Kieron McLaren, Luke Paddock discuss forthcoming Midlands clash

On the 17th March, the Kings Hall in Stoke on Trent hosts the BCB Promotions card ‘ON THE MARCH’. The headline bout features unbeaten Stoke fighter, Kieron McLaren (11,0,0) against Walsall’s Luke Paddock (18,3,0) for the vacant Midlands Super Lightweight Title.

Both fighters took time out from there busy training schedules to answer a few questions from Jamie Ingleby in the lead up to the fight – which has the potential to be a small hall classic.Pitching the unbeaten prospect McLaren, against the more experienced Paddock. For both fighters there is lot at stake; the winner could find themselves in line to challenge for the English or even British Title.

Do you feel like this is a grudge match given that Luke defeated your Cousin Josh in 2014 for the same title?

Kieron, I don’t see thisas a grudge match, the fight will only benefit me and my career. When anyone mentions Josh’s defeat and that it’s a chance for revenge, I just laughed it off – it is the next step for me, so that I can progress.

Luke, you beat Kieran’s cousin Josh, do feel like the fight is being built into a grudge match and a chance for revenge?

No, my fight with Josh has no relevance. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that Josh is better fighter; in my opinion both are good fighters, and I take no confidence from this, I respect them both. I am preparing to fight the best Kieran McLean.

Kieron, this is your first scheduled 10 rounder; have you done anything different to help you prepare?

I felt uplifted when the fight was first announced, it energised my approach to training. I am giving the fight my all, as I have done all my previous fights. I have a good team behind me who know what I’m capable of, and I put my full trust in them to get me in the best possible shape.This is my toughest fight to date but I am just as confident and wouldn’t have taken this fight if I didn’t feel ready. I do feel that this is a challenge but that just pushes me to train harder.

Luke, you’ve been the 10 round distance several times during your career; do you feel like your experience will give you the edge over Kieran?

I believe if you can do 8 rounds then you can do 10; so I’m not expecting Kieran to struggle doing the 10. However, I have full confidence I can set a good pace over 10 rounds.

Kieron, what challenges do think Luke’s style will bring to the fight?

Luke is fit and strong; I will just see how the fight develops on the night. I am sparringa mixed bag ofdifferent fighters to help me prepare for any scenario.

Luke, what challenges do you think Kieran’s style will bring to the fight?

I respect Kieran as a fighter, I’ll prepare like always, and get myself in the best possible shape at Wednesbury ABC. I don’t revise or analyse particularly, I just see how the fight develops and react.

The top fighters in the UK at Super Lightweight: Terry Flanagan Josh Taylor, Ohara Davis and (British Champion)Jack Caterall all have ambitions on the world stage; as an Area Champion you could find yourself in a fight to fill the void left behind. Have you any thoughts on future possible opponents?

Kieron, I would love to be up there and challenging for those titles and boxing opponents like that, but I’m just taking every step as it comes and concentrating on this fight.

Luke,to challenge for either of these titles would be a dream come true. I’ll box anyone, I’m not into avoiding fighters.

Who is your toughest opponent to date?

Kieron,“Chris Adaway – he didn’t stop applying pressure, 8 tough rounds” – at the final bell Kieran was awarded a 77-76 decision over the Plymouth based warrior.

Luke,despite scoring a shut out 60-54 victory, Luke namedPole, Lucas Yanich –“he made me work every second of every round, and he could bang a bit, kept me on my toes”.

Who is your favourite fighter?

Kieron,Miguel Cotto, amazing body puncher.

Luke,VasylLomachenko, amazing talent who you could watch all day and not get bored.

What can fans expect from this fight and what is your prediction?

Kieron, they can expect an exciting fight as always and we’ll leave the prediction till the night.

Luke,as the away fighter, I know I’m up against it and I’ll be expecting a hostile reception. As always I’ll enjoy the fight and see what happens on the night.

When I asked common opponent Chris Adaway for his prediction he gave me this response, “Luke boxed my ears off, and I thought I beat Kieran. Both are great lads, who I have a lot of respect for, but If I’m honest, I can only see Luke winning”.

Tickets are available from £35 by calling the boxers (Luke 07881 376 512) or (Kieran 07825 173 119) or 07734 118 041.