BOXING: Arrowsmith ready for toughest fight of his fledgling career

Reuben Arrowsmith

Reuben Arrowsmith

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Reuben Arrowsmith faces the toughest fight of his promising ring career next month, writes MATTHEW BOZEAT.

Hatton Promotions have announced the 20-year-old former Kings Heath amateur will meet Ryan Toms for the British Challenge Belt in Stoke on Saturday, February 18.

The fight gives Arrowsmith the chance to win the first belt of his professional career – and jump up the rankings.

‘Boxing News’ ranked Toms at 21 in their latest listings, eight places above Arrowsmith.

The 35-year-old southpaw is a former Southern Area champion from Northolt in Middlesex and according to Arrowsmith he’s “big, game and gives everyone a tough fight.

“I was looking to step up this year – and this fight is definitely a step up.”

Toms had an upset win last year over unbeaten Lloyd Ellett and last time out, he only lost by a point to Tamuka Mucha, who’s on the brink of a shot at the British welterweight championship.

Arrowsmith said: “He can definitely cause me problems. This isn’t the sort of fight where I just have to get fit and turn up to win. He’s no journeyman, it’s a good test.

“He’s tough and I’m expecting to go eight rounds, but if I perform well, I win well. I want to put on a masterclass. It will make a big statement if I outclass him.”

Arrowsmith has made big strides under coach Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton since turning professional in October, 2015.

He’s won all eight fights and should he beat Toms, there’s a chance he will go on to challenge for further honours.

The vacant Midlands Area belt is up for grabs in Walsall on March 4 when Nottingham banger Curtis Valentine and unbeaten Adam Harper square up.

That looks a 50-50 fight – Valentine has a puncher’s chance early, Harper has a good engine - and Arrowsmith could well meet the winner.

The show in Stoke also features Central Area heavyweight champion Nathan Gorman tuning up for a shot at English honours and tickets are available from 07740 357672.

Leeson closing in on world title shot

Bareknuckle fighter Nathan Leeson is on the brink of a world-title shot, writes MATTHEW BOZEAT.

The 30-year-old from Northampton was set to challenge lightweight king Kevin Bennett last year, but was ruled out with a bicep injury.

Bennett lost the title to Liam James – and Leeson will meet the winner of their rematch, possibly in Coventry in April.

Leeson said: “I don’t have to take this fight next week, but I want to stay in the spotlight, I want to keep people talking about me. I don’t want to slip down the pecking order.”

Leeson is confident Hunter won’t wreck his plans to rule the world.

“He’s got good feet and he’s game,” said Leeson, “but he hasn’t got anything I haven’t seen before.

“I’ve definitely got the tools to do the job.”

Tickets for the show in Coventry are available from 07525-591442.

Vaughan proves too strong for Mcormack

Kings Heath ABC southpaw Ben Vaughan was in tremendous form in his quest for a fourth ABA title as he wore down Brendan Mcormack last weekend.

Vaughan prevailed via an early third round stoppage in the bout at the Cotgrave Miners Club in Nottingham.

“There were five at Ben’s weight (64kg) and ironically we were drawn out to have the bye, but we consciously opted to box instead,” said Kings Heath head coach Arthur Daly.

“Ben needed to perform as he was sparkling in the gym and that decision was rewarded by an outstanding and very mature show.”

Vaughan now moves on the east midlands final in a fortnight’s time.

Both Eithan James and Nico Leavers have marched into the pre-quarters as their opponents either pulled out or moved weight divisions.