By Daniel Mole – Walsall’s Chris Keane will take on Shane McPhilbin for the Midlands Cruiserweight title in the New Year.
The clash has been added to the undercard of Frankie Gavin’s first British Welterweight title defence against Jason Welborn on Friday, 18th January 2013 at Walsall Town Hall.
Keane, a former ABA Champion, is undefeated with a perfect 8-0 record. He has registered first round knock outs in two of his last three fights and has enjoyed an excellent start to his boxing career since turning professional in 2009.
The prospect of a first title fight in his hometown is one that the 26 year-old is relishing.
“It will be a good night!” he told www.uko-boxing.com. “I’m from Walsall so it will be special for me. The atmosphere will be crazy.
“With Welborn fighting Gavin, plus Martin Gethin, another Walsall lad, fighting Ben Murphy for the British and Commonwealth Lightweight titles, It’s going to a memorable night. It’s good for the West Midlands that we’re bringing top boxing to the area.
“I’ve had a decent year. My fitness is there and I’m on top of my weight. I’m not one to get carried away but I’m feeling good.”
His opponent, Shane McPhilbin, is a step up in class for the former Pleck ABC star. Also 26, McPhilbin has fought the likes of Michael Sprott and has held the British Cruiserweight title, as well as the Midlands strap.
He defeated Leon Williams in January to claim the British title before Enzo Maccarinelli won a unanimous decision to take the belt from him in his first title defence.
He is a dangerous opponent and, having lost to Jon Lewis Dickinson on points in another attempt to lift the British title in October, Keane knows that, in McPhilbin, he faces his toughest test yet.
“He’s been in with some good fighters and gone the distance so it should be a good fight,” Keane added.
“He’s got a decent ranking. He’s a decent fighter and he’ll be coming to win. He’s coming to knock me out and I’ll be looking to do the same.
“The Cruiserweight Division hasn’t got that many fighters in it so this is a good fight in the division. I’ll be training hard for this one. I always keep myself ticking over and I’ve been busy this year, so I’ll be ready for McPhilbin come fight night.”
The fight takes place on promoter Frank Warren’s first show of 2013 – in association with Midlands promoter Errol Johnson – at Walsall Town Hall on Friday, 18th January. The fights are also live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
Tickets are priced at £30 and £60 and are available from Walsall Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900.