Fight fans rally to back Central boxers

Sports feature on Central Boxing Club, Batley. Tony Aitcheson
Sports feature on Central Boxing Club, Batley. Tony Aitcheson

Central Boxing Club duo Tony Aitcheson and Josh Warrington look set to be backed by a huge following for the Leeds Town Hall show on March 22.

Warrington will make the first defence of his English featherweight title when he takes on Devon’s Jamie Speight in his home city.

Warrington has based himself at the Central, which continues to gain notable recognition from fighters and trainers across the north of England.

He has been doing strength and condition work under the guidance of Central trainer John Tallant and admits the date of his homecoming can’t come soon enough.

Warrington said: “Ticket sales are going really well and there will be between five and six hundred there supporting me on the night.

“Tony’s tickets have also been going and it’s looking like being a sell-out.

“We just both want to make an impression and prove there is a fan base that want to come watch us at home.

“Defending my title at home gives me chance to let people see what all the fuss is about and to show that I’m a true English champion before going on to better things.”

Leeds United striker Ross McCormack and former whites player Dom Matteo have both leant their support to Warrington via Twitter as momentum continues to build.

It promises to be an exciting month for local fight fans as hard-hitting Dewsbury boxer Aitcheson makes his ring return after almost four years out.

Aitcheson, who boasted an unbeaten amateur record and won his only pro bout in May 2009, is ready to be unleashed when he meets Surrey’s Ross Payne on the March 22 show.

Aitcheson has sold around 150 tickets and is counting down the days until his return.

He said: “I know who I’m fighting now and I’ve been told the lad will come to fight me, which is exactly what I want.

“I don’t just want a punchbag in there with me, I want someone who will hit back but I will be looking to put on a show and just can’t wait to get back in the ring.”

Dewsbury star Gary Sykes is gearing up to his must win fight against Kevin Hooper for the vacant English super featherweight title in Cleethorpes on March 15.

Sykes has been taking the fight extremely seriously and knows victory would put him back in contention to challenge once more for the British title.

Ironically Sykes’ opponent Hooper has come up against Warrington’s challenger Speight when the Grimsby man won the vacant British Masters lightweight title on points in October 2011.