English title clash tops big Preston Guild Hall fight night

Promoter Johnney Roye believes a top domestic clash is headlining his bumper card in Preston on Saturday night.

Liam Conroy, who trains under Roye at the MTK Manchester gym in Oyston Mill on Strand Road in the city, will defend his English light heavyweight title against Miles Shinkwin.

Johnney Roye and Liam Conroy celebrate another victory.

Johnney Roye and Liam Conroy celebrate another victory.

The crunch meeting at 175lbs tops a 15-fight Guild Hall bill that includes Chorley’s British super lightweight champion Jack Catterall and Preston’s returning Matty Clarkson who is back after more than three years out.

Barrow’s Conroy, 15-3-1, has been on a rapid rise through the rankings having won five of his last six fights by knockout after moving up from middleweight.

Shinkwin, from Watford, has come up short in challenges for both the English and British titles before and knows this is make or break.

“It’s a genuine fight,” said Roye, who will act as trainer and promoter for the BoxNation-televised event.

“Liam’s facing his mandatory challenger. There’s no avoiding your mandatory and sometimes it isn’t a fight you like.

“Miles Shinkwin is a very good boxer but we would have taken this fight anyway.

“That’s the confidence I have in Liam, I’ve had it for a while, to take off the training wheels and go for it.

“He’s shown that he’s capable of doing that when he beat Joel McIntyre to win the title.”

Conroy arguably profited from stablemate Clarkson’s time on the sidelines with a neck injury.

The pair did plenty of sparring as Clarkson came up short in bids for the English and British belts with the Cumbrian then kicking on in his enforced absence, the Preston fighter having been out of action since November 2014.

“Part of Liam’s success at national level was due to Matty,” Roye said.

“Both of them were each other’s main sparring partners and once Matty retired it left the door open for Liam and he’s taken full advantage of that. He took the reigns up and hasn’t looked back.

“Matty wants to win the English and British titles on his return and with one of the titles already in the gym it’s a good problem to have.”

As well as Conroy and Clarkson, Roye will also be in the corner of Barrow debutant Mike McGoldrick on Saturday night.