Popular Norwich boxer Zaiphan Morris to top bill in front of home fans
- Credit: Steve Adams
Zaiphan Morris will cap a remarkable two years by topping the bill in front of his own fans.
The Norwich boxer has been given a British Classic Challenge belt fight at featherweight – a reward for his consistent improvement since his professional debut back in October 2014.
Morris, now 31, is a late starter to the professional ranks, with little amateur experience to speak of, having come out of the white collar scene.
But in 10 outings he has won nine times and drawn once - against Joe Beeden in his fourth fight – and his had work has now paid off.
Promoter Mervyn Turner and trainer Graham Everett have Morris pencilled in to top the bill at The Halls in Norwich on Friday, March 3.
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'We have said all along that as long as the improvement in performances and the progress was made we promised him a title fight and that is what we have got him,' said Everett.
'The British Challenge belt is a belt that the British Boxing Board of Control have brought in for fighters on the way up, but with maybe little amateur pedigree.
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'It has been introduced in the last two years – it gets fighters who are reaching the championship level the opportunity to go to top of the bill status, weigh in the day before and things like that – basically ticking all the boxes to progress.
'It is a big event in small hall boxing circles and is held in high regard by the Boxing Board. Both opponents have to be vetoed and passed – you can't just put anyone in there.
'We have two opponents in the mix at the moment – one has a 5-0 win record and the other is four and one so they are going to be decent, credible opponents.
'Zaiphan is now in that position where he needs to progress – he has earned the right to have a title fight and it is something he will have for the rest of his life if he wins the title.
'If he passes this test we will be moving to a Southern Area fight then an English title fight, and you are then breaking the top 10 in the country.
'All it can do is do a fighter and a promotion good.
'It puts a sparkle to the event. I think it is great – I love small hall boxing, as we all do. I could be working in the corner of a world title fight, I could be working in the corner of this type of fight and they are both great events.'
Morris age is no barrier for Everett.
'It is a work in progress,' he said. 'I am not worried about his age – if I was worried about his age we would not have let him turn pro.
'We are obviously having to build him because he hasn't done the amateur – in an ideal world I would always want a fighter to have an amateur pedigree because I think it helps with the basics, like footwork and things like that, but that is another story.
'Let's be fair, Zaiphan deserves this opportunity. It is great for Norwich boxing, great for Norfolk boxing and for everyone in the gym and as long as he is victorious and learns from it he is ready for the next stage.'
Morris tops a seven-fight bill which includes Norwich's Nathan Dale, appearing for the first time since suffering his first pro defeat against Philip Bowes in November, north Norfolk's Scott Moises, Essex pair Alan Ratibb, Marcus Poston and Army boxer Connor Vian, making his Norwich debut.