English cruiserweight champion Matty Askin puts his belt on the line against southpaw Lawrence Bennett next month and hopes a victory will set up another crack at the British title.
The 26 year-old lost out to the hard-hitting Ovill McKenzie via a majority decision last March before bouncing back with a second round stoppage of Hungarian also-ran Tamas Bajzath four months later.
Askin will now participate in his fifth title bout in three years against Bennett on October 17 at York Hall and hopes another successful night will lead to a redemption attempt at the Lonsdale Belt.
“I’m looking forward to the Bennett fight as I’m coming off a good win. I went straight back into the gym so that I will be in peak shape for October 17,” Askin told World Boxing News.
“The English title means a lot to me so I am prepared for all comers and given that Bennett is a strong kid from what I’ve seen of him, he’s going to try and make me work hard.
“It might turn into a thinking fight on the night, but I believe that I’m too good for him and that I will win by a stoppage and hopefully get the McKenzie rematch.
“I know now that with a little more experience I could have done better against McKenzie the first time, but hindsight is a big thing. I got two points deducted for holding and he only got one point for punching behind the head and he was at it all night long.
“He was the home fighter though and the crowd was behind him so that’s the way it is. Fair Play to Ovill as he’s a tough lad, but that’s been and gone now and I am looking to earn another chance.
“I went straight back in the gym and beat the Hungarian in two rounds and that put the loss to bed, but it’s still a loss that hurts. That is part of boxing and hopefully he’ll face me again.
“Ovill has got to make his mind up where he’s going, but I heard he’s looking for a world title shot, which I think he deserves, so either he vacates the British and Commonwealth or defends them. I will be waiting to see what happens because I want to hold one of those belts.
“Hopefully with Frank (Warren) promoting both of us something can happen, but I want to have the British title within twelve months.”
The McKenzie reverse was the latest of three defeats currently on Askin’s record, one of which came against an up and coming Pole called Krzysztof Glowacki back in 2012. Askin went eleven rounds with Glowacki in his own backyard, unknowingly facing a future world champion at the time.
Glowacki, 29, went on to upset Marco Huck last month to score a 25th straight win and end the German’s attempt at becoming the longest reigning WBO champion in history over in the United States.
Looking back at his own loss to Glowacki, Askin was only 96-94 down on one of the scorecards at the time of the knockout and says the one thing that came of out the defeat is that he now knows he can mix it with the top contenders out there.
“Although he’s a world champion now, I don’t see him in a different light. If anything I see myself in a different light. I have learned a lot from that loss. That fight taught me that I can box at world level and what it has done for me is give me more self-belief,” he said.
“I think that if I had have had Mike and Dave Jennings (my trainers) the result would have been different.
“Glowacki’s manager phoned me and a couple of months ago and asked me to go out to Poland to spar with him before his world title challenge against Huck and I held my own with him, so I think with the right preparation I could beat him.
“What it has taught me is to have more confidence in my abilities. Last year I sparred the former world champion Krysztof Wlodarczyk in Poland and I bashed him up in sparring. He then ended up losing to Drodz, so I definitely believe that I can box at world level and I’d love a rematch with Glowacki.
“In fact, I’d love to have rematch with Glowacki, McKenzie or Jon-Lewis Dickinson – any of them. I am not bothered which one, although I do want the British title so I’d say Ovill first because he’s got the belt and he’s up there in the rankings.”
Asked who he sees as the best at 200lbs overall right now, Askin concluded: “The cruiserweight division is buzzing with some great fighter’s, but I think domestically and even world level you’ve got to include Tony Bellow as one of the best. Although at the moment the best of the whole bunch has got to be Denis Lebedev, who is the WBA world champion and a tough fight for anyone.”