By Jonathan Nagioff (@jonathannagioff)
Bournemouth middleweight boxer Matty Legg is predicting a “magical” night at the o2 academy on March 9th when he looks to claim the Southern Area title at the second attempt.
The 24-year-old (7-2-0), has been granted another shot at the belt he just fell short of securing in October, losing a contentious points decision to the experienced, Danny Butler in Bristol, despite flooring his opponent in the final round.
But with Butler choosing to vacate the belt, ‘Leggy’ tops the ‘Time to Shine’ bill when he faces Tey Lynn Jones (9-1-0) for the prestigious title.
Leggy has vowed to claim the win on March 9th and believes that the defeat to Butler was an important learning curve for him.
He told the Bournemouth Rock: “It’s going to be a magical night.
“I’m going to win the belt in front of a very boisterous crowd which I’ve been working hard for.
“To go in there and do 10 rounds with someone of that level and experience was brilliant (on Butler defeat).
“I learnt a lot from it and I’m going to put it into the night.”
Leggy was invited to spar with former middleweight world champion Liam Smith at Gallagher’s Gym in the lead up to his last fight and he believes that this experience will stand him in good stead for his upcoming bout.
He explained, “It was a massive, massive experience.
“Joe Gallagher’s (Smith’s trainer) got a unique way of running his gym. 30 second breaks, really intense heat, so it was brilliant, a massive confidence boost.
“He gave me a few pointers.
“That’s what I aim to do now. Get some good sparring in the next couple of weeks.
“Travel where ive got to travel and spare with the best in the country.”
The bill, organised by Steve Bendall will also feature the return of Cruiserweight prospect Chris Billam-Smith, who has not fought in his hometown since his debut.
Billam-Smith (4-0-0) is looking to continue his unbeaten streak and despite his switch to Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions, he remains keen to build his profile closer to home.
‘CBS’ joined forces with trainer Shane McGuigan after impressing him during a sparring session with WBA ‘super’ World Champion George Groves.
He has since benefited from some invaluable sparring with the likes of former two-weight world champion David Haye as well as with both Isaac Chamberlain and Lawrence Okolie in the run up to their grudge fight last Saturday night.
And Billam-Smith is excited to be returning to his hometown on March 9th.
He told the Rock: “I’m so excited (to be back in Bournemouth). My debut there was about 600 people there.
“The atmosphere will be even better and I hope to bring a performance to match.
“I’m confident of beating anyone domestically. I’ve got learning to do myself. I need to do my 6 rounders, my 8 rounders and get my fitness up.”
And the 27-year-old is aiming to claim a title of his own, as he prepares for a career-defining 2018.
He continued, “I’m getting great sparring and great work up in London (at Shane McGuigan’s gym) and hopefully next week I’ll be sparring British champion Matty Askin, so it’s good to get those markers to see where you’re at and what level of ability you are for those titles.
“I’ll be disappointed if I don’t win one of those by the end of the year (Commonwealth, English or Southern Area belt).
“I’ve got to keep winning and performing well, improving so March 9th is another chance for me to show my skills, but it’s also a chance to ruin my own plans.
“Every fight is an important as the next because if the worse was to happen in the next fight then the titles are not going to be there, so I have to focus on March 9th.”
Tickets are limited and are available directly from either Matty Legg or Chris Billam Smith on Facebook and Twitter.