DARREN ASKEW’S BAGS ARE PACKED READY TO DEPART FOR NEW ZEALAND and he’s hoping he has some extra baggage for the trip back home on Sunday – a WBU World title belt.
The elegant southpaw has the biggest opportunity of his career when he takes on kiwi Anthony Taylor in Tauranga on Saturday night.
“We’ve wrapped up training camp and all the hard work is done – now I have to perform,” Askew said.
“It’s the best preparation for a bout I have had. I’ve had some great support from the fellow fighters in the gym.
“I got an extra boost earlier in the week when I did my last big pads session.
“All of the other pros in the gym at the time stopped and cheered me on, it just showed me how much team spirit we have and how much support I have from my fellow fighters.
“I have to say a big thanks to Steven Spark and Brendon Smith for training me for this big fight and all of my sparring partners.
“Michael Katsidis, Jack Asis, Will Young and the list goes on – I’ve had great sparring for this one,” Askew said.
Askew has the chance to be the second Darling Downs fighter to win the WBU super lightweight title if he can go into Anthony Taylor’s backyard and earn a victory.
It’s a belt garden city fans would be very familiar with. Michael Katsidis won the title when he defeated Graham Earl in Toowoomba.
“I’m excited to be going into the lions den and taking on a tough fighter in Anthony Taylor,” Askew said.
“I love a challenge. I have great self-belief that I’ll return home with the WBU title,” Askew said.
“This belt would mean a lot to me.
“Since moving away from family and friends in Cumbria to re-locate to Toowoomba I’ve had to make many sacrifices to get to this point.
“I will give it everything to win this title.
“I have great respect for Anthony Taylor and I know this will be a tough fight to win but I’m confident my skill set will, my desire and belief and hungriness will get me over the line,” Askew said.
Askew has been a sensation since arriving in the Garden City with a moderate record of 6 wins and one draw from 13 bouts.
He’s reeled off eight victories among them a Queensland State title success over Mark Ramirez and a Victorian state title victory against Matthew Lytwynenko in Melbourne.
“Darren Deserves this shot,” Brendon Smith said.
“Darren has worked very hard for this bout.
“He been strong on the pads and bags, he’s been sharp in sparring and he’s done the miles on the road.
“His weight is spot on so we should have a relatively drama free run into fight night.
“Anthony Taylor has only suffered one loss in twelve fights so he’s a quality opponent and Darren needs to be at his best.
“With the preparation Darren has had and the effort he’s put in I believe he deserves to win this title.
“But what you deserve and what you get can often be two very different things so Darren needs to go over to New Zealand and take the title.
“I believe he can do it,” Smith said.