Mathews vows to win world title for city

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Derry Mathews with JMU Journalism's Sean Purvis

Derry Mathews with JMU Journalism’s Sean Purvis

Derry Mathews pledged to deliver a world title to the city when he fights Ismael Barroso for an interim version of the WBA lightweight world title on Saturday night.

Scouser Mathews, 31, was put through his paces in a public work-out on Tuesday as the sun shone brightly at Chavasse Park in Liverpool One.

The current British and Commonwealth lightweight champion saw his showdown with WBA champion Richar Abril called off for a second time due to an illness to the Cuban, so Barroso has stepped in at short notice.

The 32-year-old left-hander is unbeaten in 19 fights, two of which have been drawn, and he has stopped 16 of his 17 beaten opponents.

Speaking exclusively to JMU Journalism after his work out, Mathews spoke of how Abril pulling out will not halt his preparation as he looks forward to taking on his new Venezuelan opponent.

Mathews said: “I’m fighting a southpaw now, and he knocks a lot of fellas out, but I’ve been around in the game a long time now. I’m a professional fighter and I’ve just got to deal with it. It’s up to myself to get my tactics spot-on to take on this kind of opponent and I believe I’m doing that.

“He’s coming to Liverpool and he’s hardly been out of Venezuela before, so it’s a big fight for him but it’s a massive fight for me as well – it’s life-changing for both of us.

“It’s something I owe the public. They’ve been brilliant down through the years, about 12 years, it’s about paying them back now and winning the world title will do that.

Derry Mathews tests himself to the limit in training. Pic by Sean Purvis / JMU Journalism

Derry Mathews tests himself to the limit in training. Pic by Sean Purvis / JMU Journalism

“It’s my time now to win a world title and I’ve done everything right. I have done anything that’s been asked of me and I believe I’m the best lightweight in the country, if not one of the best in the world.

“Saturday night I’ve got to go and do a job to get that belt, but most of all to get the win for the city.”

On Friday, the boxers will meet and weigh-in at the Bierkeller Liverpool, before taking on each other on Saturday night at the Echo Arena.

The exciting fight card also features Liverpool stars Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith who will face Argentina’s David Ezequiel Romero for the Vacant WBO Intercontinental Light-Middleweight Championship, plus bouts for Joe Selkirk, Steven Lewis, James Metcalf and the pro debuts of amateur stars John Gillies and Andrew Cain.

 

About Sean Purvis, JMU Journalism