SAM BOWEN BELIEVES his domestic super featherweight rivals have simply been feasting on his leftovers while he has been out of action.
‘Bullet’ Bowen has been marked absent since March when he made a first defence of his British title against Jordan McCorry in Leicester, stopping the Scot in the ninth round of a roughhouse encounter that saw McCorry docked two points for illegal manoeuvres.
The 15-0 champion was then sidelined with a back injury that saw him miss out on a summer defence of his crown, which will now take place against the avoided Belfast man Anthony Cacace at Arena, Birmingham on November 30.
During Bowen’s enforced absence, both Archie Sharp and Zelfa Barrett took the opportunity of measuring themselves up against the game McCorry. Sharp defended his WBO European title with a points victory, while Barrett put his Commonwealth belt on the line and won via a ninth round stoppage.
Sharp and Barrett both delivered impressive performances and laid claim to be leader of the Brit Pack, but Bowen questions the validity of the statements posted by the pair because he suspects the motivation of McCorry was diminished following the bruising defeat to himself.
“They’ve only boxed the lad I boxed in March,” pointed out the 27-year-old from Ibstock. “He’s been beat and wasn’t really that bothered. Another loss to him was nothing.
“So they’ve gone and beat him, which was expected,” added Bowen, who doesn’t feel that McCorry boxed with the same intensity against Sharp and Barrett as he did when up against himself.
“He was quite dirty when he fought me, with avoiding body shots by going low. The when he fought Sharp he started off a bit slower than I thought he would, where I thought he might have a chance.
“I said to Carl (trainer/manager Greaves) the other day that if Zelfa knocked him out in the first round it wouldn’t really mean a lot to me because he’s had a few losses and knows he hasn’t got many more fights left in him and he was being paid half-alright for it.”
Bowen was also an interested viewer when Sharp subsequently fought the lively Irishman Declan Geraghty at the Royal Albert Hall and suspects he has identified a weakness in the ‘Sharpshooter’ that Geraghty was unable to exploit due to being of the same ilk as a fighter.
“They both boxed very, very similar – hands low, flashy, moving – and looked exactly the same when I watched it. Then he caught him and knocked him out with a good shot.
“He don’t like pressure though, I know that. The last few rounds when he boxed McCorry he was just on the back foot and I could tell he was uncomfortable.
“I thought, if that was me and I was landing the shots and hitting him, he ain’t gonna like that, Sharp or Barrett.”
So, should Cacace be accounted for in Birmingham at the end of the month, which name out of Sharp and Barrett would be written on the bullet?
“Either, I’m not fussed. I think if I fought Sharp it would probably be more awkward because I’d have to track him down as he would be running. With Zelfa it would be more of a scrap because he likes to trade a little bit.
“I’d beat them both though so it makes no difference to me.”
Sam Bowen training for Anthony Cacace for Nov.30 clash
SAM BOWEN INSISTS he is now back firing on all cylinders after being marked absent through injury and has recently removed the toil of manual labour from his daily routine.
The British super featherweight champion famously combined his boxing career with tough shifts at the Caterpillar plant in Leicester, which he now accepts left him drained and vulnerable to illness and injury.
A back injury initially delayed the mandatory defence of his Lonsdale belt against Anthony Cacace that will now go ahead at Arena, Birmingham on November 30 on a show featuring five other major title collisions.
Being gainfully unemployed has rejuvenated the unbeaten 27-year-old who reports a clean bill of health after being on the missing list since his successful defence against Jordan McCorry in March.
“I’m fine now, finally, and ready for it now,” said the 15-0 Ibstock man. “It was sciatica, which I had years ago and then I injured myself again so my back was bad and my sciatica horrendous. I couldn’t even train.
“I was off sick from work because I couldn’t do that either, but I am back to normal now and back at it, although I am not working now.
“The injury done it for me because I thought if I am getting injured and can’t train then I’ve got to pick one. I picked boxing and I have finally done it now so hopefully training should go well for this one.
“I only left a couple of weeks ago because I had to get better first before making the decision,” he added, also explaining that hanging up his tool kit and making such a big lifestyle change will enable him to devote so much more of his energy reserves into preparing for fights.
“It should make a big difference and hopefully I should feel a bit fresher in myself. Hopefully I also get the win otherwise I will be going back sooner than I think!
“I get more time with the little one and missus, but I am training full-time so I am still pretty busy.
“The way things were going I was just tired, getting injured a lot and being ill. It was because my body was being pushed through it and it was time to make a decision.
“I can get a job any time, but hopefully things go well for me in the boxing and I needed to put my 100 per cent into something.”
Sam Bowen v Anthony Cacace for the British super featherweight championship features on a stacked night of title action at Arena, Birmingham on November 30. WBO world bantamweight champion Zolani Tete defends his title against mandatory challenger John Riel Casimero and British and Commonwealth welterweight champion Chris Jenkins makes a defence against Liam Taylor. Lerrone Richards also takes on Lennox Clarke for the Commonwealth and vacant British super middleweight belt.
Sam Maxwell defends his WBO European super lightweight title against the also unbeaten Connor Parker from Derbyshire, while Hamzah Sheeraz will fight for his first major title at super welterweight.
Thrilling prospects Dennis McCann, Shabaz Masoud, Eithan James and George Davey also feature on the bill, along with talents from the local region in Nathan Heaney and River Wilson-Bent.
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