Sexton vows to be the best of British
- Credit: Archant
Sam Sexton bids to end years of frustration and heartache tonight when he attempts to bring the coveted British heavyweight title back to Norwich.
The 33-year-old is hoping it is a case of third time lucky, having seen two previous attempts fail.
Sexton's career in recent years has been dogged by injuries and bad luck and his world was rocked by the death of his mother almost 18 months ago.
The Norwich boxer has vowed to dedicate the title to her memory, but first he must get past Gary Cornish, at the Meadowbank Arena in Edinburgh – Sexton's first outing for more than a year.
The title is up for grabs for both men, having been vacated by Dillian Whyte earlier this year – but as far as Sexton is concerned, there is only one journey it will be making.
'The British title is coming home to Norwich, simple as that,' he said. 'I feel good, I feel sharp, mentally and physically – I feel just as good in the 12th round as I do in the third, so everything has been done, no stone has been left unturned in the gym. What I have to do now is go into the ring and do my business.
'It is hard work leading up to a fight, obviously, because you are in the gym constantly, 24/7, one way or another – I am either here, up at the Phoenix Gym with Mark Bone or I am at home doing my sit ups and my own runs. I don't feel tired now - we tapered off this week and now I am just itching to go.'
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Sexton is three years Cornish's senior and giving away height and reach. Their fight records are similar: Sexton has 23 wins, nine by knockout, and three defeats, while Cornish has 24 wins, exactly half by KO, and one defeat – when he lasted just 90 seconds against Anthony Joshua.
However, Sexton has been in with better opponents: he won the Commonwealth title against Martin Rogan in the Belfast man's backyard and later in 2009 defended it in identical circumstances. His only defeats have come against Dereck Chisora, twice, and the then red-hot David Price – but since that loss in 2012 he has won eight in a row.
Trainer Graham Everett believes the fight records are part of a simple formula.
'Sam has the edge in experience, he has the speed and he is a better boxer – it's as simple as that,' he said.