Preston boxer Scott Fitzgerald will take a great deal of confidence from his last outing, despite being dumped on his backside for the first time as a pro.
The reigning Commonwealth Games gold medal winner, who will get his 2017 campaign under way next month, was given an almighty scare by Yorkshire’s Adam Jones at the Liverpool Arena in October.
In control of the fight after winning the opening two rounds, Fitzgerald was stunned in the third when he was caught by a right-hander to the temple which sent him tumbling to the canvas.
Fortunately, the knockdown came close to the bell and the 25-year-old was able to recover his composure for the start of the fourth.
His class told in the end as he went on to outbox Jones over the remainder of the six-round bout to extend his unbeaten record to five as a professional.
His dad Dave, who trains him alongside Mick and Dave Jennings, believes his son can take credit for the way he secured the win against a naturally heavier opponent.
“To be honest, Jones was a bit too heavy for Scott really,” said Dave Fitzgerald. “Jones actually fought at light heavyweight a few weeks later, which is two weights above Scott’s weight which is light-middleweight.
“Jones did not quite make the weight for the fight, but Scott still took it on because he backed himself to beat him.
“What Scott showed was a lot of character; he got up off his backside and went on to win the fight.
“He only lost that round he got put down, he won won every other round.
“I think it was a good fight for Scott because it was a bit of a learning curve for him.
“Jones had never been stopped in his career and Scott tried to take the lad out, but he was never going to do that.
“But it’s definitely something he can learn from.”
After racking-up five wins in his first year in the paid ranks,the ex-Larches and Savick Amateur Boxing Club star will open his 2017 campaign with an appearance on home soil next month.
He will be the headline act at the Preston Guild Hall on a show organised by Steve Wood VIP Promotions.
Against an opponent yet to be confirmed, Fitzgerald – who won the National ABA in 2013 – is sure to attract a large home crowd for the event which takes place on Saturday, March 11.
The show is being billed as the ‘Homecoming’ as it is the first time the Jennings Gym ace has fought in his home city since winning Commonwealth gold in Glasgow nearly three years ago.
As well as the opportunity to fight in front of a familiar crowd, Fitzgerald may also get the chance to fight for his first title as a pro.
A British Masters title could be on offer to him although ultimately he is working towards a shot at the British Title and wearing a prestigious Lonsdale Belt around his waist
“We’re hoping he will fight for a title at the Guild Hall - maybe a masters belt,” Dave Fitzgerald said.
“It’s going to be a big year for him. Hopefully this time next year, he will be in position to start thinking about fighting for the British Title.
“With the British Boxing Board of Control, you have got to have so many fights under your belt before they will sanction a British Title fight.
“He’s had five up to now. He probably needs 10 fights and 10 wins at least before he can go for that.
“If he was to fight for the British Title this year, it would be something special, but we’re aiming for next year.
“We will just have to see how it all pans out.”
After his appearance at the Guild Hall, Fitzgerald is scheduled for another outing just over a month later at the Liverpool Arena.
His promoter Eddie Hearn has pencilled him in to fight on the undercard of a showscreened by Sky Sports, which will feature Sean Dodd, Rocky Fielding and David Price along with the comeback fight of two-time world super-featherweight title challenger Stephen Smith.
To book tickets for the ‘Homecoming’ at the Guild Hall, which are priced between £40 and £120, access the website www.vipboxing.tv/shop/vip-tickets/11th-march-preston-guild-hall