James Beech Jr is ready to show off his own credentials as the race for super bantamweight supremacy hots up in the Midlands.
Unbeaten Beech is back in action at Walsall Town Hall on Saturday night as part of Errol Johnson’s Black Country Boxing Promotions offering, on a show which has been titled ‘England Awaits.’
The night before, the Midlands title will be contested at his weight for the first time in 14 years when two more undefeated prospects, Brad Foster and Leon Gower, lock horns.
Beech will watch with interest the battle for the belt, the main event of another BCB bill in the Stadium Suite at the Banks’s Stadium, Walsall Football Club.
Not since the late Chris Edwards scored a second round TKO over Neil Read in September 2004 as that area crown been up-for-grabs.
Some 24 hours later, Bloxwich’s Beech will climb through the ropes at Walsall Town Hall with the same pro record Gower possesses – six wins from six bouts – in a keep busy affair.
The 21-year-old already has an eight-rounder under his belt, claiming a British Challenge strap by seeing off Paul Gidney by a round on points in April.
The second-generation fighter is the son of Jimmy Beech, who laced on the gloves for 31 pro outings at lightweight between 1999 and 2008. He’s coached by Peter Hickenbottom.
He’s a graduate of Pleck Boxing Club, who he boxed for on 80 occasions with 50 wins. Beech has one TKO as a pro, having scored two as an amateur.
He said: “This camp has flew past, to be honest, it doesn’t seem like that long ago I was in the ring, but I’m making up for lost time.
“I got cut in my last fight of 2017 and that kept me out of training until February, but it was like I’d never been away when I got back in there.
“Doing eight rounds for the first time coming back from that was a challenge, but I felt comfortable over the distance. I started slow, but I still felt strong and sharp at the finish.
“I wouldn’t worry about doing 10, even 12 rounds, now. I just need the opportunity to do so and I know I’ve got the fan-base to sell lots of tickets.
“I’ve got this tick over fight on July 21, in the meantime, and I need to make a statement there. I can’t afford to let anything stupid happen to me there, I’ve seen it happen before.
“Foster could only draw in one six-rounder (against Brett Fidoe) and, no doubt about it, that can set you back for a while.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him against Gower, I think it will be great to watch. Foster boxes like me, but he’s more of a switch hitter.
“I’ve sparred with Gower and he’s a strong kid. I can see Foster winning the earlier rounds and then Gower putting it on him later on, perhaps even getting a late stoppage.
“I’m not calling out the winner, but I’d put myself in with either of them if there was something good on the line. I’ll take on anyone with a decent title.
“It could be Josh Kennedy (English), the winner of Martin Ward and James Dickens (British) or Ashley Lane (Commonwealth). They are all fair game.”
Tickets, priced at £35 standard and £65 VIP ringside, are on sale now from the Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900. It will be £40 for entry on the door.
The Grosvenor Casino Walsall, on Bentley Mill Way, are the show’s headline sponsors. They will host the weigh in and after-show party (over 18s).