Troy James says he can still bring the British title back to Coventry before he hangs up his gloves.
James was planning to fight for money in his last year in boxing, but victory on Tommy Owens’ show at Mercia Banqueting Suite on Saturday, March 9 could pave the way for a big fight that rekindles his title ambitions.
Leicester super-featherweight Lyon Woodstock jr has called for a fight with James and the 35 year old sees that fight as a stepping stone to another shot at British honours.
“This is probably my last year,” said James, “and the plan was to go on the road and try to earn some money.
“But I saw an interview with Lyon where he called me out, so I sent him a Tweet saying: ‘If you want the fight, you can have it.’
“We have sparred and I know he’s game, fit and strong. He’s a tough lad and he will be thinking he’s getting me at the end of my career.
“I know it’s a tough fight, but it’s winnable and if I do win, that will push me right up there.
“It was going to be tough going on the road. I’m a winner and I can’t turn up expecting to lose. I’m going to see what happens after this next one, but Woodstock calling me out has got me excited.”
The 9st 4lbs division is crowded with talent – and James expects the British title to become vacant soon.
Sam Bowen currently wears the belt and James said: “I’m not expecting him to hang around at British level.
“I know how good Sam is – and why nobody wants to fight him.
“I sparred him and I got battered ! I wasn’t fit and he punched me all around the ring. He did everything apart from knock me out.”
Bowen was scheduled to defend the British title against Ronnie Clark next month, but Clark pulled out through injury.
Now managed by Jon Pegg, James says he would love a rematch with Clark, a fighter he outboxed over 10 rounds at Bedworth Civic Hall in September, 2014.
That career-best performance led to a shot at Liam Walsh for the British title and after holding his won early on, James was stopped in eight rounds.
James has had a tough run of results recently, with a loss to world-class Luke Campbell followed by a controversial reverse against North East banger Darren Surtees.
“I had no training for the Campbell fight,” he said, “but the Surtees fight was different. I had nine weeks to prepare and I hurt him in the first round.
“He did catch me with a good shot and my leg went a bit, but the next few he threw all landed on my arms and gloves – and the referee stopped it.
“Darren came straight over to me and said: ‘That shouldn’t have been stopped’ and we’ve made a complaint to the (British Boxing) Board (of Control). I was protecting myself and ready to fire back. I knew I would have a few sticky moments, but I was sure I was going to win that fight. The stoppage was unfair.”
James says talk of a fight with Woodstock has given him a lift.
“I was thinking: ‘I have done what I have done and now I want to earn some money,’” he said. “But now Lyon has called me out, I’m starting to think I could be two or three wins away from a shot at the British title.”
Tickets are available from www.topboxing.co.uk