Norwich’s top boxers hit the road
Norwich's top boxers have been on the road this week as they prepare for a busy schedule – hugely important for a variety of reasons.
For Sam Sexton it is all about proving himself as one of the country's top domestic heavyweights – starting with a reappearance in his home city when promoter Mervyn Turner returns to the Norfolk Showground with his local talent showcase event.
He will be joined by Cromer brothers Ryan and Michael Walsh – stunning one-round winners in polar opposite ways last time out in Norwich – while the other member of the Gang of Four, Liam Walsh, is preparing for a fascinating world title clash against highly-rated Scot Ricky Burns in December.
Trainer Graham Everett has taken them 'on tour' this week – Liam has been training while the other three were at Shinfields Gym in Derbyshire, sparring with the likes of Ovill McKenzie and Rendall Munroe.
Sexton, Ryan and Michael are the first out, on the city show on November 10. For Ryan, it's time to go fishing when he faces Glaswegian Ronnie 'The Shark' Clark for the British Masters title in the top of the bill fight. Clark is a former kick boxing world champion and, like his opponent, is undefeated as a professional.
Sheer aggression is Clark's game – but Ryan has 14 straight wins on his CV.
Turner said: 'I think this is definitely a risk and a challenge for Ryan, but one I think he will overcome. Ronnie has made it clear he is afraid of no one and will get in the ring full of confidence and aggression and certainly fancy his chances on taking the fight to Ryan. I can honestly say that I am really looking forward to this fight. I certainly think the fans will get great value for money out of this one.'
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Sexton's last outing was a British title challenge defeat by the highly-rated David Price in May.
Everett said: 'Sam is still a young man in heavyweight terms and whilst he had some early success, becoming Commonwealth champion, I think he will mature over the next year or so and there will be major honours waiting for him. From what I see in the gym he certainly has the hunger and a willingness to improve that all champions need.'
Popular locals Nathan Dale and Scott Moises return, while there is involvement from former city fight favourite Jon Thaxton, with Danny McIntosh and Joe Payne, from Beccles.
McIntosh is looking to bounce back after losing out on the British light-heavyweight title to Tony Bellew – a title he held twice before in 2008 and 2010, beating Rod Andeton and Tony Oakey respectively, losing it inbetween to Nathan Cleverly.
The former European champion has been in the Ukraine sparring with Vyacheslav Uzelkov prior to his world title challenge against Cleverly in Cardiff next month. It is still to be decided whether he will move up to cruiserweight for the Showground event.
Thaxton said: 'He has come back from the Ukraine with bags of confidence which bodes really well for him. Danny is without a doubt a fighter who really produces the goods when he is on top of his game.'
Talks have been held between his management of John Ingle and Neil Featherby along with Turner for which a major title fight could be on the cards before the end of the year.
Tickets are �35, �50 and �65. Call 07920 114698 or 07796 206124.