Champion Askin pledges to tame the 'beast'

Rival fighters Matty Askin and Stephen Simmons have gone head-to-head for the first time ahead of their big cruiserweight showdown in Scotland in October.

Wednesday, 23rd August 2017, 9:33 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 1:02 pm
Askin and Simmons - meet in October

The duo will box for Askin’s British title at the Meadowbank Arena in Simmons’ home city of Edinburgh on October 9 and the pair appeared together at a press conference to launch the bill.

Askin is unconcerned at the prospect of putting his Lonsdale Belt on the line in Simmons’ own back-yard.

Askin, who is based in St Annes but is announced in the ring as coming out of Blackpool, said: “I wanted to come up to fight in Edinburgh as it’s a beautiful city and I have been exploring it with my family who have come up with me.

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“I wouldn’t be doing that if I thought there was any possibility I could lose!”

Askin continued: “I’ve fought the best throughout my whole career and my record proves that.

“I’ve chosen to fight Stephen as he’s second in Britain in the rankings so this was my decision.

“I know he’s a very good boxer, but he’s not the biggest puncher.

“His speed isn’t as quick as mine but his will and determination and the way he fights. I know I’m going to have to be super fit.

“There are pros and cons of every fight and come fight night we’ll both be looking to exploit each other’s weaknesses.

“I’ve fought and sparred all over the world so that doesn’t bother me.

“A fight’s a fight at the end of the day and I’m sure there will be a lot of Scottish fans out in force.”

Simmons, who turned 33 earlier in the month, has spelled out his determination to win a major title in front of his home supporters before he hangs up his gloves.

He said: “I feel absolutely amazing and a massive thanks has to go to my promoters MTK Global for making this happen in my city.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

It’s going to be an incredible and unbelievable night with tickets sales flying through the roof already.

“I’ve been in this game a long time so I’ve got a lot of experience.

“I’m in beast mode in the gym just now to ensure you see the best Stephen Simmons on the night.”

Simmons continued: “I’m looking to win this title and then I’ll want to move on to something else.

“My main goal is still to win a world title so this is the opportunity I have been waiting for.

“I’d also be the first Scottish boxer to win the British at cruiserweight.

“I want to make history and I’m sure my team will be behind me all the way.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Matty to come up here and defend his title as he could have gone down a lot of easier routes.”

It will be Askin’s first defence of the title he won when emphatically defeating Craig Kennedy at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff in May.

Simmons made an unsuccessful bid to win the World Boxing Organisation international title in Hamburg last year when suffering a controversial loss to Germany’s Noel Gevor.

Simmons vowed: “It just makes me hungrier.

“Askin is a really good fighter but there’s no chance I’m leaving it down to the judges again. I’ll be making sure the title stays in Edinburgh.”

Also on the bill Gary Cornish and Sam Sexton meet for the British heavyweight title.