 Floor, £600 Inner Ring VIP Hospitality and are available.
Tickets available via Eventim.
Fearsome cruiserweight Jack Massey heads for a pair of Manchester fights in November and December looking to tee up a tilt at British champion Lawrence Okolie.
The Derbyshire fighter has impressed in cruising to 14-0-KO7 and is out on the #WarsintheWarehouse card on November 9 before a slot on the Josh Warrington vs. Carl Frampton undercard on December 22.
Massey – just 25 – is already engaging in some social media sparring with Olympian Okolie (10-0-KO7) and although those methods don’t necessarily come naturally, he’s ready to do what it takes to secure title shots.
Massey said: “There’s been a bit of back and forth between myself and Lawrence on Twitter, which isn’t usually my style but it looks like a lot of fights are made this way now.
“I’ve been promised some big title fights so let’s see what we can get. A shot at the British title would be perfect for me.
“There was quite a lot of upset about Okolie’s last fight which is not good to hear. Being a cruiserweight myself, you want people to see that it’s a booming weight division. The more interest in the division, the better.
“I’m excited for these two fights. It’s so exciting to be on a bill like Warrington vs. Frampton in particular. It’ll be like a home show for me and what an event that’s going to be.
“I’ve not really had a break out of the gym and I’m always learning. I just got back from sparring the world No. 2 Mairis Briedis in Latvia so that’s going to stand me in good stead. I’m still improving all the time.”