By Shaun Brown
Clouds seem to have a silver lining for Derry Mathews these days. Despite going down on his shield against Gavin Rees in Sheffield over a week ago, the Liverpudlian lightweight still has reasons to be optimistic about the future. His hopes of becoming British and European champion may be over for now but a couple of doors lie ajar for the 28-year old as he explained to BoxingScene recently.
"I've agreed to fighting Mzonke Fana in South Africa [for the WBF title], but nothing's been signed yet. That fight is for very good money. I've also been offered a rematch with Emiliano Marsili in Italy for the IBO title."
With Rees now vacating the British and European titles, Mathews was hoping to be in pole position to fight for the British at the very least. But with the latest title notices from the British Boxing of Board of control being sent out only last Wednesday, no one is the wiser as to who will be fighting for them.
Mathews gained plenty of plaudits in his defeat to the Welshman. His patient boxing style mixed with fighting on the front foot pleased not only the fans but also the man himself. Behind the jab, Mathews looked to be in control of not only the fight, he was in control of his emotions. When faced with adversity however he was happy to revert to type and trade shots.
"I've never done easy fight have I?" Mathews joked.
"Look, I had a great camp I'm happy with the way I performed, but no complaints the better man won. Me and Gavin both changed our tactics because I think he was expecting me to storm forward and I thought he'd do that too. Gavin's a top lad and a top fighter and I don't see any reason why he can't be a two-weight world champion (Writer’s note: Rumours abound that Rees will fight for the WBA title in October).
With conversation turning back to his own future, Mathews remains in a good place. Physically he's never looked better and mentally he appears stronger than ever. Domestically, his place in Britain's top ten at 135lbs means that there are no shortage of fights for him to consider. Even one against Scott Harrison perhaps?
"If there was something on the line then absolutely,” he said. “I'd fight him in Scotland too and I know I'd beat him any day of the week. It's good that he's back, but he's going to have to keep digging deep because he's not going to win a world title again.
"Ricky (Burns) is at the top of the tree right now and rightly so. But there's no reason why I couldn't fight John Murray or Anthony Crolla again. They're great fights for us all. For now though I just need to sit down with my team and see what is best for me and my future."