French raider Anthony Mezaache will cross the channel this weekend intent on plundering Jon Thaxton’s European Lightweight title. The two men clash live on ITV4 on a Hennessy Sports show at the Norfolk Showground in Norwich on Saturday night as Thaxton looks to make the first defence of his title. Local hero Thaxton won the title at the same venue last October with a stunning one punch knockout of Juan Carlos Diaz Melero but Mezaache is adamant that lighting will not strike the same venue twice..
“I’ve watched a lot of Thaxton’s fight and he is a good boxer and I have a lot of respect for him but he is not unbeatable,” said the reigning French champion. “Thaxton can certainly punch but that doesn’t bother me, I’ve never been stopped so I don’t believe his power will be a problem. This is a fight I have wanted for a very long time and I am coming to take the title from Thaxton.
“The pressure is all on him fighting in his hometown. Nobody is expecting me to spoil the party but I have a surprise in store for them. I’ve been training for this fight since late last year and it’s the biggest chance of my career so if anyone thinks I am coming just to make up the numbers they are mistaken.”
Mezzache is currently on a 7 fight unbeaten run but he has unhappy memories of his last trip to the U.K in 2005 when he suffered a points defeat at the hands of former British lightweight champ, Dave Stewart.
“I’m hoping that Thaxton saw the Stewart fight and thinks that I will be a soft touch,” revealed the 30-year-old. “I was very inexperienced back then and took that fight at just a few days notice. That defeat woke me up and made me get serious about my career. I’m a completely different fighter now and I will prove that on Saturday.”
Despite talk of a possible world title tilt in the pipeline Thaxton insists he’s not overlooking the challenger. “I’ve worked too hard in my career to throw this away. I pride myself on being a true professional and while it’s great to hear all the talk about world title fights the only thing I’m thinking about right now is beating Mezzache and strapping that European title belt around my waist again on Saturday night.”
Thaxton’s European Lightweight title defence against Mezzache headlines a night of top quality boxing at the Norfolk Showground, Norwich this Saturday (February 28th). An exciting undercard features heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury while Norwich’s Danny McIntosh defends his English Light Heavyweight Title against Matthew Barney.
Also appearing are Matthew Thirlwall, Steve O’Meara, Lee Purdy, Earl Ling and making his pro debut, ABA Senior Featherweight Champion 2008 and awarded the best boxer of the night Royston’s Bradley Evans. Tickets are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via www.ticketline.co.uk.
HAYWOOD HITS THE HEADLINES
SCOTT HAYWOOD is making sure his challenge for Ajose Olusegun’s Commonwealth light-welterweight title is front page news.
The Derby dazzler has turned his hand at becoming a journalist by writing a big fight diary for his local evening newspaper where he gives readers a fantastic insight into his training regime.
Haywood, 27, is certain he’ll be getting even more column inches if he beats the London based Nigerian at Barnsley Metrodome on Friday.
“I know I am his worst nightmare,” Haywood said.
“I am worried about taking this fight because he is a top-ranked opponent but I’m not really that nervous about facing him.
“I believe in my own ability. He hits a lot harder than me but if he doesn’t catch me early on, I am going to take it away from him.
“He is a big hitter but the longer the fights go the less effective he gets and that’s when my fitness will really tell.
“If I let him do his stuff, he is going to beat me but I won’t let that happen. There is always somebody out there to beat anyone and I believe I have a good enough style to be the first to beat Olusegun.”
Haywood (19-2) stormed to the English title last September with a thrilling points win over Midlands rival Dean Harrison, but has given up the belt to challenge Olusegun who is ranked sixth in the WBC rankings.
Top of the bill in South Yorkshire is Leicester dustman Rendall Munroe who defends his European super-bantamweight title against old rival Kiko Martinez.
In a special attraction, Sunderland’s Olympic bronze medallist Tony Jeffries makes his professional debut in a light-heavyweight battle against Belarusian Aliaksandr Vayavoda.
There are just a few tickets left and they can be purchased by calling 0871 226 1508 or logging on to www.frankmaloney.com.