Wakefield boxer Andy Townend will miss out on fighting for a second title this weekend but is keen to get the job done against an unbeaten up-and-coming opponent.
The 24-year-old twice had opponents pencilled in for title bouts at the Doncaster Dome on Saturday night but both pulled out.
It left the Wakefield fighter, who won the British Masters lightweight title last time out, scrambling around for a fight to stay on the eleven-bout bill and Liverpool’s Jake Smith was happy to plug the gap.
Smith, 21, has only entered the ring for three fights since turning professional but has won them all in a promising start to his career.
The Liverpudlian will provide a different opposition to usual for Townend, and the Wakefield boxer is eager to meet that challenge this weekend.
“I don’t know a whole lot about him other than the fact that he’s unbeaten so far,” he said.
“He’ll come with a game plan and I’ll see how it goes from the first round and take things from there.
“It’ll be a bit different for me. He’ll be coming into this fight confident because of his record so I’ll have to be on my guard.
“I’m confident as well though, I’d have liked to have a title fight this weekend but at least I’m still on the bill and against an opponent who has yet to suffer defeat.”
The former White Rose Boxing Club member was initially pencilled in to face Leeds fighter Danny Wallace for the Central Area super featherweight title but Wallace pulled out due to poor preparation in the build-up.
Craig Johnson was then due to face the Wakefield fighter for a British Masters title but pulled out just a week ago.
The drop-outs mean Townend will drop back down to a six-round contest, and to lightweight level, after fighting over ten rounds last time.
“We asked him [Smith] if he wanted to fight at eight rounds but eventually agreed on six,” said Townend.
“I’d have liked to box over eight or ten rounds again but it wasn’t to be.”
Townend will go into the bout in confident mood thanks to his ten-round success against Barnsley’s Ben Wager that saw him clinch the British Masters title last time out.
“It’s been good in training since then,” he said.
“I’ve been training well on the back on that win and I’ve just been looking forward to getting back in the ring. It should be a good fight on Saturday night.”
The former England amateur international, who trains at Stefy Bull’s Empress Ballroom gym in Mexborough, is set to be the penultimate fight on a strong eleven-bout show in South Yorkshire.
Doncaster’s Gavin McDonnell will top the bill as he takes on Ross Burkinshaw for the Central Area super bantamweight title.
Townend’s focus will be firmly on Saturday night but another bout has been provisionally booked for early September at the Dome, with an opponent to be confirmed.
It could provide the former Kettlethorpe High School pupil with another shot at a British Masters or Central Area title opportunity if things go to plan against Smith this weekend.
“That’s not set in stone just yet but it’s been pencilled in,” said Townend.
“It all depends on getting time off work to train but hopefully I can be on that bill and hopefully I can go for another title.”
Townend will again be backed by a strong following at the Dome and there are still a handful of tickets left for the show. They are priced at £35 and can be bought be calling Townend direct on 07857 180576.