Craig Poxton ready to handle pressure ahead of first Southern Area title defence
- Credit: Philip Sharkey/TGS Photo
Craig Poxton has a simple but effective philosophy when it comes to boxing: 'train as hard as you can, fight as hard as you can, get as far as you can.'
And it's working.
The 28-year-old from Lowestoft, via Barnsley, tops the bill in Norwich this weekend, making his first defence of the Southern Area super-featherweight belt he won in such spectacular fashion back in February when he stopped red-hot favourite, the previously unbeaten Boy Jones, in his own backyard.
Poxton faces Londoner Craig Whyatt at the Epic Centre in Norwich on Saturday night admitting the tables have been turned somewhat.
'The pressure is on, isn't it?' he said. 'I went into the lion's den and fought Boy Jones in London, on his home show, but this time the pressure is on me – I am at home, it is my show and all that... I am excited.
'Craig Whyatt is a good fighter and it is a 50-50 fight. It is what I train for, it is what I do.
'The thing is, you have to treat every fight like it is a world title fight. I train my heart out and perform on the night. Boxing is an honest sport and if you lie in your training you will get found out.'
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Poxton's win over Jones earned wide praise, but he knows that will mean nothing against Whyatt.
'I have won the title and it is time to defend it – I had a great fight with Boy Jones, but that was my last fight. I have my next fight this weekend and that is all I am focussed on.
'As a fighter you have every confidence in yourself. I try to not to look back – the next fight has my full focus. You will get the fittest, sharpest Craig Poxton, whether I am fighting a four-rounder, a 10-rounder, a 12-rounder in London, Norwich, Sheffield, Barnsley, Timbuktu – wherever you want.'
Poxton overcame a false start in his career, with two losses in his first three outings, before teaming up with Matt Smith in Lowestoft and trainer Graham Everett in Norwich, since when he has won another 11 fights and lost just two, inside the space of three outings – one to the highly-rated George Jupp and one to Andy Townend.
But he is proof that a good fighter learns from a defeat – he's won his last three and has the belt to prove his credentials – one he hopes to still have on Sunday morning.