Askin vows to be a step too far

Matty Askin is confident of victory against Craig Kennedy tonight
Matty Askin is confident of victory against Craig Kennedy tonight
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Matty Askin fired out a sombre warning to his rival Craig Kennedy ahead of tonight’s British cruiserweight title fight in Cardiff.

The St Annes boxer, making his second attempt to claim the belt, said of his rival: “Once he gets in there, he will know it’s a step too soon.

“It is the same as the other recent fighters they have thrown in with me.”

Askin was referring to his last two opponents.

He stopped the previously unbeaten Simon Barclay in Liverpool in March, 2016 in the second round to retain his English title.

Then in his next fight Askin, a former Amateur Boxing Association champion at this weight, dispatched Tommy McCarthy in Manchester in November in a final eliminator for tonight’s contest at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.

Askin has not fought since and this bout with Kennedy had to be rescheduled from the spring after he suffered a hand injury.

Askin insisted: “I am coming to my best now. I am looking to show that I am the number one in Britain at this weight.

“I will prove to be too much for him, with my punching, my speed and my head movement; Kennedy does not have the best chin.”

There is a four-year age difference between the pair, and at 28, Askin is the younger man.

Despite that, Askin has more experience to bring to bear, having mixed at a high level.

As well as winning and retaining the English belt, Askin, who is trained by Michael and Dave Jennings, has fought once for the Lonsdale Belt already.

That saw him lose a close verdict to Ovill McKenzie, who subsequently went close to winning a version of the world cruiserweight title.

Kennedy has won all 18 of his bouts to date, though without the calibre of names that Askin can boast on his CV.

He has a title to his credit having won the International Boxing Federation international cruiserweight strap, beating Belgian Joel Tambwe Dejeko in front of his home fans at the Ice Arena, Cardiff in May, 2016.

Kennedy said it would ‘mean everything’ for him to have the Lonsdale Belt strapped around his waist.

“It would be a dream come true for me,” he said. I never expected it (to get a chance like this).

“I have dreamed about this since I was young boy. Now I am here I don’t feel out of place. It is my time and my destiny.”

This evening’s fight will be screened on Channel 5, the broadcast starting at 10pm.

There was some tasty pre-fight verbals as the two combatants went head-to-head at the weigh-in.

Askin tipped the scales at 14st 3lb 9oz, while Kennedy weighed 14st 1lb, 1oz.