Matty Askin, who won the British cruiserweight title back in May, is yet to make his first defence.
His upcoming opponent will be Stephen Simmons on March 17th after David Haye won the purse bid for the fight earlier this month.
Askin enjoyed a good 2017, as he knocked out Craig Kennedy in the 6th round to finally win the British title.
Askin and Simmons were originally meant to fight on the same card as Sam Sexton and Gary Cornish as a British title doubleheader. Unfortunately, Askin suffered an injury in a sparring session which he recounts:
“I was sparring and I went to uppercut someone and something went in my shoulder, so I left it for a week. I continued training, it was still getting worse and worse. I had an injection in my
shoulder, it shows everything in there and I had a couple of tiny tears in my tendon which was causing me problems.” Askin exclusively explained to World Boxing News.
Even though he wasn’t 100% Askin still wishes the fight was done there and then in October.
“To be fair, I should have boxed him with one hand because I went live and watched him against Barclay and there was nothing to shout about,” he said before touching on the possibility of losing the title without being fully fit: “I weren’t taking that risk, I just got the title and I didn’t want to be standing at the end of a loss thinking; I only had one arm. I want to be in there and I want to earn some money now, it was the right decision.
“It was about five weeks out but we left it, you go through these things in training and no one goes into a fight 100%, but this really started to hurt and I’d end up not being able to throw punches in some of the spars. Psychologically I wasn’t confident of my shoulder holding up.
“In all honesty, he’s probably going to be earning the best money he’s gonna get now with David Haye and the purse bid, so it’s probably lucky I did pull out (the first time).”
With the fight being rescheduled to March, Askin couldn’t be happier with his first defence of the British title:
“It’s going to be a big bill, it’s going to be televised and I think Joe Joyce is topping the bill. I think its a perfect fight for my first defence of the British title. To be honest with you – its a style that I’m
very comfortable with and it’s a style that’s going to make me look good in front of the audience so I’m looking forward to it.”
Matty Askin has complete confidence in himself and doesn’t see Simmons as a threat. When speaking to WBN about what problems he could face, he replied:
“Yeah, I think just the pressure really, his hard points are what are going to make me look extremely good, I’m not gonna have to go looking like I did with Kennedy.
“He’s going to be stood there right in front of me, trying to pile the pressure, it hits straight into what I do naturally, with stamina I’ll just punch his head off. If I’m honest, I don’t see it going past four,” concluded Askin.
Chandler Waller is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerWaller