Camacho faces Iqbal, demise of Okolie, Valilly, Conquest and Watkins fights explained

Ringside 16/08/2018

Wadi Camacho will battle Arfan Iqbal for the vacant Commonwealth cruiserweight title on November 17 in London.

This comes after fights with former holder Lawrence Okolie and Simon Valilly failed to be agreed.

“I was gutted when Lawrence Okolie vacated the Commonwealth title” said Camacho.

“When the fight went to purse bids and he had not vacated I thought what a great opportunity. I totally understand why he did it and what a great fight coming up with him and Matty Askin.”

Camacho now 33 years of age knows this is his last big chance of a big title having ruled as the Southern Area King for the past few years.

Once Okolie vacated rather than fight his mandatory obligation, Camacho stepped into prime position and was then given time to find a suitable opponent ranked by the Commonwealth council.

“After speaking with my manager Steve Goodwin, I decided that I wanted the title fight to take place in London.

“We all know how hard it is to win away from home against a TV promoter’s lad. I have had personal experience of this in the past.

“I could have taken cash out money and if it was about money there were opportunities.”

Away from the glare and the Macho Man exterior, Camacho is a humble man who enjoys nothing better than spending time with his family and daughter.

“I have a young daughter and I want her to know her daddy did his best to try to win a major title for her rather than took a fight for big money not giving myself the best chance to be a Commonwealth Champion.”

Wadi’s manager Steve Goodwin takes up the story. “Eddie Hearn spoke to me and asked me if we were interested in the Simon Vallily fight in Newcastle. I said no but we were interested in a London fight.

“Eddie mentioned former Commonwealth Champion Tony Conquest and asked if we would do that fight in London. We immediately said yes.

“In the meantime, we had a call from Paddy Fitzpatrick expressing an interest in Luke Watkins v Wadi again one we were happy to do.

“We also had another inquiry from Jack Massey’s people but this would have meant an away day once again with odds stacked against us.

“After waiting for a period of time Eddie changed his mind and decided he did not want to stage it.

“At this point, both Conquest and Watkins said they did not want the fight if it was not for major TV money. We were left with staging the fight off TV or taking the away money. Wadi did not want to do that.

“Full credit to him he wanted to fight the best but wanted a fair shake as well. Others like Isaac Chamberlain had expressed an interest on social media but his representatives did not put his name forward.

“This is another fight we would have been interested in taking as it would have been in London.”

Step forward English Cruiserweight Champion Arfan “The Major” Iqbal. In July 2017 Iqbal had stopped Camacho in four rounds in July 2017 to capture the English crown in decisive style so why would Camacho entertain this fight?

“Arfan is very good fighter and punches very hard. He is avoided by most fighters but on his day he can beat any Cruiserweight. He did have an off day when he drew with Simon Valilly in his latest defence but no one else wants to fight him and if I win a Cruiserweight title.

“I want everyone to know I did not do it the easy way. Arfan has agreed to come to London to do the fight and full credit to him for that. He is a true warrior and knows that the winner of this fight hits the big money.

“Tony and Luke wanted the big money instantly whilst Arfan has belief in his ability that he will beat me once again and get the golden ticket.”

Steve Goodwin concluded “After the deal was done and contracts were lodged with the Commonwealth Council we did receive an offer for Wadi to go to Belfast to box Tommy McCarthy but by then contracts were lodged and in any case we were not travelling to Belfast.

This is Wadi’s one chance he just wanted it on home/neutral territory and full credit to him for backing himself”.