EVEN though he boxes most weekends, this Friday is James Tucker’s biggest fight to date and one he’s taking the most seriously.
The Bessacarr fighter, aged 27 and trained by Steve Slaney in Conisbrough, challenges Sheffield’s Carl Wild for the Central Area light-heavyweight title at the Don Valley Stadium
It’s a big deal for the boxing journeyman, who has won only six times out of 54 previous contests, but he has the experience and is determined to win his first ever title.
“This is without a doubt the most important fight of my career,” he told The Star.
“I’ll be going all out to win. I’ve been in this game a long time now. I’ve always tried hard and over the last six months I’ve earned my chance to show that I can be a champion.
“I’m more motivated for this fight than any other. Since I lost to Carl last, I’ve gained more experience and I’m stronger. In the past, all I’ve boxed for was cash, now I want a belt and to improve my rating.”
Tough-guy Tucker is a regular on the boxing scene, usually taking fights at short notice all over Britain and against naturally bigger, younger, aggressive fighters. Journeymen often say that records are for djs and you can’t read too much into them. Indeed Tucker has only been stopped twice in 45 defeats and both were when his nose was broken.
He claims that there’s “no way” Wild can knock him out, but believes he can stop the local fighter.
In essence, journeymen don’t have any incentive to win fights. They’re paid to give a younger prospect a test and winning usually means they’ll lack work.
Tucker did hit a winning spree late last year, winning three fights in a row and that has left him in a predicament.
“It’s got to the stage where I want to fight for titles or maybe try another sport,” he said.
“Carl hasn’t got a chance of knocking me out. I’ve got a punch on me and I think Carl’s in for a shock if he thinks he’s going to win easily on points.”