Perfect build-up to Thaxton's fight

CHRIS LAKEY Trainer Graham Everett says he has been forced to keep a tight rein on Jon Thaxton ahead of his British lightweight title showdown in London tonight.

CHRIS LAKEY

Trainer Graham Everett says he has been forced to keep a tight rein on Jon Thaxton ahead of his British lightweight title showdown in London tonight.

The Norwich champion defends his title for the second time when he comes up against the impressive Dave Stewart - and Everett believes it will be another successful chapter in a partnership between fighter and trainer, which remains unbeaten.

Thaxton went through his final preparations in Norwich on Tuesday under the watchful eye of Everett, who played an integral role in helping Herbie Hide to world championship success in his heavyweight days.

The Norwich fighter's fitness is legendary, but Everett admits there is a point when enough is enough.

"Whoever you are every boxer needs a trainer, and Jon more than anybody because he will over-train," said Everett. "He will do too much and he needs somebody to say, 'right, that's enough, you've done six rounds we don't do 10 today', or whatever it is.

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"I think he has full confidence in me and we work well - he is probably boxing as well now as he ever has through his career. You just get used to working together - this is our eighth fight back, all wins, and each time you get to know that little bit more about each other. He is in superb shape and ready and raring to go. To be honest preparation couldn't have been better, everything has been absolutely fine.

"He has sparred brilliantly, he's just trained absolutely superbly in a professional manner, as we always do, but things have gone really, really well this time and he is ready to do the business on Friday night."

It's Everett who will decide which way Thaxton approaches a fight against a boxer who stands six foot tall - an advantage of six inches over the Norwich man - but if Plan A doesn't work, there are others to fall back on.

"We have two or three game plans - whichever it has to be it will be," said Everett. "We certainly have what we consider the right tactics for Dave Stewart. We are very confident, but not over-confident, because he is a very good technical boxer and if you let him get on top he could become a real nuisance, but we are certainly looking to get him out of the way."

Thaxton goes into the ring 100pc fit - unlike his second defence, against Scott Lawton earlier this year, when he revealed later his seven-round success that he almost didn't make it into the ring because of illness.

"I was only working on about 60pc, I was down with flu, I was bad," Thaxton said. "My team wanted to pull me out but didn't mention it to me, and I didn't mention it until after the fight because I didn't want any negative thoughts going through anyone's mind, including mine, so this time you will see 100pc Jon Thatxon, ready to perform in hostile territory."

A second successful defence will put Thaxton within touching distance of a treasured Lonsdale belt - and he has already earmarked a place of it in his Norwich home.

"That is one of my ambitions: I want that Lonsdale," he said. "My wife has said I can have it framed in the front room, so that's a first."