No ordinary Joe

First published in Sport
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Writer

Joe Pigford is preparing to take his first meaningful steps into the world of professional boxing - despite already having had one fight.

The 19-year-old from Southampton made his debut on the Southampton Guildhall show in November last year but didn’t get much out of it as he knocked out his opponent after just 37 seconds.

Pigford is a big hitter and so getting him rounds won’t be easy but that is the task facing his trainer, Wayne Batten, as he prepares his charge ahead of the latest Guildhall show on Friday, March 1.

“He had a great debut and I’m really excited about him,” said Batten.

“He has been sparring with Chris Eubank Jnr and Nick Blackwell, and has also done some rounds with King (Davidson) and he’s done all the right things we’ve asked him to do.

“I think this is the start of an exciting journey.

“Joe has transferred from the amateurs to the pros very well.

“Getting him some good sparring has been key at this stage as that’s the main way he’s going to improve.”

There is already a bit of a buzz building about Pigford.

Not only is the welterweight a concussive puncher and a committed trainer, but he has also has a big following.

That support was incredibly vocal last time out at the Guildhall and might well be his ticket to the big time.

“I just want to try and keep him active, get him six, seven or eight fights and see where we are,” reflected Batten.

“It would be good if in the first year we could get him a place on a big promotion somewhere. That would be excellent experience for him and I will be trying to make that happen.

“If it doesn’t happen in the first year then we will try and keep him busy and there is the potential that because of the tremendous support he has got that one of the big promoters might take an interest in him.

“The thing about Joe is that he’s still only 19 so we don’t need to try and run before we can walk.”

Pigford will be on the undercard for the Guildhall show that plays host to an International Masters title defence for Matty Tew and the WBO International light heavyweight title fight featuring King Davidson.

Also on the undercard will be Steve Lynch, Wade Armour, Tommy Watson and Jake Gosling.

However, one familiar face that will have to sit it out is Jon Fernandes after the Southern Area champion suffered a recurrence of an old injury.

“It is an elbow injury that Jon picked up in the last fight,” explained Batten.

“It was giving him some trouble but it settled after some rest but it’s just flared up again in sparring.

“It is frustrating, especially for Jon, but we need to be sensible with it.”

Tickets for the show are available from the Guildhall box office on 023 8063 2601 or online via their website.

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