By Matt Bevan
When it comes to prospects in boxing, we’re used to seeing them in straight forward fights, where a win is practically guaranteed, as they gain experience in the ring, get used to that winning feeling and pad the record to boost their credibility.
Some move on quickly to a standard of fight, whilst others remain on the same course before falling flat in their first real test. Very few take risks in the early stages of their careers. Step forward Danny Craven who wants to buck the trend.
The Warrington welterweight is not a name that immediately draws recognition. He hasn’t come from the Olympic squad or does he have a contract with one of the big promoter’s who hold a TV deal in the UK, but what he has done is take a risk early in his career to prove himself a name to keep an eye on.
Craven is now 3-0, following a points victory over 12-1 Nathan McIntosh, and he is aiming to do things a little differently alongside his manager and former fighter Kieran Farrell.
He told Boxing Scene: “It’s been a little bit overwhelming since I won and it’s not sunk in properly yet, but I’m already ready for the next one. It was a risk to face McIntosh, but I believe in myself and there was no point in facing journeymen, when I could put myself out there in a real fight.
“I want to go out there against a real fighter who, like me, is prepared to put it all out on the line, whereas most fighters skip a few and pad their record out. For example, Conor Benn. Who has he actually fought? I’ll fight him on July 1 and I know I’m on the shortlist for that, although he probably won’t take it.
“Taking on journeymen is easy money. But what’s the point? I don’t want that. You can either settle for the easy route or take a risk and do it the hard way. I believe I’m doing this the right way and so does Kieran, so I’m going to go for it and have no regrets.”
As for his manager, Farrell is already building a reputation of securing his fighters opportunities and putting on exciting shows, with genuine 50/50 fights that are gaining attention among UK crowds.
He is proud of Craven and the route he has chosen to go down and is backing his man to achieve big things in the sport.
Farrell added: “It was sink or swim for Danny and he came through with flying colours and is hungry to achieve more.
“I’d rather be associated with guys who want to prove themselves, rather than those who want to build an unbeaten record against guys who have no ambition. If Danny continues to take real fights and ends up at 8-2 after no fights, then there is no shame in that.
“But for real, this guy can fight and he’s not in the sport to mess around. He has big ambitions and I genuinely believe he can be in and around British level in 2018, especially if he keeps picking up wins like he did against Nathan McIntosh. No other welterweight in the UK was taking that fight, but Danny did in just his third fight and bossed it. He’s a star of the future.”
Craven, who only made his debut last November, now holds the British Challenge belt, which he admits isn’t highly regarded, but knows that it can be a stepping stone towards securing bigger fights with more significant belts on the line.
The 24-year-old finished by saying he has his eye on securing an Area title by the end of the year, before really stepping up in class in 2018.
He said: “The title I won is nice to have it, but it is in reality a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
“We all want titles, so I feel like I have done well and got something to show from boxing, but it’s got me going and I want even more now. I’ve definitely got my eye on a Central Area title and I want one by the end of the year, which would mean even more to me than the Challenge belt.
“Then I’ll be ready to go up to English or even British level and pay back the faith that Kieran has put in me. He doesn’t waste his time with anyone and I want to prove I’m as good as he says I am. Like I said, I don’t want to have any regrets and I’m going to continue putting myself out there in real fights.”