Stakes high for champion Arnfield

Trainer Michael Jennings says it will be make-or-break for Stalmine's Jack Arnfield when he takes on Mick Hall at Preston Guild Hall on Saturday in front of the ITV-4 cameras.

Thursday, 19th January 2017, 6:25 am
Updated Thursday, 19th January 2017, 7:26 am
Arnfield - aims to keep hold of belt

Jennings fully expects his man to hold on to the World Boxing Association international middleweight title on the show but warned: “Jack knows how much there is at stake for him on Saturday.

“If he loses, then it is back to square one.

“But this is moving-on fight for him and a win will put him on the road to bigger things and better pay-days.”

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The Fylde coast 27-year-old has shown all the indications that he is maturing as a fighter, as shown by the manner in which he beat John Ryder to take that middleweight belt in Manchester last September.

Jennings said: “Ryder was the favourite to win that fight and Jack was only a 5-1 underdog.

“Everyone thought that Ryder was going to win, except for us. We had a game-plan and Jack carried it out.”

Jennings agrees that Arnfield, who is due to meet Elliott Mathews in an eliminator for the British middleweight title somewhere down the line, is improving all the while.

He added: “I am not saying it is all down to us but Jack is a different fighter now.

“He was making mistakes when he first came to us and these have been ironed out.”

What could be key on Saturday is who is better over the 12-round distance.

It will be a big step into the unknown for the 30-year-old Prestonian Hall, while Arnfield has clocked up the full distance twice – against Ryder and against Nick Blackwell when the Lonsdale Belt was at stake in November 2015.

Jennings said: “When I was boxing I had a reputation of being one of the fittest in the country, but it is not easy to step up from eight or 10 rounds – those last two rounds can be a struggle.

“Jack has done the distance twice and Mick hasn’t. We think that is an advantage for Jack.

“But we are preparing for a fighter who will be able to go the 12 rounds We can’t take anything for granted.”

It will be good projection for both boxers, with ITV coming back to cover the sport.

Jennings said: “It will be good exposure for Jack and it could be watched by millions. Jack is always a boxer who gives good value.”

Arnfield has had plenty of good sparring in the build-up, including sharing the ring with another Jennings-trained boxer in Mark Jeffers.

The Chorley middleweight is on the under card of Saturday’s Guild Hall bill.

Arnfield helped to promote this weekend’s fight by taking to Preston North End’s Deepdale pitch with Hall last Saturday.

The Stalmine fighter displayed his WBA belt as the pair were introduced to the crowd at the Championship clash with Brighton.