Leicester lasher Lyon Woodstock gambles on taking a short cut to British title contention later this month when he bumps beaks with Craig Poxton from Lowestoft, writes Glynn Evans.
The reigning Area title holders collide at Leeds’ First Direct Arena on October 21st, in a salivating 10 rounder that serves as a domestic super-feather eliminator in all but name.
‘Wonderboy’ Woodstock, 24, didn’t lace the gloves until he was 16 years of age and his nine paid gigs tally just 28 rounds combined. Nevertheless, his trigger tongue, brutal body attack and a kayo kick in either glove have fast tracked him to the cusp of a major championship assault.
‘Poxton is my ‘coming of age’ fight, the fight I’ve been working towards since I first turned pro. Everything from here on in is extra,’ says the former ABA semi-finalist who stormed to the Midland Area throne with a three round demolition of Brummie southpaw Paul Holt in Woodstock’s home city last April.
‘Craig definitely commands respect. He’s possibly my stiffest test as a pro. We sparred earlier this year and he’s got a typical English style. He’s got especially strong legs and he’s very determined. He’s not the biggest hitter but his accumulation is good. I’ll not need to go looking for him and that’ll suit perfectly. I’m ready to take Poxton’s head off!’
Pressure cooker Poxton, who beat the previously undefeated Boy Jones Jr in the tenth and final round to pick up the Southern Area strap in a thriller last February, represents the stiffest examination of Woodstock’s 28 month paid career. However, the Midland menace claims there is no need to intensify his preparations.
‘I don’t talk about having an excellent ‘camp’ because I’ve been constantly in camp since I was 16 years old. The gym is my life,’ he insists.
‘But two weeks out, all the hard work has been done. I’ve been up in Sheffield sparring Kid Galahad plus I’ve worked with an amateur featherweight called Brad who hits hard and gives me no respect. Now I’m just cutting weight.’
Ox-strong Poxton is four years his senior, has boxed triple the pro rounds and has carved a rep as a formidable front foot predator.
But Woodstock, who survived a turbulent childhood on the inner city streets of Beaumont Leys,
insists he is unfazed.
‘If Poxton comes to knock me out, he’ll come unstuck very quickly,’ boasts the Jason McClory managed, ‘Hudge’ Butt trained Leicester lasher.
‘I’m the type who’ll knock you cold when you’re attacking me. I can find that finishing shot in the eye of storm, end any fight at any moment. Once, in the amateurs, I was behind and heard the final ten second clap on the canvas, slipped into the corner, then ruined the kid with one huge counter. There are many witnesses.
‘On the night, I’ll put my plan into play. Trust me, I could do what I want with Poxton. I could just jab for the whole 10 rounds and win clearly on points. There’d be nothing Craig could do about it but that’s not what Lyon Woodstock is about.
‘Poxton’s a very silly man if he thinks he can fight me in the centre of the ring. He’ll need to be a lot smarter. I’ve been through far too much in my life for my spirit to be broken by another man, if we go toe to toe. When I land, I’m hitting you with my whole life!’
Main event on October 21 sees local hero Josh Warrington face the undefeated Dennis Ceylan in an Official Eliminator for Lee Selby’s IBF Featherweight World Championship.
Chief support on an unmissable evening of action sees Huddersfield’s British Super-Lightweight Champion Tyrone Nurse (35-2-2,7 KOs) make a highly-anticipated defence of his crown against undefeated Chorley star Jack Catterall (18-0, 10 KOs).
Manchester prospect Zelfa Barrett (18-0, 11 KOs) takes on Chris Conwell (9-2, 2 KOs) for the Vacant English Super-Featherweight title.
Undefeated Liverpool Super-Welterweight talent J.J Metcalf (16-0, 8 KOs) takes on Leeds native Damon Jones (15-1, 3 KOs) in an official eliminator for the British title currently held by Warren stablemate Liam Williams.
An action-packed undercard also features British Middleweight Champion Tommy Langford (18-1, 6 KOs); former Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and GB squad standout Sam Maxwell (Super-Lightweight, 3-0, 2 KOs); Bradford Welterweight Darren Tetley (14-0, 5KOs); Chapel-en-le-Frith Cruiserweight Jack Massey (12-0, 6 KOs); Doncaster Featherweight Reece Mould (6-0, 2 KOs); Leeds Flyweight Jack Bateson (1-0, 1 KO) and the professional debut of Leeds fighter Jack Daniels.
Tickets for Warrington v Ceylan priced at £30 (Upper Tier), £40 (Lower Tier), £60 (Floor), £100 (Floor), £120 (Floor) and £200 (VIP/Hospitality) are available from First Direct Arena www.firstdirectarena.com