Undefeated super middleweight, Lennox Clarke, may have already won the biggest fight of his career, writes Dale Moon.
The 25-year old boasts an impressive 5 knockouts from his 12 professional bouts to date, including a first round stoppage over Dean Gillen just six weeks ago.
But despite leaving a trail of devastation in his wake, Clarke thinks the best is yet to come having finally shaken off a confidence-sapping inferiority complex. With no amateur experience to his name, the powerful pugilist admits his rapid introduction to the professional ranks at times left him doubting his own ability. However, following a succession of impressive victories, coupled with news that he is soon to become a father, the Halesowen fighter has a new found focus and reason to succeed in the sport.
“When I found out it was the first thing I thought about,” Clarke admitted. “I want to be in the big fights and set up my future – for me and my family now.
“I feel like I’ve passed my apprenticeship and I want to be let off the lead. I’ve got the potential to and mentally I’m ticking that box as well now.
“Before I used to doubt myself heading into fights but now I know I’m going in there knowing I can beat anyone on my day. I think it all came from my lack of amateur experience.
“My background means I haven’t got the experience that many fighters do because I was fast-tracked into the pro ranks. I had a decent number of white collar fights but it’s a world away from a long amateur upbringing.
“That meant I was always asking questions of myself and doubting myself but I think people will start to see the best of me now I have that belief. I’m more switched on in every aspect of being a fighter, physically and mentally.”
Clarke headlines Hatton Promotions and Black Country Boxing’s ‘On The Rise’ event at Walsall Football Club’s Banks’s Stadium on Friday 2nd September.
It will be his thirteenth time in the ring as a professional but Clarke’s believes it’s not his performances on fight night, but his preparations in the gym, that have undergone the biggest transformation during his time in the pro ranks.
“Before, for fights like this, that just keep me busy I’d slack off and not train as hard or train like I would for an 8 or 10 round fight,” he added. “Now I’m training like a beast all the time. I’m training for a knockout every time I get in the ring.
“I know I’ve let a few of them sneak through the net who should never have lasted the distance with me so I have to be prepared for every fight now.
“A lot of my sparring partners have commented on my power and the weight of my punches.
“I don’t see myself as this big, big puncher in the division but they’re the ones taking the shots so they know more than I do!
“I go in there to box and to get the win. If the knockouts come it’s a bonus but I think I’m realising within myself that I’ve got the ability to stop people.
“A lot of experienced people in boxing are talking me up but I leave that side to them. I do my talking in the ring.”
Highly-rated Nantwich heavyweight, Nathan Gorman, and fellow Ricky Hatton trained fighter, Market Harborough welterweight Reuben Arrowsmith are both in action alongside Swadlincote super middleweight, Zach Parker, Wolverhampton Bantamweight Kyle Williams, and Tewksbury middleweight, Adam ‘Hurricane’ Harper, in a six-fight showdown.
Standard tickets for On The Rise, priced at £30, are available by calling the boxers. £60 VIP tickets for tables of ten, withLe meal, are available by calling Walsall FC Box Office on 01922 651 414/416.
The weigh-in and aftershow take place at Grosvenor Casino Walsall, Bentley Mill Way, Walsall WS2 0LE (just off junction 10 of the M6). Grosvenor Casino Walsall will have a presence at the Town Hall on the evening and have linked up with local taxi firm, Yellow Taxi’s, to supply a number of free taxis to take guests from the Town Hall to the casino post-fight.