BOXING: Blackwell eyeing up new prize
THE PRIZE may have changed but the objective remains the same for Trowbridge’s Nick Blackwell when he jets off to the Ukraine next week.
The 22-year-old two-time British title challenger will go toe-to-toe with Ukranian champion Max Bursak, 29, at the Sportpalace Lokomotiv arena in Kharkiv on September 21, looking to announce himself to the international boxing fraternity.
Rather than challenging for his opponent’s EBU middleweight title, ‘Bang Bang’ is now set to fight for the WBA inter-continental belt, which was on the line when the Trowbridge man took on British star Martin Murray in June 2011.
“It’s going to be for a different title than we first thought but the plan is still exactly the same – we’re going out there to win,” said his Contender Gym trainer Mark Kent.
“Bursak is one of the top-ranked fighters in Europe so beating him will give Nick a better ranking and help him push on. Win three or four fights at that level and the next level is world.
“We’ve been keeping him ticking over nicely with some good sparring and I don’t think it will be long before Nick’s stepping up to super-middleweight.
“He’s growing and he can’t stay at this weight for long. It’s something we’ll have a look at soon.”
The boxing world was rocked by the news that legendary London-based trainer, cornerman and matchmaker Dean Powell had been found dead on Tuesday.
Kent added: “I only spoke to Dean last Saturday so it’s a big shock. Boxing is actually pretty small and you get to know everyone quite well, so it’s really sad.”
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