Fresh from his recent stoppage win over normally durable Finn, Jarkko Putkonen, for the WBA continental super-lightweight title in Liverpool in March, rising scouse star Robbie Davies Jnr. gets an early chance to defend the belt against another highly rated opponent – Argentina’s WBA Fedebol super-lightweight champion, Xavier Luques Castillo – in Wigan at the end of the month.
Scheduled for a suite at the town’s football stadium – the first time the venue has hosted boxing – Castillo is yet another significant step up in class for the hard-hitting and likeable 26-year old who is fast fulfilling his 2015 promise to both stay busy and, results dependant, continue his rapid and upward rise through the rankings.
Recently elevated to no. 8 in the world by the WBA, just one position behind former world champion Ricky Burns, Davies, trained by Dave Tonks in Liverpool, said: “The win over Putkonen was my ninth early stoppage win from 12 fights. I know I’m the hardest hitter in the division domestically. That’s why none of the lads supposedly ranked above me want to face me, but I need to get the rounds in and, in Castillo – who is Argentinian champion – I’m looking to get them. Saying that, if I get another early stoppage win then I won’t be complaining.”
The domestic super-lightweight division is certainly hotting up at present and a win for either Burns, who faces Italian Michele De Rocco – the current European champion – in Glasgow on 21 May for the WBA world title, the same night Willie Limond faces Tyrone Nurse for the British crown, could set up Davies for a contest against any of them. They are all chances he would relish.
“I know I’m ready for these sort of fights and, provided I beat Castillo, I would take them no problem. Whether they agree or not is the big question though isn’t it? There isn’t a super-lightweight in the country who hits as hard as me so I think it’d be a big risk for them – any of them. If they [the fights] can be made then I’m confident I would win. If they can’t be made, then that’s no problem either. My manager, Neil Marsh, has got me a good title and to no. 8 in the world – there are plenty of other options out there for me.”
Castillo, a native of Cordoba, near the geographical centre of Argentina, is a year older than Davies and, since turning pro in 2012, has 15 wins, five early, from 20 contests. Stopped only once, in December 2013, he won his country’s super-lightweight crown in devastating fashion in July last year – stopping 19-0 Mauro Godoy in the first round.
Davies heads a three-fight show at the DW Stadium, Wigan, on Saturday 30 April, which also features the return of unbeaten super bantamweight Kid Galahad. Kirkham welterweight, Adam Little, and Preston’s heavyweight hope, Bill Hodgson, complete the card.
All tables have been sold with £30 tickets available from the venue and Robbie Davies: @RobbieDaviesJr, Dave Tonk:s: @TonkGym, Adam Little: @adamlittle12, Bill Hodgson: @billhodgson1 and Alan Levene: @alanlevene