MATTHEW Barney will have another Saints v Pompey title fight next month.
The 36-year-old from Southampton has landed a shot at the vacant Southern Area super middleweight title – and will take on Portsmouth’s Paul Morby for the belt.
The title was the first that Barney ever fought for, losing out some 11 years ago, before going on to hold it in 2002 as well as scooping the IBO Intercontinental and WBU versions of the super middleweight crown.
Barney’s comeback to a title fight has been led by his new manager Mickey Helliet, who has plenty of other local boxers on the bill at Fleming Park Leisure Centre, Eastleigh, on Saturday, September 25.
The WBU belt Barney won was famously taken from Tony Oakey, Portsmouth’s favourite boxing son, at the Mountbatten Centre on Oakey’s home turf and sparked a near riot at the venue.
Barney’s manager Helliet said: “Matthew needs to look good here and he definitely won’t have to go looking for Morby.
“I’m sure he can still win major titles and this fight is a step towards that.”
Barney was a six-round points winner over Jamie Ambler in Eastleigh four months ago but faces a tougher test in Morby.
Morby, formerly a footballer with Farnborough Town, ended the unbeaten record of JJ Bird, currently starring in Big Brother, and in December, he tested Sam Webb, who has gone on to win the British light-middleweight championship.
Barney, however, has a 100 per-cent record against ring rivals from Hampshire.
As well as that victory over Oakey, he also claimed the vacant British super-middleweight championship in March 2003 by outpointing Dean Francis from Basingstoke.
The Barney fight will headline the show being put on by promoter Simon Williamson.
Williamson’s last show at the venue in April was a sell out and fight fans look certain to fill the venue again for a value-for-money 14-fight bill that includes unbeaten home-town fighters Mark Atkins, Matty Tew and Jon Fernandes.
Also on the bill are Basingstoke crowdpleaser Darryl Still, Shane Watson and the professional debut of Chichester superbantamweight Jonathan Fry as well as Peter Barney, no relation to Matthew.
Tickets for the show in Eastleigh are available from Wayne Batten on 07980 688 612.