Johnny Garton has his sights set on a shot at the British belt early in 2018 – as he gets ready to make his first ring outing under new promoter Frank Warren this weekend.
The Peckham welterweight is on Saturday night’s big show at the Copper Box Arena at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which features world title defences by James DeGale and Lee Selby.
Garton, 30, has signed for Warren after long-term manager Steve Goodwin agreed to cancel their contract.
He is fighting
“Steve has done so much for me – I can’t thank him enough,” said the South Londoner. “I won the Southern Area and English titles with him. But on non-TV shows the money is terrible.
“Steve kept saying he was going to get me another title fight but nothing was happening. I’ve got a baby daughter now and I’ve got to start fighting to put money on the table.
“I asked Steve for my contract back and luckily enough Andy Ayling, who signed me, is part of the Frank Warren set-up.
“His shows are on BoxNation and BT Sport. People will get to see more of me. I’ve just signed and I’m straight onto a big show and boxing for a title. It seems I made the right decision.”
Garton (20-1-1) takes on French-based Mihail Orlov (12-61) for the vacant IBF East/West Europe strap. But his short-term plan is to go for the domestic crown when good friend Bradley Skeete opts to vacate.
“I’m fifth in the British rankings and it’s only world champions and Bradley who are in front of me,” he said. “I feel I deserve a shot. That’s the goal for me once I have got Saturday out of the way.
“My sights are set on the British. If Bradley vacates I don’t think I should have to fight an eliminator.
“Tamuka Mucha was supposed to be boxing John O’Donnell in an eliminator but O’Donnell pulled out with an injury. So let me fight Tamuka and the winner defends against O’Donnell.”
Greenwich heavyweight Daniel Dubois will be aiming to keep the buzz about his progress in the paid ranks going as he takes on Dorian Darch on the undercard.
The South Londoner will have his sixth bout this year. The former GB international left the amateur ranks to sign a lucrative deal with Warren, making his professional bow in April.
Dubois has impressively dispatched all five of his opponents comfortably inside the distance – blitzing Brixton’s AJ Carter in September to collect the Southern Area title.
“I’ll start to get my ‘fight head’ on from the moment I’m given a date,” said Dubois. “I’ll get to work, week by week, preparing for battle. It’s all the hard work in the gym that instils real confidence, not shouting and hollering at press conferences or staring at opponents at the weigh-in or face-off. That won’t faze me. I pay no attention to that.
“In the changing room on fight night I’ll finally start to get some butterflies about an hour beforehand – but that’s a good thing. I never feel threatened by the job in hand and just prepare me mind to do what I have to do.
“Punching hard, causing the destruction I do, is a combination of brute strength, technique and a clinical mindset. I do weights to increase my power and refine the technique through repetition every day on the bags, pads and spars. Sparring is my main thing.
“I never worry about what damage I could inflict, because I know the opponent will have trained hard to hurt me.
“People talk about me needing to get some rounds in but I do plenty in sparring. That’s not a concern for me. I take them out as soon as I can. I never feel bad when they’re laid out at my feet.
“If I read something uncomplimentary in the media or hear something negative from an opponent, then I store it until fight night. That’s when I inflict my retribution. Talk is cheap.
“To be fair, I’ve not really encountered much hostility to date but I’m sure it’ll come as I move up the levels. I embrace the threat of being challenged. It’s a fight, all part of the game.
“Dorian Darch is a good test for sure – some say my toughest – but we’ll see. I’ve worked very hard to finish the year with another knockout victory. I’m more than ready.”