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Time is right for Poxton Euro bid

Craig Poxton on his way to victory over Ibrar Riyaz. Picture: Jerry Daws/Stillfocusedmedia

Craig Poxton on his way to victory over Ibrar Riyaz. Picture: Jerry Daws/Stillfocusedmedia

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Lowestoft boxer Craig Poxton is perfectly positioned to make a good fist of the biggest fight of his career.

Poxton’s ring career has been turned on its head since a sensational victory over red-hot favourite Boy Jones Jnr in February. It earned him the Southern Area super-featherweight title, and now a shot at the WBO European crown – and even he couldn’t have dreamed his career would take such a turn.

Poxton, 28, is likely to face Leon Woodstock – either on the undercard of Billy Joe Saunders’ world middleweight title defence in London on September 16, or Josh Warrington’s next outing, in Leeds the following month.

And trainer Matt Smith says Poxton is perfectly placed to continue the upward trajectory in his career.

“We keep his feet on the ground but you just believe you can go to the next level,” he said. “And if you keep chipping away at those levels who knows where you can end up.

“But to be fighting for a European title now is not anything like a step up too soon – Craig is ready for this level now.”

Poxton was scheduled to defend his Southern Area title last weekend, but opponent Craig Whyatt pulled out injured and much-travelled Ibrar Riyaz stepped in at late notice. Despite suffering a flash knockdown in the second round, Poxton emerged a points winner and so claimed an International Challenge belt.

“It really was the ups and downs of boxing,” said Smith. “One minute you are fighting for the Southern Area title, then the phone rings very late in the day to say there is a pull-out. People then pull out all the stops to find an opponent and Craig still fights and then you turn up on the day to be told there will be an announcement that your next fight is for the WBO European title. It was all a bit crazy, but we are delighted.”

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