Ben Owen is adamant he will come out on top in his local showdown with fellow Devonian, Chris Adaway, when the pair go toe-to-toe on Errol Johnson’s ‘No Love Lost: War of the Roses’ show in Plymouth next month, writes James Eley.
The undefeated Bideford boxer insists he will put friendship to one side when he steps in with Plymouth’s Adaway in his opponents hometown on Saturday, 11th February. Owen admits to being surprised at some of Adaway’s pre-fight comments and believes he can see flaws in his game that he will exploit to claim local bragging rights.
“I like Chris and he messaged me a few months ago and said don’t listen to anything that gets said on social media because it is all to sell the fight,” explained Owen. “I thought to myself ‘that’s no worries’ because I know what this game is about. But I have seen what he has said and I don’t know if he has said it to get under my skin, to sell tickets, or if he genuinely believes that he is a better boxer. Maybe it is a bit of them all.
“But the reason we never fought each other in the amateurs was because he was always a lot lighter than me. He boxed at under 57kg and for the last seven years I have been under 64kg. Chris has jumped up a few weight divisions since he turned pro. He started at super featherweight and now he is operating at super lightweight but I am naturally fit at just under 11 stone, I will weigh-in at 10st 2lb the day before, so by the time it comes to fight night I will be closer to the 10 st 10lb mark. The weight advantage will only benefit me and despite me not being an overly big puncher, I can punch for my weight and I don’t really think Chris will be able to deal with it.
“I am buzzing for this next fight because if I beat Chris I jump up something like 70 rankings so it would be fantastic. I have known Chris since the amateurs and he was always a good boxer, he has boxed some class lads, sometimes he would get the decision and sometimes he wouldn’t which is how it goes in the amateurs. But I think personally he is a little bit chinny and he hasn’t really changed his game too much at all.
“That isn’t taking anything away from him though, I think he is a good lad and I will have to be close to my best to beat him. Especially down in his home town, I am going to have to box really well to take it away from him, or even get the stoppage. I have watched a few of his fights and I do see plenty of ways to beat him, he is probably saying the exact same thing about me but that is what makes for a great fight.”
The 24-year-old boxed smart in his debut victory against veteran Matt Seawright but he is adamant there is more to his game and he is willing to have a scrap with opponents as he starts his journey towards his goal – a Lord Lonsdale belt.
“I like to have a fight but I have got the technical abilities as well and I can box if I need to,” he explained. “Against Matt, who is a durable journeyman, we were never going to go in there to try and take him out on my debut. We just wanted to go in there and get the rounds in and make sure we came out with the win which we did.
“I am aiming for the British Title. Anything after that would be magical. But right now my sights are set on pushing towards a British title. If I ever do fight for a British Title then my dream will be made.
“I’m not looking past Chris Adaway though. Whoever wins will get the bragging rights but if I beat Chris my view of him won’t change. I will still be respectful to him and I think he is a nice kid, and if he beats me that won’t change. But if he does get the win then I would want a rematch straight away, especially if I thought it was a bit controversial. But that aside when I do beat him it will put me up the rankings and I will want to keep pushing on.
“Chris has mixed it with lads around the top level, with the best prospects in the country, so when I beat him I am going to be pushing myself to that sort of level where nothing but the best will do. I don’t want an easy ride, I want a test. I want to keep improving and beating the top lads.”
‘No Love Lost: War of the Roses’ takes place at Plymouth Guildhall on Saturday, 11th February. The show is sponsored by Grosvenor Casino Plymouth, who host the weigh-in and Aftershow Party.
Des Newton tops the bill as he takes on Jamie Quinn for the British Challenge Lightweight Title.
Plymouth lightweight, Darren ‘Terminator’ Townley, Exeter welterweight, Faheem Khan, Launceston bantamweight, Marcus Hodgson and Plymouth’s Dean Riley (debut at welterweight) also feature.
Tickets for ‘War of the Roses: No Love Lost’ are £30 or £50 Ringside and are available by calling: 07960 094 834. Doors open at 6:30pm with boxing commencing at 7:30pm at Plymouth Guildhall, Armada Way, Plymouth, PL1 2AA.