A former English champion at welterweight, Little relinquished that belt at the start of the year to campaign at super-lightweight. A controversial loss to Sheffield’s Sam Matkin for the Central Area title followed in March – a fight many at ringside felt the Blackpool-based man had won easily – before he returned to winning ways with a fifth round stoppage win over Poland’s Jacek Wylezol in April. The eliminator against Gethin, a former British champion at lightweight who has lost just seven of 27 pro contests, is a chance for Little to regain the momentum he was fast accruing prior to the Matkin loss and a win should put him firmly in the frame for some big fights in future.
Currently training with coach Alan Levene in Blackpool, the likeable 25-year old said: “It’s a great fight for me. A tough one, yes, but its one I will win. We tried to get Matkin in a rematch but he wasn’t interested so we looked at other options.
“Martin is a tough fighter, a former British champion who also won an IBF international title. He’s only lost to decent lads; Tommy Coyle, current world champion Terry Flanagan and [former British champion and world title challenger] Derry Matthews, but these were all at lightweight and I’m a big super-lightweight who hits hard. He has a lot of experience but I believe I’m the better fighter, fitter, stronger at the weight, and hit harder, so I’m confident of winning. A win would set me up for some big fights in future and boost my rankings. I can’t wait for the fight and, with Alan, I’m working hard on making sure I’m in the best shape I can be in September.”
32 years old, Gethin has faced some of the country’s biggest names but has fallen short each time. A more than capable fighter he has the skill, style and determination to make the contest an interesting one for a number of rounds, but the younger, bigger and harder hitting Little should come out on top in what looks like a competitive match.
Little v Gethin is part of a Neil Marsh/Carl Greaves promotion at Blackpool’s Hilton Hotel on September 17 that also features local heavyweight, Bill Hodgson, and Liverpool welterweight, Joe Wood.