25.10.05 – Whilst Kevin Mitchell has been busy claiming that he wants to win three world titles and retire a legend, his domestic super featherweight rival Billy Corcoran has got on with the business of proving himself the best in the country. That is a status Mitchell will have to challenge before attempting to fulfil his ambitions. Corcoran, who won the English super featherweight title in sensational fashion on Friday night at the York Hall in Bethnal Green – is more than happy to give him his opportunity.
“Before Kevin can go on to do what he is talking about, he is going to have to come through me first – and here I am, ready and waiting to put my belt on the line,” said Corcoran, who has had one less fight than Mitchell.
“I have no problem fighting him. He is not bad; he was a good amateur, but as a professional he hasn’t been tested yet. He hasn’t been fighting anybody.”
Corcoran – born in Galway, but brought up in Wembley – can see only one outcome if his domestic rival does step up.
“I would be very confident going into that fight,” he explained. “I feel I am a much better fighter in every department. In particular, I have a much bigger engine; there is no way he would be able to handle the kind of pace I can set.
“It would just be a case of whether I stopped him or not. If we fought over a Championship distance, I would definitely grind him down.”
The 24-year-old demonstrated the tempo he can fight at last Friday, (October 21st), when winning the English, his first title. He ripped out of the blocks to rein in ferocious blows to then champion Roy Rutherford, who was sent crashing to canvas by a big right hand.
His work told when Rutherford, who was failing to respond coherently to simple questions from his corner team – was pulled out after the fourth.
“I was really pleased with the way I boxed against Rutherford,” Corcoran added. “I listened to my corner and got my jab off beautiful, it just all came to together. I was also chuffed with the way I dealt with the occasion.
“To be truthful, I was a bit surprised to stop him so early – that has never been done to Rutherford before. It was those shots in the second round that did it.”
Corcoran believes it was the culmination of work he has been carrying out in the gym under Hennessy Sports team trainer Robert McCracken that enabled him to deal so effectively with a former ABA champion and British titleholder who had never previously been stopped, despite having contested four Championship fights.
“Rob has got my balance sorted now and has me punching more correctly,” he explained. “In particular I have felt the power coming on recently in sparring. There is still more to come.”
Promoter Mick Hennessy first spotted Corcoran’s potential for improvement when watching him in the ABA’s.
“I loved Billy as an amateur,” he explained. “He was one of the most exciting around. He was very successful, (winning Class C NABC honours and boxing for England), but I always thought that he would be more suited to the pro game.
“He has made the transition superbly. A lot of that is down to Robert; he has refined that aggression he has always shown and turned him into a fantastic, come forward box-fighter.
“I think that with his exciting, made for TV, style he can go on now to become one of the most exciting boxers in Europe.”