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Returning Sonny Upton fuelled by controversial title loss

Sonny Upton [13(5)-3(1)] was meant to step back into the ring tonight in Glasgow but his comeback bout fell through.

Licensing issues prevented Upton from making his comeback bout on the MTK Scotland ‘Fright Night’ show at the Paisley Lagoon Leisure Centre.

It was a shame for Upton, who has been reinvigorated recently following his relocation back home to Belfast.

Following his controversial short-notice loss to Matty Ryan for the English light middleweight title in March, Upton left the West Ham Gym in London and joined up with Ray Ginley at the Immanuel Boxing Academy in Belfast alongside younger brother Anto.

The move, and the subsequent break from fighting, has benefitted Upton who told Irish-Boxing.com that “I had a bit of time out there, I needed a bit of time out just to get myself together, really.”

“It’s a tough aul sport this boxing. I’m back now and I’m happier than ever.”

While his early career defeats meant little, the loss to Ryan was tough to take.

Taking the fight on two weeks notice in Ryan’s hometown of Middleton, Upton was harshly edged out via majority decision on the cards

The result has served to drive on Upton who described how “sometimes I look back on it and it gives me fuel more than anything. It gives me more energy to train harder.”

“I think about the time when I closed my eyes and thought I was going to hear my name called out, English champion, and then I wasn’t. That all helps, it sounds a bit mad.”

“I know I won that fight, a lot of people know I won the fight, whoever was watching the fight knew I won the fight. Of course, you’re in his backyard, you’ve got to knock him out.”

The MTK fighter wanted an immediate rematch, but Ryan would elect to defend his title against Matchroom starlet Ted Cheeseman – being knocked out in the third round of their fight in August.

While he doesn’t hold the belt anymore, Ryan remains a target for Upton how outlined how “I was looking for the rematch, I still am looking for the rematch.”

“Look, I would fight him over four, six, eight, ten, twelve rounds, it doesn’t matter.”

“Hopefully I do get a rematch with him, he don’t want a rematch with me, because I know I’m going to hurt him.”

I’ve tweeted him a few times, hoping for a response. His manager has said ‘yeah, we’ll give you the rematch, I’m a man of my word,’ this, that, and the other. That’s a load of bollocks.”

“They don’t want the rematch, they’re just chickens, they don’t want it, he don’t want it, he’s scared of me.”

“I took that fight on two weeks notice, give me an eight week camp and I’ll smash him up, stop him.”

What’s next for the 28 year old is unsure. Before today’s cancellation he had revealed that “there’s talks of me fighting someone from Scotland, for a title, early December.”

However, with tonight’s warm-up being scrapped, the status of this proposed fight is unclear.

What is sure though is that the slick light middleweight is keen to push on following a Summer of learning and rebuilding.


Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie