BIG FIGHT PREVIEW: McGowan's 'war' will be just 'perfect' for Northampton boxer Conway

Kieron Conway knows Macaulay McGowan will be 'coming for a war' in the pair's big fight at Wembley Arena on Saturday night - and the Northampton boxer says that is just 'perfect'.
Northampton boxer Kieron Conway is fully focused and ready for his fight with Macaulay McGowan on SaturdayNorthampton boxer Kieron Conway is fully focused and ready for his fight with Macaulay McGowan on Saturday
Northampton boxer Kieron Conway is fully focused and ready for his fight with Macaulay McGowan on Saturday

It is a huge night for the 24-year-old former Kings Heath amateur as he takes on McGowan in a 10-round super-welterweight bout on the under card of the world heavyweight title clash between Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev.

Conway's showdown will be beamed across the world as part of the Sky Sports Box office and DAZN broadcasts, and he is determined to make a lasting impression on the watching millions around the world.

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McGowan is a late change of opponent for Conway, who fights out of his dad and trainer James's Team Shoe-Box professional gym, which is based on the Harlestone Road in Duston.

His original fight was scheduled to be against Souleymane Cissokho who claimed a bronze medal for his country at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but the Frenchman pulled out of the fight last weekend for 'administrative reasons'.

That was far from ideal for Conway, who had spent the previous six weeks gearing up for that fight, but he is just delighted a new opponent has been found.

"It hasn't been great preparation in terms of the original fight being cancelled, but I am prepared for anything," said Conway, who is managed by MTK Global and is part of Eddie Hearn's Matchroom stable.

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"I am adaptable and whatever comes at me, I will be ready for it, and I will be able to work him out (McGowan) from round one.

Kieron Conway (left) and Macaulay McGowan (right) with promoter Eddie Hearn at Thursday's pre-fight media sessionKieron Conway (left) and Macaulay McGowan (right) with promoter Eddie Hearn at Thursday's pre-fight media session
Kieron Conway (left) and Macaulay McGowan (right) with promoter Eddie Hearn at Thursday's pre-fight media session

"I was absolutely gutted the Cissokho fight was called off, because it was such a big platform.

"I was upset and gutted because it felt like I might have lost the opportunity, and that was down to nothing to do with me, which made it all a lot worse.

"But I spoke to my management, and they said they will try their hardest to get someone.

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"There were a couple of opponents that came up, and they obviously have to be of a certain level to get on Sky Sports Box Office, so when we did find somebody, and they stepped up, I thought 'fair play'.

"I really respect that, but nevertheless I am here to do a job, and I am going to put a strong performance on."

McGowan, who hails from Wythenshawe in Lancashire, is the man who stepped up to do battle.

He is two years Conway's senior, and has been a professional for three years longer, but the pair's records are remarkably similar, with Conway contesting 17 fights, winning 15 (three by knockout), drawing one and losing just one, which was a three-round bout at Ultimate Boxxer in 2019.

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McGowan has 16 fights on his record, with 14 wins (three by KO), one draw and one defeat, which came only last month at the hands of impressive Kazakhstan boxer Tursynbay Kulakhmet.

Conway admits that until he saw that fight for the WBC International super welterweight title that McGowan had not really been on his radar.

"I have never come across him at all in the past, and the first time I saw his name was about a month ago when he had a fight an on MTK show, although you can't really take anything that, because the guy he fought was very special," admitted Conway.

"But I am here to do what I have got to do, and not worry about what Kulakhmet did to him. I know what I am capable of, and I know what Macauley is going to try and bring.

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"He is going to come for a fight, and all he keeps saying is that he is coming for war, well that's perfect.

"That is exactly what I want because he is going to walk on to my accurate and fast punches all night. I don't want to go chasing him, let him come to me, and that is going to work out very well for me."

Conway would have gone into the original Cissokho fight as a big underdog, but now he is facing McGowan the tables have turned dramatically as the Northampton man is now a heavy favourite to claim the 17th win of his professional career.

One thing that won't be in any doubt is the fitness of both fighters, with Conway in good shape having won the WBA Inter-Continental super welterweight title in August, and McGowan having been in the ring just five weeks ago.

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Conway's belt will not be on the line when the pair meet in front of 1,000 boxing fans at Wembley, but he knows that, with the exposure this fight is going to get, it is a huge opportunity to boost his career, and take a step closer to a second tilt at a British title, his first having ended in a draw with Ted Cheeseman.

"I know Macauley is going to be match ready, I know he is going to be up for it, and I am just as up for this as I was for the Cissokho fight," said Conway. "I am here to do the job, and that is what I am going to do.

"This is going to be shown all around the world and I am really excited for that.

"There are going to be millions of people watching and it could be a massive opportunity for me, so I have just got to take it."

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The Sky Sports Box Office coverage on Saturday starts from 6pm, with Conway scheduled to be the second fight on the bill, following on from the bout between another Northampton-born fighter, Ashley Lane, and Qais Ashfaq.

The rest of the bill sees Florian Marku take on Jamie Stewart over right rounds at welterweight, Martin Bakole and Sergey Kuzmin contest the WBC International heavyweight title, Hughie Fury take on Mariusz Wach at heavyweight and Lawrence Okolie do battle with Nikodem Jezewski for the WBO International cruiserweight title,

They are all followed by the main event, which is Anthony Joshua take on Kubrat Pulev with his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles on the line.

It is a pay-per-view event, with the price £24.95.

A crowd of 1,000 boxing fans will be ringside for the event at the SSE Wembley Arena.