There’s a real buzz at the TRAD TKO Gym in Canning Town, no surprise really when you realize that the likes of British, Commonwealth and WBO International Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders, WBO European Super Middleweight Champion Frankie Buglioni are in camp preparing to defend their titles, as well as Southern Area Light Middleweight Champion Freddie Turner, International Masters Silver Light Heavyweight Champion Joel McIntyre and WBU European Super Bantamweight Championship challenger Marianne Marston also in camp preparing for upcoming title fights in March.
But it’s not those upcoming title fights that’s causing the biggest buzz at Johnny Eames’ famous East End fight factory, not by a long shot, without doubt that accolade lays firmly with TRAD TKO gym mates Canning Town’s Billy Morgan and Enfield’s Michael Grant’s impending showdown at the Copper Box in Stratford on Saturday 15th February.
It’s rare for two fighters from the same gym to face each other, so it should come as no surprise that this fight has created a little division, albeit mainly with copious amounts of friendly banter ebbing and flowing between both camps.
Coached by father and son team Jimmy and Mark Tibbs, young Billy has earned himself the reputation as a classy boxer, racking up excellent points wins over the toughest journeymen around, against the likes of Dan Carr (twice), Robin Deakin, Sid Razak, Yousseff Al Hamidi (twice), Marc Callaghan and Dan Naylor.
In his last fight, back in July last year, Billy stepped up a level to beat Oldham’s Ashley Mayall, but in doing so suffered a bad cut that kept him out of action for the rest of the year, however at the same time the Canning Town youngster proved without doubt that he has Championship potential.
So no surprise, now he and his highly experienced coaching team feel he’s ready to step up another level, in order to begin focusing on hitting the Championship trail later this year, something he made clear when he spoke earlier.
“Yeah, I’m fighting Michael at the Copper Box on the 15th, it’s a bit strange for us both I think, we know each other really well and both train here at the TRAD TKO.
It’s not just a battle between us, it’s also one between our trainers, there’s been a bit of banter flying round, between Barry (Smith), Johnny (Eames) and Mark and Jimmy (Tibbs), it’s lighthearted stuff but you know it means a lot to both camps.
But it’s all business on the night, I’ve known people fight their best mates, at the end of the day it’s a fight that takes you up the rankings.
Billy Joe (Saunders), Frankie (Buglioni) and Freddie (Turner) have all won titles recently, now I want to start fighting for titles too, so this fight makes a lot of sense to me.
Michael wants it, I want it, it’s a step up in class for me and Michael wants to get back in there and mix it up with the best, why not, it makes sense.
Yeah, the fans are buzzing for it, as soon as I mentioned who I was fighting everyone wanted to come.
We’ve had really, really good spars in the past so we’ll see what happens on the night.
Either way, It will be a great fight, could even be fight of the night.”
Billy Morgan versus Michael Grant features on the undercard of Dereck Chisora versus Kevin Johnson WBA/WBO International Heavyweight title fight, that headlines the Frank Warren promoted ‘ROCK THE BOX’ at the Copper Box in Stratford on Saturday 15th February 2014.
Tickets priced, £40 (Upper Concourse), £50 (Lower Seating Bowl), £70 (Floor) and £120 (Ringside) are available at www.tkoboxoffice.com or call the TRAD TKO Ticket Line on 07960 850645.