Kane Baker is planning to be lighter than ever in a potential plan to become part of the super featherweight division.
The former Midlands lightweight champion achieved that feat after dropping down from welter, but is shedding more pounds than ever.
He’ll feature when BCB Promotions are in the Stadium Suite at the Banks’s Stadium, Walsall Football Club, on Friday February 14. The show is aptly titled ‘St Valentine’s Day Massacre.’
Baker hopes it will widen his choices at title level, having already challenged for the English lightweight crown against Myron Mills last November.
He was outpointed by Mills by majority decision, with three judges after 10 rounds. Two lodged tallies of 98-92 and 97-94, with the third going for a 95-95 draw.
There has been talk of a rematch, but alternatives on the domestic scene could present themselves. Baker vacated the Midlands belt, without making a defence, to face Mills.
Taking the strap from Ishmael Ellis remains the best of his 12 victories in the pro ranks, his first bout at lightweight.
The Brummie, from Bartley Green, is no stranger to a setback himself, with six defeats (two by TKO) although all came, with him as the underdog, against much-fancied opposition.
Conor Benn, Gary Cully, Sanjeev Sahota, Sam Maxwell and Darren Surtees were unbeaten and hot favourites, at the point of battle.
Baker will be more slender next time out, having set a target to tip the scales at his lowest-ever weight, as a pro, for more six-round action.
He’s already bounced back from the Mills loss, beating Joe Beeden by a 60-54 points whitewash just one month and 12 days later.
The 29-year-old, a former unlicensed fighter, will be keen to entertain his supporters, before resuming a chase for titles.
Baker said: “I needed to get out again and this is a good way to test the water, because I think I could gradually make super feather.
“If I can come in at 9st 7lbs, at a day before weigh in, I’d only be 3lbs off the super feather limit. I make lightweight comfortably, so I should be able to.
“I’ll be ready for any opportunity, home or away, at anywhere from super feather to super lightweight. I’m in a position where I’m winning and active, so I’m fighting fit.
“I’d prefer for it to be at lightweight, if I could choose, but it’s good to have a few options. I’ll mix it up with anyone, I’ve proved that in the past.
“I’m always working hard in the gym and practicing new things, so I’m still learning. It’s mainly about sorting out my feet and tightening up my boxing.
“It’s important to start the year well and that means getting back-to-back wins. I think I ticked a few boxes with my last performance.
“I got a few rounds in, fine-tuned a lot of what I do and what I’m good at. I’ve done a championship distance twice, so I know what it’s all about.
“I’ll be all action on February 14 and we’ll see what happens after that. I’ll have my fans, the Bartley Green barmy army, behind me again, so I want to put on a show for them.”
Co-headlining in the Stadium Suite is Liam Davies, a proud resident of Donnington in Telford, who is chasing vacant Midlands honours at either super bantamweight or bantam.
The promising Shropshire starlet has six wins, with two TKOs, and no defeats or draws. He got the full six rounds under his belt, for the first time, last time out.
His most recent opponent, Stefan Nicolae, did pinch a round off him but lost the other five, with Davies a wide 60-55 victor.
A previous tussle with Jose Aguilar was scheduled for six, but was over in the fourth when Davies took him out, having halted Pablo Narvaez in two prior to that.
Two of Davies’ other adversaries, Edward Bjorklund and Stefan Slavchev, were put down but climbed off the canvas and clung on, seeing out the distance.
Davies turned over at the end of 2018 with a points landslide over Khvicha Gigolashvili, who had his nose bloodied in the process.
The second generation fighter is the son of ex-pro Tristan Davies, a former Midlands champion himself, and represented his father’s Donnington Boxing Club in the unpaid ranks.
He racked up exactly 100 contests, coming out on top 78 times, and was an ABA Schoolboys national champion in 2010. He went on to represent England at youth level.
There will be no love lost between Clayton Bricknell and Daryl Pearce, who attempt to arrest winless streaks, at the expense of each other, when they meet in a lightweight contest.
Bricknell, from Whitmore Reans in Wolverhampton, was last surprisingly beaten by Stu Greener, by a 39-38 scoreline in a point decision, in October.
He’s also completed six rounds in a losing effort to Tion Gibbs, who took his ‘0’ and remained unbeaten himself by a 60-56 verdict.
Bricknell had previously been frustrated by a technical draw with Youssef Al Hamidi, who was pulled out after less than a round due to injuring himself.
That came after two wins during his introductory year in 2018, where he outpointed Jamie Quinn and Dylan Draper after a decent amateur grounding.
In 27 unpaid bouts, he recorded 17 wins and claimed two area titles in national competition, representing Wolverhampton Boxing Club and Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter gym.
Brummie Pearce may only have one victory from eight pro fights, but he’s only failed to complete the duration once.
He boxed seven times last year and only Sam Noakes could get him out of there early, as he went down by third round stoppage.
Pearce, from Rednal, does additionally have a solitary success on his pro record, defeating Mohamed Mahmoud by a 39-37 margin on his 2018 bow.
Also on a collision course in a super middleweight affair is Kearon Thomas and Ryan Whitehead, the latter making his pro debut.
Thomas sees pro action in his hometown for the first time, still searching for his maiden win at the eighth attempt.
He’s been on the road ever since his bow, with six losses (two TKOs) but mostly to foes with a winning record. He did draw with Cory Hardy along the way.
Whitehead, from Telford, will put his best efforts into preventing Thomas from breaking his duck. He’s another graduate of Donnington Boxing Club.
Completing the line-up is West Bromwich’s Matt Gordon, the big heavyweight who steps back through the ropes intent on ramping up his ring return.
He’s been a pro since 2015, but spent three years out of the sport after a draw with Lukas Horak. He’d previously outpointed James Oliphant and Jindrich Velecky.
Gordon returned in November, away from home in London, but was removed in less than a round by heavy-handed Ukranian Dorin Krasmaru.
Tickets for the bill in the Stadium Suite are on sale now, priced at £35 standard or £65 VIP with buffet, and can be purchased by calling the BCB Box Office on 07493 582 261.