By Wayne Bartlett: When a disputed decision causes a favoured fighter to be upset, the consensus is, lightning won’t strike twice.
For Danny Connor, the status of Southern Area light-welterweight champion doesn’t come down to having possession of a belt or knowing that he deserves the title. It’s now about others knowing it.
After claiming the 10 stone title in September of last year, Connor has had to pull out of a scheduled rematch once with Evangelou, and this Saturday night at Wembley Arena he says it is his chance prove himself once again.
“On the night I thought I won the fight, but it was close and could have gone either way,” said Connor on the morning of the weigh-in.
“But after watching the fight back I thought I definitely won it. At the end of the day, Chris is going to scream the place down saying that he won that fight but the referee gave to me by four rounds.
“I was the away fighter, on a Matchroom show, fighting a Matchroom fighter. They’re not going to give you the decision if you don’t deserve it are they.”
Referee and sole scorer that night, Ken Curtis’ 98-94 scorecard at Alexandra Palace, a day over six months ago from the rematch, rewarding the tenacity and hard work of the London born underdog over ten hard rounds, rather than the flashier single shots of his popular foe.
27-year-old Evangelou went into the fight on the back of nine straight wins as a pro and enjoyed training visits to the US in preparation for the bout, but Connor was not impressed.
“Chris,” says the 26-year-old, “Faced his first live opponent, and I did a job on him. Going to the Mayweather gym and training with the best in the world hasn’t done him any favours has it.”
Brought through the early stages of his career at a higher weight and admitting himself he wasn’t living the life a professional fighter should be living, the 7-5-1 Connor has rattled off four straight wins since his change in perception, which has brought him to this the biggest fight of his career to date.
“I’m so focused,” Insisted Connor with his usual honesty on the eve of the fight. “I’m stronger. Everything has gone perfect; I’m not going to sit here lying about it because the only person I’d be kidding is myself.
“If for some reason Chris does beat me Saturday night, I’ve got no excuses. He’s not going to win.”