Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Norwich heavyweight Sam Sexton admits he cannot contemplate losing when he makes his long-awaited return to the ring in the new year.
The 27-year-old former Commonwealth and British champion has been out of competitive action since losing his belts to Dereck Chisora 15 months ago.
But after a gentle six round dinner-bout victory over Remigijus Ziausys in October, promoter Frank Warren has teed up Sexton to face Hackney’s veteran ‘War Machine’ Larry Olubamiwo on the under-card of Leon Williams and Tony Conquest’s British cruiserweight title clash at Bethnal Green’s York Hall, on January 13.
And Sexton acknowledged there will be careers riding on his new year fight.
“It’s pretty much make or break – for both of us,” said Sexton. “That’s why it’s going to be a good fight no matter what. He’s coming off a loss and I haven’t fought for a long time as well, so it’s a chance for both of us to establish where we are.
“Whoever wins is going to move forward fairly quickly and get other opportunities. Whoever loses is going to be another one on the backburner.
“This is a must-win fight for me, just to catapult me back up there again. I’m still rated number three in Great Britain, but you’re not getting noticed so you need to stay in the public eye.”
Olubamiwo’s last outing came in February and was over before the end of the first round as John McDermott took his Southern Area title.
“He’s tough and he punches very hard, but I’m hoping he’s going to tire out fast,” said Sexton. “He’s clumsy and not as agile on his feet as me, so I’m just going to try and dance around him, get in there with quick, hard shots and hopefully take him out fairly early.
“But if it does go the distance I’m pretty confident. At this stage in training I’m usually a stone heavier. This time I kept the weight off, kept in good condition so I can concentrate purely on fitness.
“I wouldn’t say the break has helped – I’ve been promised bouts all through the year so I’ve kept on top of things, and been training for fights that just haven’t happened for one reason or another.
“I know I had a fight a couple of months ago but no disrespect, it was more like punching at a punch bag.”
And after such a long wait, come January no one will be able to deny Sexton’s hunger for the fight: “I just cannot wait. It’s been a long time and I can’t wait to get moving and people talking about me again.”
Sexton’s only two professional defeats came at the hands of Chisora, who can now look forward to his own big night – taking on Vitali Klitschko in Munich, in February.
“Apparently Chisora’s fight (a defeat to Robert Helenius last week) was such a good bout it’s given Dereck a lot of credit, so a fight with Klitschko makes sense,” added Sexton. “With the trouble he gave Helenius he’ll definitely cause problems for Klitschko, so well done to Chissora. He should be coming down to spar next week so I’ll see what he has to say.”
• Bradley Skeete, George Jupp, Daryl Williams, Charlie Hoy, John Wayne Hibbert and John Dignum complete the line-up. Tickets cost £60 ringside seats or £40 unreserved; call 07788 283849 to book.