NICK Blackwell’s manager PJ Rowson believes the Trowbridge fighter will step into the ring as a completely different prospect from his first challenge for the British middleweight title when he takes a second shot at the belt.

‘Bang Bang’ Blackwell, who is 22 tomorrow, clashes with the highly-rated Billy Joe Saunders, 23, for the British and Commonwealth belts at London’s ExCel Arena on December 15.

The only professional defeat on the Contender Gym fighter’s record came when he bravely challenged the world class Martin Murray in June 2011 for the Lonsdale belt and Rowson thinks that his man has learned a lot from that disappointing evening in Wigan.

“When Nick fought Martin Murray, we knew that it was a big risk but he had to see what life was like when you’re fighting at that level,” said Rowson.

“He had to see what it was like to have the television cameras on you and to be warming up, told to come to the ring and then be told to wait another 15, 20 minutes – you have to learn about those little things that happen.

“He became a different fighter after the Murray fight and he’s changed a lot as a person since then too.

“This time, he’s definitely ready.

“Mark Kent at the Contender Gym has been brilliant with Nick and deserves a lot of credit for where he’s got to.

“Simply as a boxing fan, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when he takes on Billy Joe Saunders – they’re two exciting up and coming fighters.”

Ticket and travel details are available from the Contender Gym, 01225 761166.

  • TROWBRIDGE Civic Centre hosts a mixed martial arts (MMA) and kickboxing night tomorrow.

Six title bouts include Trowbridge’s Danny Sergui, already a European K1 champion and British kickboxing title holder, taking on Alex Davies (Evesham) for the Pro Ultimate Combat Promotions inter-continental K1 middleweight belt.

Melksham’s Rikki Gullis faces off against fellow unbeaten fighter – and serving soldier – Adam Sewell for The Ultimate Combat Promotions British lightweight MMA belt.

Marc Clark, also from Melksham, will fight Evesham’s Dave Perara for the lightweight southern area MMA title and Phil Carter (Melksham) takes on John Symes (Evesham) for the southern area welterweight title Ali Maclean from Bridgwater fights Swansea's David Cook for the southern area middleweight title The undercard features fighters from Trowbridge’s Revolution Gym, Melksham’s Dragons Lair gym, Pewsey MMA, Westbury’s Collision Kickboxing and Swindon.

Tickets are available from The Civic Centre, priced at £25 with the first fight at 6pm.