It has been a long, hard road for ‘Lightning’ Lenny Daws, and he’s often worked in the shadows of others, but this Saturday night (December 5) he gets the stage all to himself when locking horns with Spain’s Ruben Nieto for the European super-lightweight title, live on Channel 5 (10.30pm).
The 36-year-old, a pro since April 2003, has won a variety of domestic honours, including two British titles, and is now on the hunt for the one belt that has so far eluded him.
“It would be nice to steal a bit of the limelight on December 5,” said Daws, 30-3-2 (11 KOs). “I’ve had a few years of being on the undercard now, and going about my work quietly, so it will be nice to be in the main event and involved in an important, meaningful fight. I’m keen to put on a show and make the most of this opportunity. I want to show my class.
“This has got to be the highlight for me. It was nice winning the other titles along the way, but this is proper stuff, isn’t it? This is the next level. This puts you on to the world scene. It’s a big achievement to claim a belt as prestigious as the European title. I believe I can do it. I just can’t wait to lift the belt now.”
Not only does Daws have the chance to become European champion, he can also do it in front of his adoring home fans. The fight takes place at the Westcroft Leisure Centre in Carshalton, a stone’s throw from his front door, and Daws couldn’t ask for a better Christmas present this year.
“Because it’s so close to home, there will be plenty of celebrations afterwards,” he said. “It’s different to your normal fight up north. Those fights can be lonely. You travel up on your own and come back on your own.
“But this is different. When I win the European title on December 5, everyone I know and love will be in the venue with me. We’ll be within walking distance of our homes. The fight will be finished before midnight and we can all go and celebrate.
“This is going to be like Christmas has come early for me. I’ve been on it all year, training hard. I knew it was going to come, so I’ve stayed in the gym and stayed dedicated. I feel I’m in the best shape of my life because of it.”
Daws continued: “It’s the time to be with the family over Christmas and I’ve got three small children. They haven’t seen much of me because I’ve been training so hard, so it will be nice to spend Christmas with them and my European title and really do it properly this year.”
*** Destiny: Daws vs. Nieto takes place on Saturday, December 5 at Carshalton’s Westcroft Leisure Centre and will be televised live and exclusively in the UK on Channel 5 from 10.30pm ***
*** A limited amount of tickets for Destiny: Daws vs. Nieto are priced at £100 and £40 and can be purchased from the Ticketline on 0844 888 4402 ***