December 20 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
It has been almost a year since Danny McIntosh lost his European title – and the Norwich fighter is confident his short delay will only help him win the most important fight of his career to date.
"You don’t see many foes in boxing these days. There’s no Eubank and Benn, but I’m coming up against an opponent where we are a modern day clash like that, me and Bellew"
The 32-year-old from Mile Cross aims to relieve Evertonian Tony Bellew and his vociferous support of the British light-heavyweight title on Friday night at Liverpool’s Echo Arena.
There has been little love lost in the past between the pair, who were scheduled to fight on April 13 before a chest infection forced McIntosh to postpone.
But now Norwich’s former European champion, who lost that belt in his last bout – a seventh round stoppage to Eduard Gutknecht in Germany in May – is eager to make his mark once again.
“This British title is probably my biggest fight,” said McIntosh. “This puts me in line for big, big fights. I believe I could be looking at a world title after this fight.
Tony Bellew v Danny McIntosh: Friday, April 27 – Liverpool Echo Arena
Tickets available at www.coldwellboxing.com and www.matchroomboxing.com (£30, £40, £60 and £80, with VIP tickets £150).
Live coverage on Friday Night-Live, Sky Sports One from 10pm.
“If I beat him, which I will, in better fashion than Nathan Cleverly did, that puts me in line to fight Nathan Cleverly I believe. I don’t think anyone else in Britain could fight Nathan or is in that league, so I think I’d be next in line.
“I’m very positive. It’s been a bit of a delay but it has probably played to my advantage. I’m very fit, really healthy and ready to bring a title back to Norwich.
“I would have fought but Dominic Ingle, my trainer, was insistent I had a couple of weeks so that’s what happened.
“I’ve had 13 weeks training so this is the fittest I have ever been coming up to a fight and I don’t think there’s any chance of hiccups. Tony Bellew will have to be Superman to beat me.
“It’s the lion’s den for me – Daniel in the lion’s den – and I’m relishing it because there’s no pressure on me whatsoever. I fought away twice in two different countries last year. I didn’t even fight in Britain. So I’m relishing fighting in Britain.
“He’s going to have a bit of a partisan crowd there, but I’m not fussed by that. I’ve had it before. I’ve fought away so much in the last few years. I haven’t fought in Norwich for a while, so it won’t be foreign for me.”
The Sheffield-based fighter has been training at the Ingle’s Wincobank gym for the last 10 weeks, and is due to travel to Liverpool on Thursday ahead of the fighters’ weigh-in. And while losing his European belt remains a regret, McIntosh believes it will lead him to bigger and better things – starting on Friday.
“I shouldn’t have lost that title,” added McIntosh. “But these things happen for a reason and I believe this is just another stepping stone towards a world title.
“Losing that belt has led me to this fight. I had a European belt and I don’t think many people knew about it. It was away, it wasn’t on the television and I don’t think I got much acclaim for it, which I wasn’t fussed by. I fight for me and I’m not really bothered by the big lights.”
Even without a title on the line, there is no doubt McIntosh would relish beating Bellew – a man the Norwich fighter has regularly sparred with verbally.
McIntosh added: “Do you know what? It’s been fairly quiet in the build up. I don’t know if it’s wariness or not, but in the past he has been a bit vocal and I just think he’s been very quiet for this one, so maybe he’s a bit wary of my power.
“You don’t see many foes in boxing these days. There’s no Eubank and Benn, but I’m coming up against an opponent where we are a modern day clash like that, me and Bellew.
“It’s all gone to plan, really good sparring with heavyweights a lot taller than me, a lot taller than Bellew, so things have been going really well.
“I just cannot get into the ring now, I really can’t wait. I could fight tomorrow. I’m so up for this fight it’s unbelievable.”