The vacant British Light Welterweight title (12 x 3) had promised bona fide combat between Scottish veteran Willie Limond (2 February 1979) and Welsh Chris Jenkins (14 August 1988) at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on 11 April 2015, live on Sky Sports. However, Limond has since cried off (shoulder injury) so Tyrone Nurse (4 January 1990) has grabbed the chance to take on Jenkins in the hope of striking lucky! Looking at the visuals and formbook it looks as though hope is all there is for the Yorkshireman.
At first glance!
Nurse comes to the fight with a decent record (Won 30 (KO 6) + lost 2 (KO 0) but when it is scrutinised it reveals a distinct lack of calibre. It took the boxer 13 fights and 59 rounds to stop an opponent like professional loser Johnny Greaves (4 wins from 100 fights)! On the other side of the same coin Dave Ryan knocked him down twice on his penultimate fight. Previously Ryan had achieved just 3 KO’s in his 9-year long career spanning 31 fights. That takes some digesting...
Of course records do not win fights – performances do!
Huddersfield star Tyrone Nurse said: “I will try to perform the way I know I can. Winning is first and foremost for me, as I am not a good loser. It’s great to be on another Matchroom show, they’re easy to work with and a great bunch of people in general. It is always a buzz to be on Sky, too. I just need to make sure that I perform, so people see what I’m capable of.” When asked about his preparation he attempted to convince: “The only difference was losing the extra bit of weight for a slightly longer bout than I was expecting before last week, and working out the style of boxing for the opponent. On the whole nothing has changed. If it had even been a journeyman and not Jenkins I would train with the same intensity and dedication. The Ryan loss has no bearing on me going into this fight. If anything the loss could play to my advantage as opponents may think that’s the Tyrone they will be facing, but I know differently. I’ve got my head screwed on and my mind on the job, and I know what the job at hand requires.”
Experience could be crucial - Aston. It is always crucial...
It was entertaining to hear trainer Chris Aston say ‘experience could be crucial’ as if Nurse had an edge in that department. He continued: “Tyrone came through 12 hard rounds with a hard man and acquitted himself well. We have trained hard, knowing an opportunity like this might come up, and now it’s time for Tyrone to use the know-how he has built up. Tyrone learned lessons from the Ryan fight. Now it’s time for him to fulfil ambitions.” What Chris Aston had not said is Jenkins has fought all over the world including representing Wales at the 2011 Word Amateur Boxing Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. He also represented his country at the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Chicago and won a gold medal at the Canada Cup. Conversely it is Jenkins who has the experience!
Jenkins is unbeaten and impressive!
The unbeaten 26 year-old Welsh challenger comes into the fight with a most impressive 16-0 (8 knockouts) record after winning the WBC International super lightweight title a year ago against Christopher Sebire of France. Jenkins first rose to fame nationally after impressively slamming his rivals in the Prizefighter Light Welterweights III tournament at the York Hall, Bethnall Green in July 2013. With just seven fights under his belt he won every round of his quarter-final and semi-final before knocking out Danny Connor in the second round of the final. And this was achieved with a big handicap given he fought last, this meant he did not have the same recovery time as his rivals. One cannot overestimate the size of that encumbrance and how easily he dealt with it!
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Morris and Bromfield had prepared for the tougher Limond
The Racing Horse witnessed the training of Jenkins close up and personal and he looks to have too much speed (hand and otherwise) and power for the new rival. One can only guess how well prepared Nurse is for such a fight but Jenkins has been preparing for two fights (one cancelled) and was brought to this peak by his trainer Ronnie Morris as if he were facing the mental and physical toughness of Limond. Jenkins will take the fight to his rival and hit him from lots of angles and especially to the body. The booming left hand to the right rib cage will feature heavily in this fight and end any notions Nurse might have!
The shot is arriving at the right time - Paul Boyce
The Welsh camp of Jenkins, Boyce, Morris and Bromfield had prepared meticulously for Limond as they had the utmost respect for what he had achieved. It was the hardest training camp to date. Professionalism bars anyone from talking about it but this fight must be easier! Manager Paul Boyce spelt it out respectfully yet confidently saying: “Chris is unbeaten and getting better with every fight. The shot is arriving at the right time and we recognise this chance of a lifetime.”
Great fight and huge opportunity - Eddie Hearn
Since his defeat by Ryan, Nurse has beaten one ordinary Bulgarian in Radoslav Mitev (knocked out nine times in 20 defeats). Eddie Hearn, of promoters Matchroom, said: “This is a great fight and a huge opportunity for both fighters to pick up one of the most prestigious belts in boxing. Tyrone was due to box on the bill regardless and will have plenty of support from the Yorkshire faithful, but Chris has been waiting a while for this opportunity and is in great shape. The light-welterweight domestic division is wide open and the winner of this one will be in pole position.”
Jenkins receives the assistance of Wales' boxing elite!
The Racing Horse met up again with three of Wales' boxing elite. Dai Gardiner, Ronnie Morris and Jimmer Bromfield boast a combined total of near 140-years of dedication to their sport. Dai Gardiner was the legendary trainer of Johnny Owen and we heeded his opinions. Together we watched Jenkins last piece of hard work before asking his views, Gardiner said he 'could not be more impressed or see any weaknesses.' The talent, attitude, boxing speed and fitness had been channelled into a super-charged dynamo. All four of us marvelled at the in-out footwork of Jenkins.
During the warm-down we spoke to trainer Ronnie Morris, he told The Racing Horse: “We will not be in a rush, we will not be careless. We will take the rounds one at a time and win each of them. From there we will build the necessary pressure." Jimmy Bromfield, famous for rescuing the career of Neville Meade before winning the British Heavyweight title said: "Chris's dedication and appetite for work was is good as anything he had seen in his lifetime." Given his wealth of experience and the number of British Champions trained that was some statement!
The fight is part of an attractive bill, topped by local hero Josh Warrington’s showdown with Dennis Tubieron, of the Philippines, for the vacant WBC International featherweight title.
For ticket details ring the First Direct Arena on 0844 248 1585 or go online at www.firstdirectarena.com.