Jordan Clayton is eager to make up for lost time as he continues his climb down to welterweight when he’s back in action next month.
Clayton sees his future as a fixture at 147lbs and will gradually transition from super welter, after a bout as part of a Friday fight night on March 15.
The 25-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.’
‘JC’ takes part in his 11th pro contest, looking for a ninth win after previously recording eight points victories. He’s also drawn and lost once since turning over.
Southpaw Clayton, from Solihull, endured a nightmare end to 2017, starting when he could only manage a stalemate in a six-rounder with Nathan Hardy.
Being sliced open by his left eye in the second badly hampered him and worse to follow on December 22 of that year, when he wore the crimson mask even more severely.
His undefeated streak came to an end after a bloodbath with Danny Little, who was ruled the winner by TKO in round five of six.
He was badly cut below both eyebrows and was fighting on instinct when referee Shaun Messer jumped in to end proceedings, after he’d turned away from his opponent.
Clayton changed coaches in 2018, with Tom Chaney now in his corner. Sparring partners at Hall Green Boxing Club include former British middleweight champion Tommy Langford.
He could only manage the one ring outing last year, though, with September’s points win over MJ Hall, forenames Matthew James.
He was left with another nasty gash, this time in a previously unafflicted area, but didn’t lose a round that time as he ploughed through to victory.
A fight date in December fell by the wayside, but Clayton is ready to put his problems behind him and believes those setbacks have only made him stronger.
He said: “I’m just prone to cuts, but I’ve learned how to deal with them now. I stayed calm when I happened in my last fight, before that I’d have panicked.
“It happened in the third, some people thought it was an old wound opening up but it was above my left eye, on the other side of my eyebrow.
“It was an accident, I know Matt well and he’d have never done that on purpose. It was a clash of heads, we butted and these things happen.
“He was a good opponent for me, I’ve sparred him before but that’s a lot different to actually fighting. He’s a lot better than his record suggests.
“He made it awkward, you can end up tripping over each other’s feet when you’ve got two left handers in there and he was tricky. I won and I was happy with it.
“I didn’t get the chance to show all of the things we’d been working on in the gym, but my footwork was definitely better. I was a lot harder to hit.
“If I can get another ‘w’ on March 15, it should put me right back in the mix and I’m looking to put on more of a technical performance this time.
“It’s all about movement, if I can keep my distance with the jab and keep my head bobbing and weaving then no one can drop their head on me. I want another positive result.
“I’ve got high hopes for 2019, but I know I’ve got to earn the right to get the chances I want, particularly coming down to be a welterweight again.
“I think I’ll bring some strength, I’ve certainly felt more powerful when I’ve sparred with welters and there are some good fights for me there.”
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.
Five other under-card contests support the main event, with all of those occupying the home corner from the second city or in the surrounding towns.
Another area champion, Midlands lightweight boss Kane Baker, engages in a keep-busy affair to get his 2019 up and running.
Baker, from Bartley Green, defeated Ishmael Ellis to win the vacant strap in December and now undertakes his 15th pro outing, looking for a 10th victory.
Shaka Thompson, from Selly Oak, has racked up five points successes in the middleweight division and is aiming to make it six of the best.
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.