24 March 2010 – By Steve Wellings
Fresh from his British featherweight title defence, Belfast’s Martin Lindsay, and new promoter Frank Maloney, spoke exclusively to irish-boxing.com as the duo aim to plot a path to the European title and beyond.
“We’re not calling anything out or making firm commitments at the moment but the European title is being looked at,” revealed Maloney.
“I thought it was a first class performance [versus Arthur]. I believe Martin is the best featherweight in Britain and Europe and within the next year you’ll see him establishing himself on the world scene. He’s fighting in a competitive weight division but his next fight will be in Belfast, whether it’s the British title defence or a fight for the European title. We’ll be sorting everything out over the coming weeks but the next one’s definitely in Belfast.”
That is excellent news for all local fight fans and Lindsay was equally as enthused. Speaking during a well deserved rest period he paid testament to the resolve of his stubborn challenger Jamie Arthur on March 19.
“Jamie was very fit and kept coming,” admitted Lindsay. “It’s always good to get the 12 rounds under your belt. In the last couple of sessions I was more patient and it was all about getting the result without taking any risks. My coach Nugget Nugent and I do intense fitness work and I was just coasting at the end – I know I can do the full distance.”
Following the unforeseen split with Hayemaker Promotions (after the collapse of Setanta) Martin spent a lengthy period as a free agent, but the 27-year-old is delighted to be signed back up with a top domestic promoter.
“Frank Maloney put the best offer on the table and I actually signed the contract in the changing rooms before the fight. Frank was talking about getting a voluntary defence in Belfast and then we’ll take a look at bigger things,” said Lindsay.
Maloney is just as pleased with his coup: “Martin’s signature is one that I’ve always wanted and I’m over-the-moon to have signed him. I believe he will be world class within the next year. Normally after a title fight my phone rings constantly from other opponents looking a crack but this time I haven’t had one call so I think he’s scaring all the other British fighters away.”
As always, Lindsay took a sizeable away following to Leigh and as his star rises Maloney may have to look at venues bigger than the Ulster Hall that housed Martins dramatic British title-winning effort last April over Paul Appleby.
“The Irish fans made themselves heard in the arena and it ended up being like a home fight for me,” agreed Martin.
“There were a few local fighters on the bill and when they were finished there was a bit of a lull; it was strange having an Irish fighter and a Welshman fighting each other in Leigh. The Belfast supporters made sure there was a great atmosphere for the main event.”