The Prizefighter Super-Middleweights II show hits Liverpool Olympia night (March 23) and the four local fighters in the line-up have promised Mersey fight fans there will be a hometown winner.
Robin Reid, Carl Dilks, Joe Ainscough and Rocky Fielding welcomed their opponents to Merseyside at today’s weigh-in (March 22) but the quartet promised their opponents a rough ride on the night in front of a vocal home support.
“I’m really excited and knowing that I’m going to have great support in Olympia is just going to push me that extra bit,” said Ainscough, who faces Sheffield southpaw Wayne Reed in the second quarter final. “I just want to get in there now and soak it up – the four of us will have most of the support and we won’t let them down.”
Ainscough and Reed could both potentially face local rivals in the first semi-final, with Liverpool’s Fielding taking on Sheffield fighter Patrick J Maxwell in the opening bout of the night. Fielding was the final fighter to join the line-up last week and came in bang on the weight – something he says proves his preparation has been perfect despite the late notice.
“It’s been a whirlwind from not being involved at all to being in the line-up but I’m buzzing now,” said Fielding. “I’ve always been good at making weight, it’s never been a problem – I knew the target and I knew what to do to get there.”
The unbeaten 23 year-old has just three fights on his record but those around him know more than enough about Prizefighter to aid his shot at the £32,000 winner’s cheque. Prizefighter Super-Featherweights finalist Derry Matthews will be in his corner on the night and he has recently worked with both Martin Murray – who won the Middleweights event – and Tony Dodson, who would have fought in the final of the Light-Heavyweights II in January had bad cuts from his quarter-final and semi-final wins not prevented him from doing so.
“Having Derry in the corner is a real boost and along with what I’ve learnt from Martin and Tony, I’ve definitely got an inside track into what is needed tomorrow,” added Fielding.
The third quarter-final of the night pits three-time World champion Reid against unbeaten Welsh prospect Tobias Webb. Reid made his comeback to the ring against Jamie Ambler at the beginning of March, with his points win in Bolton his first fight since losing a British title fight to Carl Froch in November 2007. The 40 year-old insists he still has ambitions in the sport and also has the ingredients to get the better of the 22 year-old Webb and go on to lift the trophy.
“Three fights in one night is a new challenge for me and that’s what you should be in boxing to do, test yourself,” said Reid. “People forget that I had a great amateur career and when you add that to the experience I’ve got in the pro game, I’ve clearly got the lot to win this.”
The fourth quarter-final pits Dilks against Leicester fighter Jahmaine Smyle – and the hometown fighter is the bookmakers jolly to win the 17th edition of Prizefighter, and he is only to aware of the fate of previous favourites. The 27 year-old hopes to buck the trend though and put the memories of his first round defeat to James DeGale in September firmly behind him in the process.
“The favourite never wins Prizefighter!” said Dilks. “Being the bookies pick is a bit of added pressure but I am well up for this, don’t worry about that. I know Prizefighter is a great springboard and after DeGale, it’s the right thing for me to do. The atmosphere is going to be electric so all of us will be looking to put on a show.”
Unreserved tickets for Prizefighter Super-Middleweights II priced at £30 will be available on the door at Liverpool Olympia from 6.30pm on Wednesday night.
Prizefighter Super-Middleweights II draw (with weights)
Rocky Fielding (12st 3lb) v Patrick J Maxwell (12st 0lb 15oz)
Joe Ainscough (12st 3lb) v Wayne Reed (12st 1lb 10oz)
Robin Reid (12st 2lb 5oz) v Tobias Webb (12st 1lb 3oz)
Carl Dilks (12st 2lb 11oz) v Jahmaine Smyle (12st 0lb 9oz)