Fresh from impressing an enthusiastic South African audience, Preston’s Matty Clarkson has attached his focus firmly on titles as he aims to make 2013 a year to remember. Clarkson’s stirring 7th round stoppage over local fighter, Tshepang Mohale, on Saturday was the Coldwell Boxing star’s second straight victory since his autumn setback against Courtney Fry and the Lancashire light-heavyweight is adamant that the lone defeat on his ledger is definitely out of his system.
“The fight against Fry was basically a gamble that didn’t pay off but there’s no point getting down over it and that’s why I’ve been moved quick since it happened. Dave [Coldwell] offered me the Fry fight and we all thought that it was the right fight at the right time but that wasn’t the way it played out and I was beaten by the better man on the night. I conceded a lot of experience to Fry in that fight and that was a big factor but I learnt so much in defeat and I knew that it would make be a better fighter moving forward.”
A routine points win over Derby’s Elvis Dube in December was the first step back for Clarkson and it appeared that the wounds suffered in the Fry battle were definitely beginning to heal. When the opportunity arose to provide support to Matthew Hatton in the Manchester’s fighter’s latest belt crack in the southern hemisphere, Clarkson saw it as an ideal way to expand his ring education and he jumped at the once in a lifetime opening.
“It was a different world over there and for the entire time I spent there, I was made to feel like a superstar,” buzzed Clarkson. “No matter where you went over there, people were talking about the show and it was always getting hyped on the TV channels over there. You’d sit in a restaurant or be having a drink in a cafe and the fight was being promoted on their TV stations every single second of the day. It wasn’t just the main event that was being spoke about, even guys on the undercard like myself were being mentioned. That importance gave me a huge boost and it felt good to go in there and do a proper number on their guy.”
With the victory over Mohale containing real significance in South Africa, local promoters have been quick to lure Clarkson back for another African adventure with a summer showdown against the highly-rated Isaac Chilemba being high on their list of possibilities. Despite the high of Saturday’s victory, Clarkson’s feet remain firmly grounded when discussing his next move.
“The fight with Chilemba was pretty much offered straightaway but myself and Dave aren’t stupid and that’s not a fight that we’ll be paying any real attention to and the both of us laughed it off pretty much immediately. Chilemba is due to face Tony Bellew in a few weeks with the winner going on to receive a WBC title shot and that’s the kind of level that I’m nowhere near at the moment. Bob Ajisafe’s is set to challenge for the British title shortly and his English belt is something that appears more realistic at the moment. Dave has told me that he wants me fighting for titles regularly now so hopefully that’s the end of six and eight round fights for me.”
With a vision based purely on titles and honours set out for Clarkson, promoter Coldwell remains hopeful that the remainder of the season and beginning of the next one can see Clarkson make giant strides on the domestic landscape. Sitting ringside for Clarkson’s latest scalp, Coldwell was delighted with his charge’s performance and is confident that more dominant displays will become a regular theme for his man.
“Watching Matty go out there and perform the way he did was one of the most satisfying moments in my ten years as a promoter,” revealed Coldwell. “Ever since the Fry defeat, Matty has been in the gym almost every day trying to put right what went wrong and that shows huge balls and tremendous character. Fighting away from home can be a daunting prospect but Matty went out there without any fear whatsoever and took apart his opponent without any regards to his surroundings. This victory was a massive turning point in the career of Matty Clarkson and I’m certain that there’ll be many more great nights ahead.”