Anthony Nelson and Jamie Wilson clash for the vacant Commonwealth Super Flyweight title at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle on Saturday night – and both men believe victory will lead to more title bouts this year.
South Shields’ Nelson landed the English title at the end of 2014 against Terry Broadbent and is ready to make it two-in-two in title bouts, and despite only moving into double figures himself on Saturday in the paid ranks, Nelson holds the advantage in experience over Wilson, who fights for just the sixth time in the pros.
“I was over the moon to get this fight,” said Nelson. “I want to be moving on in my career and progressing and this is a perfect opportunity on a massive show. I couldn’t ask for more.
“It is a 12-round fight so I will soon get to know Jamie after a couple of rounds. I will go in there with my plan, stick to that and see what is happening after the first round or two.
“I would like to think it is an advantage that I have had more rounds in the pros. I think that I will be stronger than him in the later rounds as I am more experience; I have boxed two ten-rounders and he has only done eight rounds once. Having said that he will have been doing the work in the gym and will have been putting the training in, so I am not taking the fight lightly.
“A win tonight is massive. The opportunity in itself is probably the biggest fight that could have come my way at the minute. To win the Commonwealth title and to do it on such a big show, live on Sky Sports, puts you into the public eye.
“I have had nine fights and other than people in the north east, nobody knows about us because we have never had the media up here and we have never reached a wider audience. This gives us a platform to reach a wider audience and let the fight fans in Britain see us. I sell a lot of tickets in the area but hopefully tonight can help us attract a few more fans and some bigger fights.”
Dundee 23 year old Wilson has dismissed his lack of experience as a problem in the fight and says his last outing showed the fighter he can be.
Wilson boxed a fortnight ago on his home patch and gave himself a real confidence boost by landing his first stoppage win against Craig Derbyshire – and despite being on enemy territory tonight, he says there will be enough Scottish voices to roar him to victory.
“It is a massive opportunity, so I’m excited,” said Wilson. “I have had a look at Anthony Nelson’s record and he has a few names on there who I have fought as well, and I have seen a few clips of him. I am pretty confident.
“You can get an idea of his style and the size of him from the clips I have seen. I don’t like to look too much into it because every fight is different but it is good to have a look and see what you’re up against. He is quite tall for the weight and so I don’t know if he will struggle to boil down to make the weight.
“Being at my weight it is quite hard to get sparring partners, so I am used to sparring taller guys and maybe slightly heavier guys.
“I am strong for my weight. I have a long reach and I use my boxing skills well, but if it comes to a tear-up I am more than happy to get involved.
“I am unbeaten and that is always good for your confidence. There is nobody on Anthony’s record who has been better for me. A win tonight would open up doors to bigger things and hopefully bigger nights.
“Domestically I am up there with the top guys in the division. I think I am number six right now so I can be challenging for one and two with a win tonight.
“I got my first stoppage two weeks ago because I am starting to relax now and feel good in the ring. It was great to get that stoppage, especially with it being in Dundee, my home town. I knew through sparring that I had the power but now I am starting to relax in the ring and pick my shots better, the power is starting to show. Tonight has come at a perfect time.
“There is always going to be a hostile crowd in somebody else’s backyard but I will be using it to thrive off. There will be some Scottish fans down there too because Charlie Flynn is on the bill tonight and so is Stephen Simmons, hopefully they can get behind me as well and will come and watch me defend this title back home.”
Nelson and Wilson clash on a massive night of action in the north east as Anthony Joshua MBE makes his comeback against American Prizefighter finalist Jason Gavern.
Stephen Simmons defends his WBC International Silver Cruiserweight title against local favourite Jon-Lewis Dickinson, whose brother Travis is also in action. Jeff Saunders makes his pro debut and there’s a host of unbeaten local talent on the bill with unbeaten Cruiserweight Simon Vallily, Light Heavyweight Jordan King, plus a debut for Lewis Ritson and a second pro outing for Scotland’s Commonwealth gold medallist Charlie Flynn.
Liverpool’s World title chasing Featherweight Stephen Smith boxes on consecutive weekends and his Gallagher’s Gym mate Hosea Burton is also in action.