Everett retains title focus

Chris LakeyGraham Everett isn't a greedy man - all he wants this year is a title for the Canaries and five more for the stars of his Norwich stable. The man who trains Commonwealth heavyweight champion Sam Sexton, Michael, Ryan and Liam Walsh and light-heavyweight Danny McIntosh, believes they all have the potential to clinch British belts - unheard of in Norfolk.Chris Lakey

Graham Everett isn't a greedy man - all he wants this year is a title for the Canaries and five more for the stars of his Norwich stable.

The man who trains Commonwealth heavyweight champion Sam Sexton, Michael, Ryan and Liam Walsh and light-heavyweight Danny McIntosh, believes they all have the potential to clinch British belts - unheard of in Norfolk.

Everett was a proud man back on April 9, 2004 - a huge day for Norfolk sport. City had beaten Manchester United 2-0 at Carrow Road in the afternoon and when the players walked into the Norwich Sport Village that night they were met with thunderous applause from a full house there to see Jon Thaxton's fourth-round defeat of Christophe De Busillet for the vacant World Boxing Foundation lightweight title - which was the icing on the cake.

The football club have a while to go before they play in the top flight again, but Norfolk boxing has never been stronger, and when City travel to Brighton on Saturday, there will be supporters who stop off at Wembley Arena on the way home to watch three of its brightest young stars - the Walsh brothers - in action.

'We will win at Brighton, that I am sure of, and then the three Walsh boys will win in the evening,' said Everett. 'I know a lot of people who are going to the football and then watching the boys fight later. It's absolutely brilliant at the moment. The things that are happening at Carrow Road are fantastic, it's a buzz for everybody and it has given a lift all around the place.

'It just reminds me of that season when we won promotion from the Championship, and what a great year that was.

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'I'm not being greedy when I say all I want is the League One title for Norwich City and British titles for all five of my fighters, and I know they can do it. They can win British titles by the end of the year - the only thing standing in their way is probably the politics of the sport, but even then I believe at least two of them will get there.

'The Walsh brothers aren't too far away, Danny is there - he's got an English light-heavyweight title fight against Tony Oakey coming up soon - and then there's Sam, who as we know is already there.'

Sexton will be supporting the Walsh brothers from ringside, having had to pull out of his British title challenge against Danny Williams because of injury - a disappointment that was perhaps not helped by Williams' subsequent withdrawal because of illness.

'I think the Walsh boys just need fights, a couple of eight-rounders,' said Everett. 'I always said maybe they'd need even 10 fights, so that's not too far away. I certainly think they will be up for an English title or an area final - possibly a British.

'But titles all round - I'd be happy with that.'

Michael Walsh faces Iraqi Najah Ali, Liam takes on Sid Razak and Ryan faces a tricky clash with Ian Bailey.

'Ali has had three pro fights and three wins,' said Everett. 'He boxed for Iraq in the Olympics in 2004, he's an unbeaten kid so obviously that is a good fight. It's a step up for sure. Three unbeaten - that's a good kid.

'Liam has Sid Razak, who Ryan has beaten previously. He's tough and durable and always a good test for prospects.

'Ryan's is a very interesting fight. Bailey has just beaten Steve 'Superman' Barnes, from the Ingle camp, the new big hope. He beat him on an ITV4 show on points so that is a good fight, and it makes a change for Ryan to fight somebody of his own weight.

'It's a big show, and that's part of the learning curve for the lads, but they will love the chance to shine in a big arena. They want to be stars of the show.

'It's hard work with all three of them, but they motivate each other immensely so that does help me, but obviously I take three sets of pads instead of one, so work it out - it's 18 rounds instead of six in a day. But they buzz off each other and we are a good little team.'

Perhaps the only disappointment is that Sexton will be cheering on his stable-mates from ringside, rather than preparing for Williams.

'It's a big disappointment, but it's fate,' said Everett. 'He wouldn't have fought Danny Williams anyway because Williams pulled out ill.

'Sam is a cool character and it has happened so he waits for the next one. Meanwhile, he will be cheering the brothers on.

'They're gym mates and everybody looks out for each other, everybody supports each other. They went to Belfast to see Sam beat Martin Rogan, Sam is going to London to see them - he got the lucky straw.'

t Walsh brothers fans can call 07920 114698 or 07788 734103 for tickets, which are also available from See Tickets on 0871 220 0260. Tickets for the 'Night of the Champions' are priced at �40, �50, �75, �100 and �150.