Little makes big fight pledge

Little - statement of intent
Little - statement of intent
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Kirkham boxer Adam Little has laid out a clear statement of intent as he prepares for his Commonwealth title eliminator in Blackpool on Saturday night.

Little insisted: “Martin Gethin has had his time.

“I am going to make him feel like an old man.”

Little takes on Gethin at the Hilton Hotel in Blackpool on Saturday with the winner in line for a crack at John Wayne Hibbert’s Commonwealth super-lightweight belt.

While Little, 25, has won all his fights – save for a controversial loss at the hands of Sam Matkin – Gethin is a veteran at 32, and he has been in with some of the big names at domestic level.

He has fought the likes of Terry Flanagan, Derry Matthews and Tommy Coyle, losing to all three.

Gethin has won 26, lost seven and drawn one and is a past holder of the British lightweight title, now held by Lytham’s Scott Cardle.

But this is very much a make-or-break contest for Gethin and his final chance to mix it at this level.

The incentive is very much there too for Little, who has had high-class sparring for Saturday night’s contest.

He has been sparring with Kiryl Relikh, the fighter from Belarus, who is preparing for a big night on his own account and a meeting with Ricky Burns for the World Boxing Association world super-lightweight title at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on October 7.

Little said his preparation had gone ‘perfectly’.

“I am now just working on my speed work and I will be going to John Moores University to have my healthy weight check before the weigh-in on Friday.

“The sparring with Kiryl Relikh has gone well and I have got a lot of confidence from that.

“Gethin is tough, robust and throws plenty of shots, but in my opinion he is a fighter who has had his time and I won’t let him take charge on Saturday.”

Of his battle plan for the Hilton Hotel showdown, Little continued: “I look to go into any fight with an open mind.

“Everybody can go in with a gameplan, but then you have to adapt depending on how a fight is going.”

Gethin said he was hoping to feel the benefit of stepping up in weight, as opposed to Little who is going in the opposite direction having campaigned mostly at welter before going down to super-lightweight.

Gethin said: “With putting the extra weight on, I’m hoping to be stronger, instead of feeling a bit drained like I had been at lightweight.

“I’m hoping to get back to British title level, but obviously I’ve got to deal with Adam first.

“He’s a good lad and a good fighter so I’ve got to keep focused.

“I’m looking at winning this, going for the Commonwealth strap and then on to even bigger and better things.”