BLACKWELL NERVES WILL MAKE IT HELL FOR MURRAY
NICK BLACKWELL admits being a nervous wreck will help end Martin Murray’s world title aspirations this weekend.
The 20-year-old with just eight professional fights behind him challenges the St Helens man for the vacant British middleweight title at Wigan’s Robin Park Arena on Saturday night (June 18).
Murray is ranked number fourth in the world by the WBA and Hatton Promotions agent Phillipe Fondu believes it’s only a matter of time before he becomes mandatory contender for Felix Sturm’s world crown.
But Trowbridge’s Blackwell reckons pre-fight jitters mean a painful night for Murray will also be risking his Commonwealth crown and WBA inter-continental title.
Blackwell who has been boxing professionally for just two years said: “Every fight I have I am really nervous, but I am not fazed one bit once that bell goes.
“The nerves make me fight better and so they should. If they didn’t, it would probably mean I am not focused properly.
“When I won the English title against Harry Matthews last year I’d never been so nervous and I was wondering why I box, but my performance showed how well I can perform when I’m edgy.”
Manager PJ Rowson will also be biting his fingernails, having initially been reluctant to allow his unbeaten protégé to step up in class and challenge Murray who has won all 22 pro fights.
Rowson explained: “I didn’t want this fight initially and when the opportunity came I thought long and hard.
“I put barriers up, but one by one we knocked them down when we talked about the fight so we took the offer.
“I could have got Nick another dozen wins against less demanding opponents, but what would he have learned.
“In the meantime, he begged for this chance and I am now of the opinion that we have nothing to lose.”
On the same bill British lightweight champion Anthony Crolla challenges Ghanaian southpaw Osumanu Akaba for the vacant WBA inter-continental lightweight title.
British Olympian Joe Murray boxes for his first professional title in his 11th fight meeting Georgian George Gachechiladze for the IBF international featherweight title.
Prospects on the undercard include Adam Little who faces Junior Thompson and Chris Male who will be tested by Marc Callaghan.
Tickets for this big night of title action are available £35, £55 (Ringside) and £75 VIP Ringside, www.brandhatton.com /0844 847 2500/ 01925 755222