Kieron Conway says he is ready to make history in Northampton by becoming the town’s first British Champion when he clashes with current Super-Welterweight ruler Ted Cheeseman on this Friday’s JD NXTGEN show at Bethnal Green’s York Hall, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Conway, 23, raced to 10-0 before suffering a first career defeat in the semi-finals of the Ultimate Boxxer III Middleweight tournament to the eventual winner Derrick Osaze. The Cobblers fan is no stranger to the big stage having fought on the Amir Khan v Samuel Vargas card last October and is hungry for more more of the high-life.
“The British title is the pinnacle of domestic boxing and every British fighter dreams of these opportunities,” said Conway. “Being a British champion has always been a big dream of mine as it would be great for me but also history for my town of Northampton. Winning the British title as an ‘away’ fighter would be a big statement. I believe that I belong on this stage.
“I feel like a beast at Super-Welterweight and I’ll be looking to make my size count on the night. Fans can expect a new champion in this fight. I’m keeping my eyes on this bout on Friday, but a win here and there are big fights after this that excite me. Winning on a big platform like Sky Sports will open up a lot of doors for me so it’s a big opportunity.”
Cheeseman endured a gruelling defeat last time out in February when he stepped up in class to face EBU European Champion Sergio Garcia at The O2 in his first headliner. Conway believes the punishing manor of his opponent’s defeat will have an impact on their British title showdown.
“I’d say the amount of punches taken in his last fight will impact ours because I’d imagine he will be coming with a lot more head movement and less aggression, as the longer the fight goes the more his aggression will play into my hands.
“I sparred six rounds with him about two years ago, but two weeks can make huge differences in boxing let alone two years, so I can’t really take much from that. He’s fit and relentless in his work but I’m not sure how much his last fight will have taken out of him – he took a lot of damage for 12 rounds.”
CHEESEMAN – IF I LOSE THIS I’M FINISHED IN BOXING
Cheeseman – If I lose this I’m finished in boxing
Ted Cheeseman has admitted that his maiden British Super-Welterweight title defence against Northampton’s Kieron Conway at the legendary York Hall tomorrow night is must-win.
The Bermondsey star suffered the first defeat of his professional career last time out when he stepped up in class to face EBU European Champion Sergio Garcia in his first headline fight at The O2 in London.
‘The Big Cheese’ is determined to bounce back with a bang by taking out ‘Too Class’ Conway (12-1, 3 KOs), live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US, to set-up a mouth-watering domestic clash with Scott Fitzgerald later in the year.
“This is a very important fight for me, I’m not delusional, if I lose this then it’s finished for me really in boxing,” said Cheeseman. “There’s no point in fighting at a level below this. If I go below this then it’s over, you have to build up again. This is a build-up fight.
“I made my own mistakes and wasn’t successful in the last fight. Everyone forgets though, that my last opponent was No. 2 in the world, I stayed in there for 12 rounds, and he couldn’t hurt me.
“I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in, I have tunnel vision on boxing. I’m going in there to rip Conway’s head off, I’m not bad-mouthing him but that’s my plan. Sooner or later he gets stopped, the confidence is back.
“The fight with Scott Fitzgerald is signed, sealed and delivered if I win on Friday night!”
RICHARDS: WE’RE LOOKING FOR THE KNOCKOUT
Craig Richards says he is looking for a knockout when he clashes with South London rival Andre Sterling in a Final Eliminator for the British Light-Heavyweight crown at York Hall this Friday, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Richards crossed paths with his unbeaten opponent last week, sparking a heated confrontation outside of the Peacock Gym in Canning Town, and the WBA Continental champion has promised to make Sterling pay for his disrespectful comments.
“He was saying ‘don’t let the occasion get to me,’ but I’ve been in these occasions multiple times,” said Richards. “I’ve been in these big fights, I’ve been in these grudge matches. I’m used to these occasions now. He’ll be under a lot of pressure now. There are a lot of people from around the area coming, so he really needs to perform. He’ll try to fight his heart out and try to come forward, but it’s just not going to be enough. He knows it’s sink or swim.
“We’re looking for a knockout hopefully. I’m punching harder every fight. I’ve moved up properly to Light-Heavyweight, I’ve got everyone out within three rounds and I just hope to continue a good winning streak. I believe that if I’m going to move on to where I want to be then I need to be beating opponents like him, so it’s a good test for me at this stage of my career.
“For Andre, this is his World title shot. He’s not too far from me in London, he’s a local boy around my area so this is everything to him. It’s got the spice and the twists to it. For me, I just look at it as business. I look at it from a more professional aspect. He’s just another opponent and I’ve got to get the job done. He’s going to come and he’s going to bring it but it’s for me to go out there and show my class and show how good I am and where I’m destined to be.
“He’s been calling the fight on and I don’t duck any challenges. I answered the call and we’re getting it on. He’s been wanting this fight for a long time. A lot of people have told me he’s been talking about fighting me for years. I don’t know what goes on in his head, I don’t know what people tell him. I think he’ll definitely regret what he’s said about me.”
Richards vs. Sterling features on a bumper card in East London, main event sees Conor Benn (14-0, 9 KOs) defend his WBA Continental Welterweight title against Jussi Koivula (24-6-1, 9 KOs), Ted Cheeseman (15-1, 9 KO) makes the first defence of his British Super-Welterweight title against Kieron Conway (12-1, 3 KOs), Crowthorne Super-Featherweight Charles Frankham (1-0) looks to make if two wins from two fights, fast-rising Watford Bantamweight talent Shannon Courtenay (2-0) steps up to take part in her first six round contest, former Commonwealth Super-Featherweight champion Reece Bellotti (13-2, 11 KOs) steps through the ropes for the first time since his British title loss to Ryan Walsh and Ohio Lightweight prospect Otha Jones III (1-0) takes part in his second professional contest.
Very limited tickets priced £40, £70 and £130 VIP are available to purchase via StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk).