Matt Gordon is targeting a flawless homecoming appearance before hitting the road to raise his standing in the heavyweight ranks.
The big southpaw, from West Bromwich, will be part of a BCB Promotions offering for the first time in almost four years next month.
He’ll feature when BCB 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.’
The former unlicensed fighter debuted even further back in 2015, seeing off James Oliphant by a 39-38 scoreline after four rounds to post a points success.
Gordon made it back-to-back victories later that year, whitewashing Jindrich Velecky by a 40-36 verdict to gather some momentum.
That stalled in 2016 with a stalemate against Lukas Horak, where a 38-38 stalemate was lodged as the two could not be separated.
A three-year spell on the sidelines followed, as Gordon concentrated on his personal life, but the lure of being a sportsman pulled him back again.
He took a match in London against heavy-handed Ukranian Dorin Krasmaru for his return last November, but was caught in the first round and lost his ‘0’ through a first round TKO.
An automatic ban for him to recover, as a safety measure, was imposed, as is standard procedure, with the British Boxing Board of Control.
That cost Gordon potential meetings with debutants Franklin Ignatius and David Adeleye in December, which were both on televised events.
The 35-year-old, who is still trained by Mark ‘Maca’ Richards, remains keen to get busy but first looks forward to competing in his backyard.
He said: “There are a few supporters who want to see me box local again, so this one is for them. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a home card.
“I’ve had a lot of time out of the ring, for work and family reasons. I got engaged and we’ve had a couple of children in the past few years.
“I missed the competition and that’s why I’m back. I want to build my record up, with some good names on it.
“I’m a late developer, I didn’t take up boxing until I was 26. I have no amateur experience, just what I did unlicensed. I was in MMA before that, from when I was 21.
“I probably haven’t got that much time left, but heavyweights do tend to go on a bit earlier so I might have another five years in me.
“I’ll be taking a few more away days, I’m not going to be turning down much. In fact, I’ve been offered a couple more that I couldn’t take, because I was stopped last time.
“If I can beat one of these up and coming kids, on the biggest stage possible, then I’ll get that bit of recognition that I need.
“I used to box away a lot in the unlicensed game and I was winning most of the time then, so the crowds didn’t bother me. I think I had 34 fights and only lost twice.
“I’d never go away to lose, I’m no journeyman but I’m willing to take risks on opponents. I did that last time, on three weeks notice.
“That actually started well, I was beating him to the jab and picking him off. I know it was only the first round, but I felt like it was all coming together.
“All of a sudden, a big lead hook at a funny angle comes over and hits me bang on the temple. I got up, but I couldn’t tell if I’d beaten the count.
“I’ve still only lost once, as a pro, although I’ve drawn before. I was cruising for the first two rounds of that, but I put on the pressure a bit too much and gassed myself out.
“I’ve won twice before and, hopefully, I can add a third one on February 14. I want to perform well, for all four rounds, and get the best result possible.”
Co-headlining in the Stadium Suite is Kane Baker and Liam Davies, who both undertake six-rounders with future title tilts in mind.
Birmingham’s Baker, from Bartley Green, is a former Midlands lightweight champion who relinquished his crown without making a defence, to get a shot at English boss Myron Mills.
He was just 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.
Baker has since bounced back and got another six rounds under his belt, vanquishing Joe Beeden. He’s now determined to have his hand raised again, for the 13th time as a pro.
Conor Benn, Gary Cully, Sanjeev Sahota, Sam Maxwell and Darren Surtees were all unbeaten and highly fancied, at the point of battle.
Davies, a proud resident of Donnington in Telford, 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.
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.