Liam Gaynor is ready to come out of the blocks fast to make sure he gets across the finish line first at the Telford International Centre tonight.
The Kilnamanagh native competes for Ricky Hatton’s team in a new ‘innovative boxing tournament’ that will pit teams of fighters from London, Birmingham, Leeds, and Manchester against each other.
The recent Irish title challenger competes in the inaugural semi-finals, hoping to secure a place in the Box Off decider this year.
The 25-year-old takes on the undefeated Levi Smith, of Johnny Nelson’s Leeds, over four rounds at the Telford International Centre.
It’s a fight of note against an undefeated fighter but a fight Gaynor believes he can win, indeed the Tallaght super feather is confident he can also get the better of the London, and Birmingham fighters at the weight.
“Looking at my opponents in The Box Off, I believe I’m the better of us all, so the plan is to win it,” he says.
The is a gimmick element to proceedings and although it’s not quite Prizefighter, Gaynor does believe a high-paced approach ala that fast-paced fan-friendly knockout tournament will be needed.
“It’s a four-round fight and six for the final. I don’t believe you can pace yourself in a four-round fight. You can’t take that chance. It’s like boxing the amateurs, if you lose one round you’re chasing it the rest of the fight. So I have to be at it from the start and it’s going to be an entertaining fight.”
The team element and the captains involved have generated real interest in the tournament and Gaynor wants to cash in on that hype and propel himself back toward a second Irish title shot.
“It’s a brilliant idea and opportunity. It’s all 50-50 fights and we are all going in trying to get the win, get onto national television and build the fan base,” he adds before sharing his Irish title ambition.
“I’d love to get an Irish title. Ever since I started as a boxer I wanted to win an Irish title.”