Lowestoft boxer Craig Poxton ready for his date with destiny
- Credit: Philip Sharkey/TGSPHOTO
Craig Poxton has been using the man that once crushed his title dreams to prepare for the biggest fight of his career on Saturday night.
The Lowestoft boxer fights for the English Super Featherweight title in Sheffield this weekend against Andy Townend on the same bill as Kell Brook's IBF welterweight title fight against Kevin Bizley.
The clash could make or break Poxton's career but he has been using his greatest disappointment in preparation for the fight.
Poxton recently enjoyed 10 rounds of sparring with George Jupp – the man who controversially beat the 27-year-old on points to claim the Southern Area title in December 2014.
Jupp has since gone on to the world stage and earlier this month fought for the interim WBO world super-featherweight title against Mexican Miguel Berchelt, going down to a sixth-round defeat.
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Poxton would love the chance to fight on that stage and can take a big step towards it this weekend against Townend. 'I'm really excited – I perhaps didn't expect to have another shot at this level so quickly but (manager) Graham Everett has done brilliantly to get me the chance.
'Training has gone really well and the sparring against George (Jupp) was excellent. I was gutted to lose against him (in 2014) but I took so much confidence from the fight.'
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Poxton will be the underdog against Townend, known as 'The KO Kid'. The Barnsley fighter has 15 wins to his name with three losses, the last of which came back in March 2014 but Poxton is certain he can cause him problems.
'He's got a good record but he's only got two arms and two legs – what he's done before doesn't make any difference to me,' said Poxton, whose activity was restricted last year due to hand surgery. 'He's a good fighter but I know that I can hurt him.'
Poxton, who trains under the guidance of Ultimate Boxing's Matt Smith, knows Townend from his days fighting out the Hard and Fast Gym in Cudworth in Barnsley and has kept an eye on his progress since moving to Lowestoft.
It promises to be the biggest occasion in both boxers' careers as they will be fighting in front of 14,000 people at the Sheffield Arena. However, the prospect of such a large crowd won't faze Poxton.
'It's not a worry to me,' he added. 'Boxing can be strange in that when that first bell rings you don't notice anything else but the opponent in front of you.'