Fitzgerald's ready to take big step up

Preston boxer Scott Fitzgerald is expecting a step up in class when he enters the ring this weekend.

Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 1:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 7:35 pm
Scott Fitzgerald at Monday's press conference to promote this weekends fight night at the Liverpool Arena, which is being staged by Matchroom Boxing

The light-middleweight ace takes on Yorkshireman Adam Jones on the undercard of Tony Bellew’s world WBC cruiserweight title fight against BJ Flores at the Liverpool Arena on Saturday.

It will be Fitzgerald’s fifth outing as a professional since turning over and signing for Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing promotions company at the end of last year.

In his first four fights, he has earned three stoppages – only taken the distance once in his last bout against Daryl Sharp, which ended in a points victory in Leeds for the ex-Larches and Savick ABC man.

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Fitzgerald’s undoubted punching power will be put to the test this weekend as he takes on a man who has proven staying power in the ring.

Although Jones – who is aged 24 – has lost 16 of his 26 professional bouts, he has never been stopped in his career.

The fight will also be Fitzgerald’s first six-round contest after his previous pro bouts were all scheduled for four rounds.

“Adam Jones has never been stopped before,” said Fitzgerald’s father and trainer Dave.

“And it will be Scott’s first six rounder.

“It’s definitely a step up for Scott from his last few fights.

“He’s up against a tougher opponent, who has gone the distance in all of his previous fights.

“It will be a massive statement if he can be the first man to stop him.

“Scott’s done well in his first four fights.

“He got the three stoppages in his first three fights and I thought he could have got the stoppage in his last fight against Sharp. He nearly got him.

“But it just shows – in his next fight Sharp went 10 rounds with Jimmy Kelly, who fought for the world title last year against Liam Smith.”

Now training under the guidance of Chorley’s former welterweight British champion Mick Jennings and his brother Dave, Fitzgerald is looking primed for a fifth successive victory.

“He’s well prepared and I’m really confident that he will win on Saturday,” added Dave.

“Usually, I get really, really nervous before his fights, but I’m feeling pretty confident this time.

“I’ve seen his preparation and he’s looking good. It’s been an eight-week training camp

“He’s had some really good sparring and he’s getting fitter and stronger as every week goes by as pro.

“Scott’s improving as well. He’s got a lot more head movement and he’s punching harder than ever.”

Fitzgerald, 24, has had sparring sessions with Jack Cullen, who he had a fantastic battle with on his way to winning the National ABA title, and former Team GB team-mate Troy Williamson.

“Jack has just turned pro.” said Dave. “He and Scott met in the quarter-final of the North West ABAs and that was a fight, which could have gone either way.

“He’s also had some great sparring with Troy, who just missed out on going to Rio this year. He came down from Darlington with his trainer Andy Marksby.”