Sheffield boxer seeks shock win at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light

Lee Connelly
Lee Connelly
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For once on his life, Lee Connelly will get one over on world champion Kell Brook, on Sunday.

The Westfield, Sheffield light welterweight will get to fight at a big English football stadium - taking on Glenn Foot at the Stadium of Light, home of Sunderland FC.

Brook, the IBF world champion, has been hoping to seal a deal to box at Sheffield United’s stadium, but that has yet to be resolved.

But Connelly, who has a decidedly-disappointing W4 L19 D1 record, nips in to grasp the opportunity to play at a big football ground, despite going there as the underdog.

“It will be a great experience for me” said the 28-year-old who works by day as an upholstery fitter in Dronfield.

“Foot is a rough, tough fighter who comes forward rather than someone who is going to throw a jab and run away - and that style really suits me.

“I don’t want to be fighting kids who have just come out of the amateurs, I want to have a good brawl with someone with a respected record, and this fits the bill.”

The fearless battler takes on a Wearside fighter who competed for the British welterweight title last year.

Foot, 28, has a W17 (six KOs) 1D CV - that loss coming in the title fight with Sam Eggington, 12 months ago.

The home boxer, who beat Rotherham-born Ryan Hardy last year, is looking for a warm-up six rounder before the starts targeting another title or eliminator.

“Losing 19 fights isn’t great but I still want achieve something in this sport” says Connelly. “I have a lot to prove to myself.

“I might not make a lot of money from this fight - the purse for Sunday isn’t the best - but I want to start winning against good opponents, get people talking about me, and see where I can go.”

The fight has been made at ten stone four pounds.

Connelly, who has been struggling with flu lately is always happy to be an away fighter.

He is also slated to box in September, in Manchester.

He is due to face Glossop-based Adam Hague, who took Rotherham fighter Lee Appleyard’s unbeaten record last year.

n Another Sheffield ‘away-fighter,’ heavyweight Dave Howe will take on Ricky Hatton fighter Nathan Gorman, at Cannock, Staffordshire, on Sunday, July 24.

The match-up was originally set to take place on the Tyson Fury v Wladimir Klitschko bill in Manchester, but an injury sustained by Fury led to that show being postponed. It’s regarded as a step-up in class for the highly-rated Gorman, 20, as Howe has engaged in 13 professional contests and won 11.

However, Hatton feels it is exactly the sort of test his protégé needs at this stage of his career.

“It’s a good stage for Nathan (W4 L0) to show people what he can do. Dave Howe is about 6ft 8ins and has a good record (W11 L2) so he’ll be coming to give Nathan all he’s got. It’s a test I expect Nathan to pass with flying colours, although he won’t have it all his own way.”

n American heavyweight Antonio Tarver, who beat Clinton Woods in April 2008, wants to resurrect his career in the UK - at 47.