BOXING: James delighted as he sees off Bricknell to make it five wins out of five
Northampton boxer Eithan James impressed in front of the BT Sports cameras on Saturday night as he maintained his 100 per cent winning start to his professional career.
The 20-year-old proved too strong and classy for Clayton Bricknell, who was a late change of opponent as James's original match-up, Des Newton, couldn't make the bout after he was arrested!
Wolverhampton fighter Bricknell stepped in at late, late notice, and he proved to be a game test for James, but the Team Shoe-Box fighter took everything in his stride to win a big points decision at the Copper Box Arena at the Olympic Park in London.
Referee Bob Williams scored the super-lightweight fight 59-55 in James's favour, giving Bricknell one of the six rounds, but the boxer himself felt the win was more convincing than that.
"I emptied the tank at the end to try and catch him with some big shots on purpose," said James, who completed his first six-round bout as a professional.
"I wanted to see where I was at and give myself a good blast out because I have been out for six months.
"I had only been able to spar three times, but my preparation was my preparation and I felt good in there.
"I know I can do more, and I lost a round in there, although I thought I won all six!"
James was the more progressive and pro-active fighter, switching between orthodox and southpaw throughout, but he was caught on occasion by the neat and tidy and well organised Bricknell, who at 28 is eight years the Northampton fighter's senior.
"It was good, it was a step up in opponent as I think he came in with a winning record having won three lost two and drawn one, and I think I put in a good performance," said James.
"Some of the other lads I have fought have been a bit messy and they have just been jumping in at me, whereas this guy came to fight and fight clean, and that meant I could pick my shots a bit more.
"He caught me with some daft shots, but I was in there practicing stuff because I am looking at pushing on and looking at bigger and better fights against better opponents, and I want to tighten up on little things.
"The better quality I fight then I will step up my game.
"You box to whatever is in front of you, I dealt with him on Saturday and I will deal with them on the night and hopefully give better performances.
"It's like when you are sparring, when you spar top quality you spar a lot better."
On the late change of opponent, James, who was in a Covid-19 bubble from Wednesday onwards, said: "I found out when I got here that he was late arriving.
"He was coming from Plymouth so I thought he might have hit traffic, but then we got told in the camp he had got nicked!
"I don't know what's happened to him and I hope everything is alright, but it meant a late change in opponent for me and I stepped up."