BOXING: Eithan James in confident mood as he squares up to journeyman Des Newton
Northampton youngster Eithan James will be guarding against any complacency as he targets a fifth straight professional win when he takes on Des Newton in front of the BT Sport cameras on Saturday night.
Newton is 12 years James’ senior, has been around the boxing block and has lost all of his past 10 fights, but Team Shoe-Box fighter James is anticipating a tough test as he once again looks to impress the watching nation on live television.
The six-round super-lightweight contest is on the undercard of the Commonwealth and British super middleweight title fight between Willy Hutchinson and Willie Clarke, and James is keen to pick up where he left off in his last fight in September that saw him outclass Kris Pilkington at York Hall.
The Copper Box Arena at London’s Olympic Park is the venue for this weekend’s bout, and 20-year-old James is looking forward to getting back in the ring after a six-month break.
“Des is not too bad, and he has only been beaten by decent lads,” said James of his opponent, who has won just one of his past 19 fights, having started his professional career in 2016 with seven straight victories to earn himself the nickname, ‘The DEStroyer’.
“I would say he is a journeyman, but he is always game and comes for a fight, and that makes it better than somebody who just turns up and looks to survive the rounds.
“I have not looked too much into him, but I know he has had losses against a couple of other lads such as Sam Noakes and Henry Turner, and he lost to Stephen McKenna as well and they are all top lads.”
Noakes, Turner and McKenna are all, like James, young fighters starting out who currently boast 100 per cent professional records, and the Northampton fighter is confident he will maintain that run this weekend.
“For me, when I go in with anybody I think I am going to win,” said James. “That won’t change as I go up.
“You can’t go in there thinking of losing, otherwise what is the point of doing it? I am not just going out to get paid.”
James’ four professional wins to date have all been on points, so would he like to get his first stoppage under his belt?
“I would 100 per cent like to get a stoppage on my card now,” said the former Kings Heath amateur. “If I could do it in 30 seconds that would be quick enough for me!
“But, seriously, I am looking to go the six rounds, I can’t see anything changing on that, but we wil have to see what happens on the night.
“I have had a good camp, it has all gone to plan, and I feel fitter than I ever have as well, so I should put in a good performance on Saturday.”
Trainer James Conway praised his young fighter for his dedication and willingness to listen and learn.
“Eithan has trained really well since his last fight,” said Team Shoe-Box boss Conway.
“He has bought into our philosophy and has a fixed schedule of strength and conditioning, and a running programme that complements his boxing programme.
"He’s now training harder and smarter than ever.”
The BT Sport Fight Night Boxing programme begins at 7pm on Saturday on BT Sport 1, with James’ fight scheduled to be the third on the bill.
James is sponsored by AM Water, KGT Logistics, KAM Construction, Delapre Roofing and All Gone Waste Management.