JON Ibbotson is determined to put on a good show at the Barnsley Metrodome this weekend to reward his loyal Sheffield followers.
The 29-year-old puncher is taking nothing for granted ahead of his meeting with Preston’s Paul Morris for the vacant cruiserweight British Masters title.
‘Ibbo’, from Manor Park, is poised to be backed by 100-plus friends and family on Sunday as he chases his maiden title.
“I always have great support and it makes me want to win even more,” Ibbotson told The Star. “I don’t want to let them down so hopefully I can show off my skills and get a good win.”
Ibbotson has just two blemishes on his 18-fight record.
Originally, he was meant to lock horns with Morris in September but he had to withdraw two weeks before the duel after sustaining an eye injury in sparring.
He said: “It is really frustrating when you train that hard and you have to pull out late on. I feel in great shape now. I sparred in Miami and I did a lot of pad work with Oliver McCall which was a good experience.”
Ibbotson, who trains with Andy Marlow, says he has been fine-tuning his jab in preparation for the bout. “I’m trying to improve everything but I have got a good jab and I am trying to use it more,” he said.
Morris’s record reads four wins, four losses and two draws. Sunday promises to be the first time either Morris or Ibbotson have gone 10 three minute rounds.
Ibbotson, who has been in the ring just once in 2011, said: “I am hungry for this fight. I am looking forward to it.
“Paul is a dangerous fighter and I can’t take him lightly.
“I’m sure he wants the title real bad but so do I.”
Wombwell’s Neil ‘Banger’ Beevers is also on the ‘Festive Fight Night’ bill and takes on Duncan Cottier while Sheffield lightweight Joe Rodgers faces Pavels Senkos.
Tickets are £35, doors open at 2pm while the first bell is 3pm. Ring Mick Wale on 07854 554771 for information