Matt Windle vows to shock Ijaz Ahmed in Birmingham
Matt Windle is confident of being crowned Midlands Area Flyweight Chamopion this evening.
Windle will be the first challenger to title holder Ijaz Ahmed in the main event of a Friday fight night on March 15.
They headline BCB Promotions’ first bill of the year in Birmingham, at the H Suite in Edgbaston. The show has been titled ‘Fly Guys.’
Ahmed’s moment of glory saw him vanquish Conor Blackshaw, a former English title challenger, on points in December.
The two battled to the final bell after 10 rounds, where Ahmed’s hand was raised by two rounds in a 97-95 call with referee Shaun Messer.
Windle looked on from ringside that Sunday afternoon and now steps up to go for the area crown in his eighth pro contest.
‘Matt Man’ is a professional poet by day and boxer by night. His way of words earned him the title of Birmingham’s Young Poet Laureate in 2007 and 2008.
The 28-year-old is now determined to land further honours in boxing, having recorded five wins, a draw and one loss so far in the paid ranks, having seen the distance each time.
One of those successes came against Blackshaw, too, on a run that saw him record four straight victories before a setback.
Ahmed, aged 25 has five wins from outings but also the one loss on his ledger, with both downed by Brett Fidoe. The titleist is also still searching for his maiden TKO.
Windle has completed eight rounds before, but could only draw with Pablo Narvaez for a British Challenge bauble that took place up at featherweight.
The poet with punch has since got back to winning ways with a decision over Anwar Alfadli and is confident he’ll be at his best when opportunity knocks.
Windle said: “I’ve been eight rounds and I’ve won another once since then. That’s over the past 12 months, I feel that I’m ready for this.
“I was disappointed not to win the eight-rounder, because I thought I’d done enough. I could only pick out two rounds where he had a bit of success.
“I was the one in control, catching him with counter punches, but I will admit that I didn’t want to get too mixed up with him, because there was a weight difference between us.
“My opponent got changed and he was coming in heavier, on the night it was actually announced as a featherweight contest.
“I was 8st 3lb on fight week so he was, obviously, bigger than me. I couldn’t afford to lose, but I never thought I was in any danger of that.
“I was coming back off a loss, after 14 months out with an injury. I tore a muscle in my back, which took quite some time to recover from.
“I’ve only had the one defeat, as a pro, and I knew Fidoe was all wrong for me, at that time. I lost, but he hit me with his best shot and didn’t stop me, so I know my chin is there.
“I’ve made changes since then. I’ve got Spencer McCracken as my coach and we’ve sorted out a few things in the gym.
“I wanted Blackshaw for the Midlands title, too, but it went to Ijaz and now he’s the champion. It’s a local derby between us and a good one to make.
“I’m happy to take on Ijaz, otherwise I’d have tried to get Bradshaw for the Midlands at super fly, which is currently vacant. If I didn’t feel like I could do it, I’d have taken another route.
“I was there to watch Ijaz versus Blackshaw and they showed flyweights can be exciting to watch. Ijaz was fit and threw a lot of punches, but I didn’t see anything that scared me.
“I’ve beaten Blackshaw and in a more convincing manner than Ijaz did. I only dropped a round, although it was over six and not 10 for the title.
“I’ll be at the top of my game and I’m coming to take that belt off him. Birmingham is my stomping ground and I’m not going to be denied.”
Five 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.
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.