Leigh Park powerhouse, Joel McIntyre (17-2), heads into the next edition of Ultimate Boxxer, on November 2 at the O2 in London, after being subjected to two cancelled title fights in succession, but believes he can rebound by winning the light-heavyweight tournament.
“I’ve had a year of it, I was meant to fight Kirk Garvey for the Southern Area title in June and he pulled out two days before, then Miles Shinkwin pulled out on the Bank Holiday Monday before our fight. It’s been a series of massive disappointments to me,” the 30-year-old said.
“But I probably am the Ultimate Boxxer favourite, down to my experience, I’ll be going in as the 20-fight veteran, and, of course, I’ve been the English champ. I’m already sparring high-paced three-threes in preparation and I’ll be fitter and more focused than ever before to put all those frustrations to bed.”
Londoner Garvey (11-1) had complications with a pre-fight medical and old rival Shinkwin (14-4) fractured his hand just three weeks before their scheduled September 15 rematch.
McIntyre continued, “I had the Ultimate Boxxer news ready to announce on the Tuesday [August 28] and then I got that news on the Monday before, so I haven’t had any good news without it being followed by bad news.
“But, I’m the king of very wishful thinking! I’m such an optimist these days, I almost try to be a bit spiritual and philosophical about it all.
“The financial situation is hard, got to give all the ticket money back and you miss out on a payday, but there’s always a different perspective you can find; the glass has got to be half-full. When things happen, maybe it’s a good thing and there’s no point stressing or getting angry about it. When I look at it in a certain way, it’s what’s kept me going.”
The optimist is now in training for the next installment of the Ultimate Boxxer tournament, where eight light-heavyweight prospects meet in a knockout format with an astonishing £50k prize fund at stake for the winner.
Ultimate Boxxer II takes place on November 2 at The Indigo at The O2 and features light-heavyweight prospects John ‘Johnboy’ McCallum (11-1), a seven-time national amateur champion from Edinburgh with only one loss on his pro-record coming through injury; the highly-touted unbeaten 6ft 6in Shakan Pitters (7-0), 29 from Birmingham; brave Dec ‘Kyd Nytro’ Spelman (12-1) who returns to the biggest stage yet since his tragic fight with the late Scott Westgarth; Southern Area title contender Jordan Joseph (7-2-1); British Challenge belt champion “Dazzling” Darrel Church, (7-2-1); Frimley’s fledgling pro Sam Horsfall (2-0), widely considered as the wildcard after turning professional only months ago; and Paddy Fitzpatrick’s protégé ‘Sniper’ Sam Smith (5-1).
Love Island’s Idris Virgo (2-0) takes part in his third pro fight on the undercard in his first appearance since his stint on TV’s most popular reality TV show.
The lucrative £50k prize money and the newest prize in boxing, the sought-after golden robe bestowed personally by Ricky Hatton, await the winner of the ground-breaking new tournament that mixes sport with youth culture and entertainment, with Britain’s biggest DJ Charlie Sloth in attendance alongside many other special guests.
Founded on a desire to make the professional game more accessible for boxers and fans alike, Ultimate Boxxer II will be shown on multiple platforms for all generations, with live coverage on Facebook via UNILAD from 8.15pm, before going live on Freeview on Channel 5Spike from 10pm.