By Ezio Prapotnich
It’s Hard Knocks time again at York Hall on Saturday the 18th of June. The venue is the same but, somehow, everything is bigger. Spencer Fearon tell us why…
Boxinginsider.com: Before we get into the next show, do you want to comment on your fighter Nathan Graham’s performance last Tuesday in Prizefighter Welterweights 2?
SPENCER FEARON: Considering he had the hardest draw against pre-tournament favorite Junior Witter, I think he gave a good account of himself although he could have applied more pressure. He went out on his shield and did not embarass himself.I am proud of him and he will be back on our next show.
Boxinginsider.com: Graham is the second of your fighters who enters Prizefighter, after Choi. Plus, you had very good reviews for your last show from the main UK boxing magazines. Where does Hard Knocks stand today compared to the last time we spoke?
SPENCER FEARON: We are growing because the public is growing. Not just in number, in the sense that the fans and the media are starting to understand what I am trying to do. We share the same vision, as I am a boxing fan before anything else. The only difference is I am in position where I can make decisions, the ones that fans would do if they could.
Boxinginsider.com: When you say you have a vision, do you mean a long term goal or plan you are heading toward?
SPENCER FEARON: I don’t really believe in “taking the long walk”, you know? There are people who have been in the game for years without achieving nothing and they still claim they are “taking the long walk” to get where they want to be. I have been here two minutes and look at what I have done. The blueprint for Hard Knocks is all in the first ever show we did at Kensington Town all, in which Prizefighter winner El Maachi also featured, by the way. All the ingredients, the crowd, the ethnicity, the matchmaking were already there from the beginning.
Boxinginsider.com: WBU featherweight champion Choi Tseevenpurev is back as the headliner against former IBO champion Jackson Asiku. It’s an interesting choice of opponent. How did that deal come along?
SPENCER FEARON: Boxing agent and former fighter Danny Laytana, who represents Asiku, came to me as he is having in Australia the same problem I have for Choi over here: they ran out of opponents. Asiku is a tough guy and very avoided. He lost to Johnny Gonzales last time out but there is no shame in that. He is from Uganda. There is a big Ugandian community in London and they like their boxing, so I saw a market for this fight.
Boxinginsider.com: Usually, when a fighter comes back from a loss, especially if it was a tough fight like the one Choi had against Derry Matthews in Prizefighter, they pick an easy opponent. Is Choi comfortable with such a step up in opposition?
SPENCER FEARON: He is the one who asked me to get a big name fight, something that would motivate him. Also, we have nowhere else to go. We ran out of opponents. It’s a gamble we have to take.
Boxinginsider.com: What about the undercard?
SPENCER FEARON: It’s a bigger bill than last time. First of all, we have an interesting match up for the vacant British Light Welterweight title: Southern Area champion Darren Hamilton vs Midlands champion Dave Ryan. Then, there are some hot prospects to keep an eye on: Alex Dimalghani, Joe Catchpole, and heavyweight Marek Onda on his professional debut.
Boxinginsider.com: This is Dimalghani’s first appearance on one of your shows since you have been managing him. What can you tell us about him?
SPENCER FEARON: Well, he is studying law in university and, I have to say, he fights like a lawyer! He is very analytical, almost like Gene Tunney. Potentially, he could be the best prospect in the country. But, do not underestimate Joe Catchpole. He is having a rematch with Steve Spence, with whom he drew last time. This will be his first fight with new trainer Harry Andrews, who lead Darren Hamilton to the Southern Area title. Harry has been overmonitoring him. You are going to see a better Joe Catchpole. He is going to deal with Spence this time.
Boxinginsider.com: You promised the crowd a rematch between Erik Ochieng and Luke Robinson, who handed “the Eagle” his first defeat on your last show. What happened there?
SPENCER FEARON: Erik is just coming off a very hard fight and was not available. Luke was supposed to fight Robert Taylor but got a cut in sparring. So now Taylor will be fighting against Tommy Broadbent. Steve O.Meara will also be on the bill.
Summer Smash will take place at York Hall, Bethanl Green, from 6 pm onwards on Saturday the 18th of June. Tickets are £35 unreserved and £60 ringside and can be purchased on www.hardknocksboxing.info.