Matt Windle gets a dream shot at the Lonsdale Belt on Saturday September 18 when he challenges Tommy Frank for the vacant British Flyweight Title, live on Fightzone.
Taking place in Frank’s home city – at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena – Windle, 6-3-1, enters the contest as the fighter with momentum, coming in off the back of a ‘Fight of the Year’ victory against Scotland’s previously unbeaten Neil McCubbin in June.
Although more experienced, and having fought in better company, ‘Super’ Tommy, 13-2 (3), is the fighter with the greater pressure on his shoulders. Having not put a foot wrong in moving to 13-0, the former Commonwealth Super Flyweight champion now finds himself in a must-win situation after two defeats to Mexico’s Hugo Guarneros within the last year.
Windle and Frank are no strangers, with the pair having sparred in recent months. Ahead of the highly-anticipated dust up, Windle – who is also a professional poet and the former Poet Laureate of Birmingham – says ‘sparring is just sparring’ and explains why it took him no time at all to accept the challenge of facing Frank for the crown of Britain.
“When we sparred, me fighting Tommy wasn’t even in my thought processes or plans and we were at different weights, which is one of the reasons we went to spar him,” explained the engaging Brummie. “I never thought I could be fighting him two months later!
“On the back of the sparring, there are certain shots I think I could maybe work on but of course he’ll also be on the same wavelength. He’ll be working on particular shots where he had success in the spar, so we almost can negate each other in that respect.
“I’m mentally strong and haven’t got carried away by my successes against Tommy, or any shots that he caught me with. On both sides of the coin, I just say to myself ‘it’s sparring’.
“The British Title doesn’t exist at light flyweight [Matt’s preferred weight] and what pro boxer would turn down a British Title fight! The Lonsdale Belt is the most prestigious belt in boxing because although most boxers would choose a world title over a British Title, there are so many world titles these days that they they’ve almost become diluted … people can say ‘it’s only the IBO world title’, but they know you’re serious when you’re British Champion.
“When you get offered a fight for the Lonsdale Belt, even at relatively short notice, I’m not in this sport to say no to an opportunity like that. I’d be more disappointed to be sitting in the pub when I’m 50 having turned down a British Title chance, than to lose fighting for it, if that were ever to be the case.”
On a stacked card of boxing in Sheffield, Rotherham’s Kash Ali will also defend his IBF European Heavyweight Title (opponent to be announced soon), and Grimsby’s unbeaten Levi Giles, 9-0 (3),and Walsall’s Shaun Cooper, 10-2, will contest the vacant Midlands Area Super Featherweight belt in a genuine 50-50, trade fight.