Northampton super-welterweight Kieron Conway gets the test he wanted in front of his home crowd at The Deco on Friday night.
Conway has been matched with Chris Monaghan over eight rounds – and he promises to give the 21-year-old his toughest fight yet.
Conway has won all six fights – stopping his last two opponents – while 27-year-old Monaghan has six wins and one draw on his eight-fight record.
“This is exactly the sort of fight I wanted,” said Conway, sponsored by S & D Paving.
“I want tougher fights.
“I’m not saying I’m ready to fight for the British title now, but I don’t want to keep fighting journeymen and stand still.
“That’s not what I want and that’s not what the crowd want either.
“This is the entertainment business and I can’t expect people to fork out money to watch me bash journeymen or tap and run away.
“They want to see real fights – and this is a real fight.”
Monaghan fights out of the Collyhurst and Moston gym in Manchester, run by ex-British and European champion Pat ‘Black Flash’ Barrett, while Conway is trained by his father, James.
Conway also has Conroy Downer in the gym at Kings Heath and the 26-year-old cruiserweight prospect is also in action on the bill.
Conway says Downer is hoping for a shot at Midlands Area honours by the end of the year – and that is also on Conway’s radar.
Ryan Kelly and Kelcie Ball are set to meet for the vacant belt in the next few months, and Conway said: “I would definitely fight the winner of that.”
There’s a chance armchair fans could see Conway in action soon.
He was set to fight on a Sky Sports-televised show in Manchester last month, but explained: “We took a fight with a former British-title challenger, then he pulled out and we were offered a journeyman instead.
“We didn’t really see the point in that and decided it would be better to have an eight-round fight in Northampton.”
Conway will be well supported at the Deco tomorrow night.
He has sold around 200 tickets – and has told his supporters not to blink !
“I don’t go in there looking for the stoppage,” he said. “But if the chance comes along, I will take it.
“I’ve stopped my last two opponents – and would like to keep that going.
“I have got a good test, but I believe I’m levels above my opponent. I want to go out there and put on a show for everyone who’s bought tickets. There should be a good crowd there and I want them all going home talking about Kieron Conway.”
The show also features Northampton fighters Nathan Reeve and Curtis Felix jr and tickets are available from 07919 344305.
Spence is targeting a major title
Jamie Spence is refusing to give up on his dream of fighting for a major title as he prepares to get busy again this year.
The experienced campaigner will lace on the gloves in his hometown of Northampton at The Deco on Friday night.
The 33-year-old, who is in his 12th year as a professional, features on the BCB Promotions bill titled Marching On Together.
Spence, nicknamed Mr Excitement, has boxed on television before, most notably in a 2012 lightweight Prizefighter when he took a bloodied Derry Mathews the distance before losing on points.
But a top title has so far eluded him, something he’s looking to address ahead of his 20th pro contest, with 15 wins and two stoppages to show for it.
“I’m playing it by ear, but I came into this sport to win a major title all of those years ago and that’s still my goal,” Spence said.
“I always wanted to become a British champion, but it’s getting to the point where I’m open to anything.
“I don’t know how much longer I’ve got left in the ring, I’ve had injuries and niggles and no one can carry on forever.
“I’ve got a decent record, a lot of experience and, as long as I get the right amount of notice, I’ll give anyone a run for their money.
“I’m older and wiser, I want to achieve what I can and I’ve been 10 rounds before, so I know can do the title distance.”
Old foe has been so key for Reeve
Northampton’s Nathan Reeve has turned to his nemesis for sparring he believes will fast track him towards being ready for more title fights.
Reeve and Louis Norman contested the English flyweight title in 2013, with Norman claiming the belt on points after 10 rounds.
The two have touched gloves again in the training ring recently, sparring over 20 rounds together as Reeve gets ready for fight night.
The 28-year-old is set for action at The Deco on Friday night for what will be a six-round contest.
It’s only his second bout since taking on Norman competitively, after an injury-plagued spell of nearly four years out because of achilles and hand injuries. ‘
Reeve has since gone up to super fly, but feels there will still be plenty of opportunities to get back into the title picture.
And the Far Cotton ABC graduate believes 2018 will be the year when he gets firmly back on track.
“I’ve done 10 rounds of sparring twice with Louis, which is the first time I’ve done that distance since we boxed for the title,” Reeve said.
“We’d actually sparred before that, too, so we know each other well and Louis has always been a tricky fighter.
“It helped me along and I need to get going again quickly, I’ve wasted enough time out of the ring and I’ll be very happy if I’m back in there for titles by the end of the year.
“I knew it would probably take me a couple of fights to get the rust off and going up to six rounds will help. I could do with the distance.
“Every fight is important and this will help to get me where I need to be.
“I’m looking to establish myself on the domestic scene again.
“I need to come a long way in a short space of time and top-class sparring, along with boxing regularly, is the way to do it.
“I’ve got a decent enough record, with a good amount of wins and experience, to be considered as a good challenger soon.
“I’m making up for lost time and there’s still things I want to achieve in boxing. It’s good to be back and I’m ready to go again.”
Four other boxers from Northampton - Curtis Felix, Jamie Spence, Kieron Conway and Conroy Downer - are also in action at The Deco. But a shoulder injury has ruled Dominic Felix out.
Tickets are on sale, priced at £35 for standard entry, which will be £40 on the door.
Seats in the front tier stalls are £45, with ringside £60 including a buffet.
For more information and to buy tickets, call 07718 324 102.
The Deco doors will open at 6.30pm on the day of the show, with the first bell at 7.30pm.