Sexton is ready to face huge challenge

CHRIS LAKEY Norwich heavyweight Sam Sexton faces literally the biggest challenge of his career next month when he comes up against 19½-stone Welshman, Darren Morgan.

CHRIS LAKEY

Norwich heavyweight Sam Sexton faces literally the biggest challenge of his career next month when he comes up against 19½-stone Welshman, Darren Morgan.

Sexton will take on Morgan - nicknamed The Beast of Bonymaen - at York Hall, Bethnal Green on January 12, hoping to make it a hat-trick of wins at the hallowed East London venue.

"Morgan's a monster," said Sexton's trainer, Graham Everett. "He's a big, big bloke."

Everett has managed to find a copy-cat sparring partner for Sexton - currently on a three-year deal with promoter Frank Warren - in Paul Butlin, from Melton Mowbray, although he's around half a stone lighter on the scales.

"We've brought him in to help deal with Morgan's sheer size - and it isn't easy finding somebody that big," said Everett.

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But Everett is confident his 23-year-old charge - now 18 in the British heavyweight rankings - can overcome the Welsh challenge and make it sevens wins out of seven since his pro debut a little over two years ago.

"This is all part of the learning curve for Sam," he said. "He faces the prospect of having the biggest man he has been in the ring with come charging at him from the first minute. It is a tough fight; he is a rough, tough monster and Sam knows he will have to box at the best of his ability - but we are confident he will do that.

"He enjoys York Hall, like every boxer - he's had two wins there already and we're looking to make it three."

Everett has seen Morgan at close quarters: the 31-year-old from Swansea was on the bill at the ExCel Arena in London's Docklands on the same night as Norwich's Jackson Williams fought Amir Khan.

"I saw him for the first time that night and had a double take," said Everett. "He knocked out Radcliffe Green that night, but we know his weaknesses and we know how to deal with him."

Morgan didn't make his professional debut until January 2005, and after winning his first five fights came unstuck for the first time in May last year, when he was beaten on points by Martin Rogan. His last outing was in October, when he was outpointed by Derek Chisora.

A Four Nations super-heavyweight title winner in 2004 and a four-time Welsh champion, Morgan regularly spars with stablemate and WBO cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli.

"It's a step up for Sam, no doubt about that," added Everett.

"But as long as Sam uses his head and sticks to the tactics, it will be our night. He is training well - every fight we have he trains better and better as he gets more and more used to being a full-time pro."

n Tickets for Sexton's fight are available from Sportlink on 01603 868606.