SAM BOWEN IS relishing a second shot at top billing in his home county when boxing returns to the Morningside Arena in Leicester on March 23, but just don’t expect him to show it until the fight has been called to a halt.
British super featherweight champion Bowen, who signed up with Frank Warren and promptly won the WBO Intercontinental title in October against Horacio Alfredo Cabral in October, is looking forward to bolstering his ever-increasing credentials on BT Sport, but won’t allow himself to get carried away with occasion.
The 26-year-old makes a first defence of his Lonsdale belt against the Scottish champion Jordan McCorry.
“I sort of block out how big the event is for me and literally just concentrate on the fight,” said Bowen, who was originally set to defend his title against Ronnie Clark before the Dundee man withdrew due to injury. “It could be in front of a million people or ten people and I treat it the same because if you treat it differently it can affect your mental state and you could get overwhelmed.
“That is the last thing I want to do and then mess up and get caught with a silly shot.
“I took it all in more once I had won against Cabral and you could see from my reaction that I was buzzing. Once it was done I could take it all in and that is when I thought ‘this is mega’ and when I had the interview after it made me realise what a step up it was from when I won the British, which was not on a TV and not in a big venue like that.
“So that is when I really took note of it all, where before I just treat every fight the same. That is how I deal with it and it is how I feel I get the results I need to progress.”
The Argentinean Cabral proved a tough nut to crack for the 14-0 Ibstock man known as ‘Bullet’. The more Bowen fired to the head, the more his opponent seemed to enjoy it.
“Yeah he was a fruitcake! I tried not to get drawn into his game because when I missed with one shot he looked where my hand went, to take the mick sort of thing.
“I needed to keep to my gameplan and not let him disrupt me. You’ve seen good fighters get hit at any level and get knocked out, so I had to concentrate on the fight. After the first round I toned it down a bit because I was a bit rushed and I enjoyed it myself too much.
“I said to Carl (trainer, Greaves) in the corner that if he wanted to do this for ten rounds then it would be a nice enjoyable win for me. I know my fitness is bob-on and I was winning the rounds comfortably.”
The game-changer came in the fourth round in an unorthodox fashion when Bowen mixed up his attack and propelled himself into winging left hook to the body. It was game over.
“I sort of throw it without even realising. You don’t plan every shot and it happened so fast and then he was rolling around on the floor.
“It was a good shot and I do land well with a left hook to the body. I’m happy it worked for me then.”
The Leicester contingent is a growing band of boxers who are all determined to make the Morningside Arena a regular fixture on the fight calendar.
As well as Bowen, Lyon Woodstock is bidding to get back on track after a first career defeat to Archie Sharp last time out, while local lads CJ Challenger and Kyle Haywood meet with the vacant Midlands Area super welterweight title at stake.
“If there was only one fighter in Leicester it wouldn’t be so exciting, so it is good to have a few of us to make it happen,” reasoned Bowen.
“My last one in October and this one in March will be two big shows in Leicester and it is great for our families and friends that we are able to box here and not have to travel to other places.
“A mate of mine has been sorting the tickets out at work and they are going mad for it because it is in Leicester – a lot more so this time than last because they saw it on TV and want to come now.”
British super featherweight champion Sam Bowen defending his title against Jordan McCorry headlines at the Morningside Arena in Leicester. Also on the bill, super lightweight Sam Maxwell bids for his first title against the Spaniard Kelvin Dotel with the WBO European belt at stake, while local fighters CJ Challenger and Kyle Haywood are set to battle for the vacant Midlands Area super welterweight title. Nathan Gorman defends his WBC International Silver heavyweight title against the 26-1 Brazilian Fabio Maldonado, with Lyon Woodstock, Willie Hutchinson, Tommy Fury, Ryan Hatton and Mark Chamberlain also featuring on the card.
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