Sam Sexton’s Norwich camp and promoter Mick Hennessy go back a long way

Boxing promoter Mick Hennessy. Picture: PA

Boxing promoter Mick Hennessy. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

There's more than an air of nostalgia about Sam Sexton's first defence of his British heavyweight crown against Hughie Fury.

The man who put Saturday night's fight together is promoter Mick Hennessy, who gave local favourite Jon Thaxton a shining end to his long career.

Thaxton signed a deal with Hennessy in 2007 after stopping Scott Lawton in the first defence of his British lightweight title and then delivered on his promise as the Norwich man won the European title.

Thaxton, now 43, works alongside trainer Graham Everett and will be in Sexton's corner at the Macron Stadium in Bolton tonight.

'I know Sam and I know Graham very well,' said Hennessy.

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'I have fond memories of Norwich and Graham and Jon – they were people I actually loved and enjoyed working with, they are really nice genuine people, old school if you like.

'Graham is an old school trainer, and Jon is an old school fighter who has become a brilliant trainer now.

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'They are quite a team and I have nothing but respect for them and fair play to them – I am glad Jon Thaxton is not lost to boxing. I am glad he is still involved.

'I have seen Sam's career unfold – he has always been a talent and from what I can see from the outside, with this team in this period of his career it is an Indian summer. He seems to be really enjoying things.

'I don't know what has come together, maybe it is experience, but he is the best he has been.

'I know he is not coming up here to let this title go and fair play to him and to Graham – they are taking on a world class talent here who should be world champion.'

Hennessy has ensured the fight is screened on free-to-view Channel 5 tonight (starting at 9pm) – a move he believes confirms the status of the title that is on the line.

'It is brilliant for me to get it on TV,' he said. 'We are at a great venue which will be rammed with around 3,000 people who will create an incredible atmosphere.

'The British heavyweight title in particular was held on such a pedestal for many years and it kind of lost its way a little bit because of marginalised TV networks. I am proud to get this on terrestrial TV.'

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