New British middleweight champion Nick Blackwell has dared challenger Damon Jones to try and keep up with the pace he sets when they collide on July 25 at Derby Arena, LIVE on Channel 5.
The Trowbridge pressure fighter is renowned for his high-octane style and relentless work-rate and indeed won the British title in May by outlasting and halting John Ryder inside seven rounds.
His first challenger Jones, though a southpaw like Ryder, presents a different set of problems.
“He’s unbeaten and he probably feels like he’s got nothing to lose,” said Blackwell. “If he wins this fight, the floodgates will open and he can do big things in his career.
“But that’s not going to happen. If he thinks I’m overlooking him or not training hard for this fight, he’s got that totally wrong. I’ve been training as hard for this fight as I did for the John Ryder fight and, in my mind, this fight with Jones is every bit as important, if not more so.
“I’m not underestimating Jones at all. I think it will be a trickier fight than the John Ryder fight.”
Although a standout amateur who won a Senior ABA title at the tender age of 17, Leeds’ Jones has yet to go beyond six rounds as a professional. He sees it as no big deal. Blackwell, however, believes it may well lead to his downfall on July 25.
“He’s a good technical boxer and he’s going to try and and outbox me,” said the 24-year-old champion. “He’ll jab and move.
“But he has holes in his game that I think I can exploit. He’s never gone past six rounds, for example, and I’m the sort of fighter who gets stronger and stronger as the fight goes on. I’m going to put him in positions that he’s never been in before. It will be interesting to see how he copes with it.
“When I first started boxing, I’d spar a lot of people who fought the way I do now – high guard, keep coming forward, high energy and busy – and they were the worst fighters to box against, especially if you were doing lots of rounds. Damon Jones is going to find that out the hard way on July 25.
“He might hit me with the odd shot, but I’m going to keep coming forward, keep working, keep catching him and eventually I’ll break him. He’s going to have to be 15-round fit just to last rounds with me because I’m going to get stronger and stronger as the fight goes on.”
*** Tickets for Blackwell vs. Jones can be purchased from the Derby Arena Box Office on 01332 255800 or by visiting www.derbylive.co.uk ***
*** Blackwell vs. Jones will be televised live on Channel 5 on July 25, while the supporting undercard will be televised live earlier in the evening on Spike ***