Morris: I did better than Fowler against Fitzgerald, and I got stopped!
Craig Morris believes prevailing from his battle in Bolton with the English super welterweight title will put him back on the map.
He faces a potentially make-or-break contest away from home for the vacant crown against hometown favourite Jack Flatley.
The two will duel for the belt last held by Morris’ BCB Promotions stable-mate Adam Harper, on a show staged by Steve Wood.
Fight night will come at the Bolton Whites Hotel on Saturday May 11, with Morris in buoyant mood about the opportunity.
The boxing pride of the little town of Ludlow in Shropshire is a former Midlands area champion at welter with 11 wins, three by TKO, from his 14 pro contests.
The 27-year-old has only been beaten twice and both in title situations, with one technical draw after he suffered a cut early on against Andy Keates last year.
He relinquished area honours against Ryan Fields in 2017, with his one stoppage loss in dramatic fashion against Scott Fitzgerald nine months ago.
Morris appeared to be ahead and heading for an over-the-distance success, until Fitzgerald pulled a 10th and final round stoppage out of the hat.
Fitzgerald went on to thwart Olympian Anthony Fowler on a split decision, with Morris’ performance against him earning him plaudits even in defeat.
The Shropshire southpaw has previously beaten capable adversaries such as Nathan McIntosh and Ryan Martin, the latter earning him an IBO Continental bauble.
The next to stand in his way will be Flatley, aged 24, who is undefeated after 14 wins from 15 pro outings, with one draw in an eight-rounder against Troy Williamson.
Flatley has never been past that distance with Morris, having completed 10 sessions on three occasions, feeling that could be a factor.
He said: “This is it for me, if I can win the English title then people will have to take notice of me and I think I’m in a good position to do that.
“I don’t want to jinx anything, but I’ve had a great camp and I’ve got the experience from my career to know the championship rounds.
“I don’t really study my opponents, but I’ve watched a few clips of him and I know he’s a decent lad, with an unbeaten record.
“I’ve had more of a grounding in title fights, though, and I’m hoping that will tell on the night. It’s a tough test, but I’m confident I can come out on top.
“I’ve got to go up there and take him on in front of his own fans, but they can’t get in the ring with him. He’s the one under pressure, I’ve just got to perform.
“My plan is to try and nick the rounds and, if the chance comes along it, perhaps even get the job done early. I’m stronger than my record suggests.
“I’ve proved that I belong at a decent level, I’ve proved that even when I’ve lost and particularly with Fitzgerald.
“My phone went daft after he beat Fowler, it was a big win for him but Fowler didn’t do a lot of the things I did against him.
“If you asked Fitzgerald, he’d tell you himself that I did better than Fowler, even if I didn’t see the final bell in the end.
“I’ve watched it back a few times since, my corner had me up by a couple of rounds and I was told the official did, too. The stoppage changed everything.”