An English title fight could be Nicki Smedley’s reward for a good performance tomorrow night at Don Valley’s Royal Rumble.
Owls fan Smedley, aged 25, is part of a nine-fight card in Attercliffe, which sees many of the next generation of Sheffield fighters in action.
Welterweight Smedley first has to beat Lancashire’s William Warburton, but is already lined up to take on English champion Nigel Wright in a title bout at Hillsborough Leisure Centre on May 28.
Trainer and dad Chris Smedley says Nicki is in the perfect shape to stop Warburton but isn’t concerned about whether he wins by knock-out or on points.
He said: “A ‘KO’ would be great but as long as he boxes well and wins we’ll be happy. The knock-outs will come – if it happens it happens.
“He has been doing some great work with his fitness coach Mark Willie, who looks after a lot of my lads. He got him down from 12st 7lb to 10st 9lb for his last fight and he’ll be lighter than that for Saturday.”
Willie, who works with European champion Ryan Rhodes, has also been in charge of conditioning another Chris Smedley trained boxer, Liam Cameron.
Twenty-year-old Cameron will meet Doncaster’s former cage-fighter Jason Ball on the same Dennis Hobson promoted card.
He said: “Training has gone really well. This fight is a step up for me; it’ll give me more experience.
“Ball can punch a bit and I’ve heard he’s a fit lad but I never watch anyone before I fight them because they’re fighting me. I’ve been working hard with Mark (Willie) at Greens and I’m in the best shape of my life.”
And with fiancee Tanya expecting the couple’s first child in a fortnight, life is set to be far from normal no matter the outcome tomorrow.
However, Cameron has other things on his mind.
He said: “It’ll be good to get the fight out of the way. I’ve a cupboard full of Easter eggs I haven’t touched yet.”
Chris Smedley said Cameron’s progression has been impressive and could see the Manor Park lad and former Myrtle Springs student contending for an English title soon:
He said: “Liam had his last sparring session earlier this week with Matt Hainy and his fitness levels looked brilliant.
“We’re looking at sorting out an elimination fight on the same bill in May for Liam.”
First bell at Don Valley is 7:15pm. For tickets call Chris Smedley on 07501 360603.