Big fight night in Southampton

Daily Echo: Joe Pigford Joe Pigford

Southampton is gearing up for a big night of professional boxing this weekend. There will be international fights for locals Joe Pigford and Matty Tew at Southampton Guildhall tomorrow for charity fight night, The Heart of Boxing. Proceeds will go to Wessex Heartbeat, which will help them continue their work that provides great care to people with cardiac conditions. Local fighters Matt Goodard, Rich O’Connor, Wade Armour, Jake Gosling, Fion O’Meara and Darryl Still are also on the bill.

The 20-year-old rookie, Pigford, who’s getting a reputation for being heavy handed after three knockouts in four career fights, will face an international welterweight opponent, looking to continue his unbeaten form. His fellow boxer at Battens Boxing Gym, Tew, will be looking for back-to-back victories at the venue where he beat Andy Harris on points at the last fight night in November. It will be the first bout for both boxers since the event late last year and they will want to emulate the terrific performances they showed that evening. After his fight against Harris, Tew said: “I need tests like that, now I want a Southern Area title shot.”

And although that is yet to come to fruition, another win may thrust him into the limelight for a shot at the belt.

Trainer Wayne Batten admitted after Pigford’s impressive fight that he will find it tricky to find him opponents in the future.

He said: “The problem is now no-one around here wants to fight Joe.

“We’ll have to bring in imports from now on.”

Neither Pigford or Tew’s opponents were known at the time of going to press.

Middleweight O’Connor returns to the place of his professional debut fight.

This will be the 31-year-old’s second ever bout in his hometown. Doors open at 6pm before the first bell at 7pm. Tickets from the Guildhall box office on 023 8063 2601.

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