By Terence Dooley
Frank Warren brought together the undercard fighters for his December 22 show at the Manchester Arena last week to discuss their respective bouts. Josh Warrington’s maiden IBF title defence against Carl Frampton tops the bill, but there are other intriguing fights in prospect on the show, which will be televised by BT Sport here in the UK.
Martin Murray (37-4-1, 17 KOs) is set to meet former WBA World middleweight champion Hassan N'Dam (36-3, 21 KOs) on the bill and the St Helens-based boxer believes that he can bring the form he has been showing in the gym into the ring come fight night.
“This is a good fight for me,” stated the 36-year-old. “He’s a good fighter, a former world champion, but I feel very good in the gym. I know in my own body that I can win this fight.”
Tommy Fury, the brother of Tyson, makes his professional debut on the show yet he sounded relaxed when asked about making the transition from the amateur to the paid ranks. “It’s just a few more people watching and the bright lights on you,” he said. “My debut has been a long time coming and I’m looking forward to it. I’m fully prepared for this.”
Sam Maxwell (9-0, 7 early) also features. The 30-year-old's opponent has yet to be revealed yet he intends to net a win to move to 10-0 before moving on to bigger things, saying: “I’ve had my apprenticeship now. If I come through this next fight there’s going to be some very good fights for me in 2019.”
Nathan Gorman (14-0, 11 stoppages) faces a step up in class when he meets Alex Leapai (32-7-4, 26 KOs) yet the 22-year-old believes that he can make a statement by securing a big win over the Australia-based Samoan. “If I can get Leapai out earlier than [Wladimir] Klitschko did that people will start to stand up and take notice,” he declared.
Despite an evenly-matched main event the vacant British middleweight title bout between undefeated contender Mark Heffron (21-0, 17 KOs) and former WBO interim light-middleweight world title challenger Liam Williams (18-2-1, 13 early) could steal the show, with the 26-year-old vowing to prove that his decision to move up a division following back-to-back losses to Liam Smith will be vindicated.
“This is a very good fight for me and has come at the right time,” he said. “I’m feeling super strong and the step up in weight has been great for me. I don’t like losing and my setback has given me that fire in my belly to come back stronger.”
“At this level I will beat them all,” declared Heffron, 27. “This is a bigger fight (than the original one against Jason Welborn) and I am buzzing to be a part of this night.”
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