Lee ‘Lights Out’ Purdy says he is not looking past Colin Lynes to a rematch with Denton Vassell – as he wants to secure the Lonsdale belt for keeps on Wednesday night (November 9).
The Colchester man won the British Welterweight title in April, wrestling it from Craig Watson with a fifth round stoppage at the M.E.N Arena in Manchester. Purdy repeated the feat in a July rematch in Oldham in emphatic fashion, and victory live on Sky Sports against Hornchurch’s Lynes at Bethnal Green’s York Hall would mean the 24 year-old kept the famous Lonsdale Belt.
“It’s a dream to win the belt outright and to think that I’ve gone from a Southern Area title loss to winning the Lonsdale Belt is really just a testament to how much work Tony has done with me since I’ve joined with him,” said Purdy. “Since moving there I’ve been sparring with the likes of Lenny Daws, Darren Barker and John O’Donnell and I’ve been learning something every single day since coming into the gym. I’ve got lots more to learn though but I know I’m in the perfect place to do it. I’ll treat this fight like it’s the first fight with Craig Watson and that’s the way it will always be.”
Purdy knows that Lynes will provide a stern test, with the 33 year-old having 44 fights to Purdy’s 19 and over 170 more professional rounds under his belt than the champion. But with gym pal Darren Barker recently taking on pound-for-pound Middleweight king Sergio Martinez in Atlantic City, Purdy believes he’s in the best place to prepare for the Lynes examination.
“He’s been around the block a few times so I know what to expect,” said Purdy. “He likes to work behind the jab and try to outbox me so that’s what we’re working on. He’s had 40-odd fights so he knows his way around the ring but I think my youth and strength will see me through.
“It has been buzzing in here with Darren and the rest of the boys and we’re just one big family, no one fighter gets all the attention so whether it’s Darren’s World title fight or my British title fight, the whole gym just gets on with it and mucks in.”
The victories over Watson looked to have bought Purdy closer to something he has been wanting for a while – a rematch with Denton Vassell. Purdy faced Vassell for the vacant Commonwealth title in Wigan in April 2010, losing to the Manchester man on points. Vassell defends that title for the second time on Saturday night, and Purdy believes he is avoiding giving him a rematch.
“I was hoping to fight Denton again around now but he doesn’t want the fight – I believe his team don’t think that he can beat me now and they’ve swerved me and gone down a different route,” said Purdy. “He’s had a couple of fights since we met and he hasn’t done much in them, didn’t really impress at all and I’ve come off two great wins over Craig.
“I only really had two weeks to prepare for Vassell – don’t get me wrong, I was in good shape as I was getting ready for another fight but it’s still late notice to prepare to face someone at his level but if we meet again it will be for our titles and we’d have proper preparation time for it. Every fighter wants the chance to avenge their defeats and I’m no different.”
Tickets for the ‘Battle of Essex’ between Purdy and Lynes plus the full championship undercard led by Ashley Sexton’s English title defence against Luke Wilton are available from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900 priced at £35 unreserved, £60 ringside and £100 VIP.
November 4, 2011