Kane Baker is determined to reach a personal milestone when he steps back through the ropes this weekend. The reigning Midlands lightweight champion is in non-title action as part of a Friday fight night on March 15.
The 28-year-old features on BCB Promotions’ first bill of the year in Birmingham, at the H Suite in Edgbaston. The show has been titled ‘Fly Guys.’ Baker laces on the gloves again after a career high in December, when he outpointed Ishmael Ellis to claim the vacant area crown.
His ninth victory, all over the distance, saw his hand raised in an evening of firsts, completing the 10-round duration at a new weight, having debuted in 2016 as a welter.
The former unlicensed boxer has grown into the pro game and now undertakes his 15th outing, with his five defeats all coming on the road against top prospects. Conor Benn, Gary Cully, Sanjeev Sahota, Sam Maxwell and Darren Surtees were unbeaten and have retained that status since.
Baker went down by TKO to Benn and Surtees, but tackled them live on television. His clash with Surtees took place overseas in Jeddah. The Brummie, from Bartley Green, reckons he’s learned from the highs and lows of his career and he’s by no means finished yet.
He said: “I feel like I’m a proper pro now, not a white collar fighter. I’m a better performer than I’ve ever been and I’m still improving all of the time.
“I’ve had a nice break and I’m spending a lot more time back in the gym, the weight is coming off and I’m looking forward to getting in there again.
“It’s crazy how things have turned out, I never got into boxing believing I could win any belts and now I’m the Midlands champion.
“I did everything right in camp for that and it’s convinced me that, at title level, lightweight is for me. It was the first time I’d made the weight, so I should get a bit of credit.
“I even re-hydrated properly, I’d done day before weigh-ins before but, sometimes, nerves got the better of me afterwards. I was so relaxed that time.
“I knew I could beat him and, even by the end of the first round, it was obvious that he didn’t want to trade much and that I could move away from his jab and counter.
“I was sure I’d done enough at the end but, when I heard it was 96-95 on points, I thought I was going to be robbed away from home again.
“I’d done well against Sanjeev Sahota, at York Hall in London, and didn’t get the decision, so that was at the back of my mind.
“When I heard my name, it was so emotional and it’s a moment that I’ll never forget. I’d give Ellis a rematch, but it’s got to make sense for me as well. There’s a few lads who’d want it.
“I still want to take the away fights on the big shows, I’ve always been up for that. That’s where my defeats have come, but that doesn’t bother me.
“I’ll take on anyone, I’ve proved that already. I’ll go anywhere, give it my best shot and see what happens. I’ve always balanced it out by winning at home.
“I live for the memories and I want to make a few more. That starts on March 15. It’s not a come down, I do have to get off the ring rust but I’m determined to get a good result.
“A while ago, I set myself the target of winning the Midlands title and getting 10 victories on my record. I’ve got nine, so I’m chasing my next dream.
“I want to excite my fans and that’s what I always take into consideration. It’ll be great to hear them all again when I’m on the ring on March 15.”
The Midlands flyweight title will be contested in a battle of Birmingham at the top of the bill, when champion Ijaz Ahmed defends against Matt Windle.
Jordan Clayton, of Solihull, appears for the 11th time as a pro as he continues his progression down to welter, with new coach Tom Chaney in his corner for a second time.
Clayton only boxed once in 2018, recording a points win over MJ Hall – forenames Matthew James – after nearly nine months out of the ring.
Super welterweight Mussab Abubaker, from Small Heath, returns to the venue where he made his pro debut in 2017 having scored another over-the-distance result since.
Daryl Pearce, of Rednal, steps in for his second paid affair. He arrived with a points success over Mohamed Mahmoud at welter last June.
Super lightweight Brad Thomas, a protege of Frankie Gavin, could only draw on his bow in September and will want to go one better this time.
Tickets, priced at £35 standard or £65 VIP ringside with a buffet and waitress service, are on sale now. It will be £40 for entry on the door. For more information, contact the boxers.