Thaxton pumped up for title defence

Norwich boxer Jon Thaxton has fired an ominous warning in the direction of Dave Stewart ahead of their British lightweight title fight next week.Thaxton was hit by a bout of flu for his first defence, against the awkward Scott Lawton, and while he came out a winner after a seventh-round stoppage, he promises there is much more to come now that he is back to peak fitness.

Norwich boxer Jon Thaxton has fired an ominous warning in the direction of Dave Stewart ahead of their British lightweight title fight next week.

Thaxton was hit by a bout of flu for his first defence, against the awkward Scott Lawton, and while he came out a winner after a seventh-round stoppage, he promises there is much more to come now that he is back to peak fitness.

And Stewart could well be on the receiving end when the two of them square up at the home of British boxing - the York Hall in Bethnal Green - next Friday .

“I'm up for this fight more than any other,” said Thaxton. “Everything has gone perfect in training and I'm ready to give a better performance than my last one.


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“The sparring has gone really well and I haven't had any illness for this one which was the problem last time.

“I reckon I was only 50pc of what I should have been for my last fight because I was full of cold.

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“My trainer Graham Everett was close to pulling me out before the fight, but I couldn't do it to my fans in Norwich and my promoter Mick Hennessy.

“I wasn't really happy with my performance but under the circumstances I was overjoyed at the end of the fight - but mainly because I was relieved just to get through it because I wasn't completely right.”

Thaxton, who was out-pointed by two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton in a bloody battle for the British light-welterweight title in 2000, believes his strength will ensure he stays British champion when he meets Stewart.

London-based Scotsman Stewart was stopped by Lee Meager in a previous British title shot - Meager then lost to Thaxton in his first defence, but the British champion is not reading too much into recent common opponents.

“I think this could be a great fight, but I know my strength is going to tell on the night,” said Thaxton. “He's very tall for a lightweight, but I faced a tall opponent last time in Scott Lawton and I worked him down like I'm going to Dave.

“Just because Dave got stopped by Lee Meager, and I beat Lee Meager, doesn't mean I should beat him. Styles make fights. Lee was good for me because he is a come-forward fighter, but I think I will have to go looking for Dave.”

Stewart - like Thaxton, from the Hennessey stable - has spent 10 days in France as part of his preparations, with long-time trainer Tony Sims and sparring partner Danny Cadman, for a spot of altitude training.

The meet at York Hall in a bout which will also be televised live by Sky Sports.

Meanwhile, Norwich heavyweight Sam Sexton's opponent on the Sports Network Show at the same venue seven days later will be the tough and experienced campaigner Luke Simpkin.

Simpkin has a wealth of experience and is fresh off a six-round KO victory over former ABA champion Billy Bessey at Southampton last weekend.

He has been in with most of the top heavyweights in the country and nearly always goes the distance.

Trainer Graham Everett believes that while it is a tough fight for Sexton - fresh from a week sparring with former British heavyweight champion Scott Gammer - it's one he feels he is more than capable of winning.

“I am really looking forward to this and feel I am in great condition,” said Sexton, who will be making his debut under the Frank Warren and Sports Network banner.

“If anything I am even more fired up than ever, especially after missing out on the high profile 02 show at the former Millennium Dome with a hand injury in July.

“I have total respect for my opponent, but I am just gearing myself up a really big year in 2008 and there is no way Luke Simpkin is going to spoil my party.”

Tickets to see either both Thaxton and Sexton fight are available from Sportlink on 01603 868606.

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