With the scene opening up, Matt Wilton is ready to kickstart on Saturday his long-held dream to win the British title.
A pro over five years, ‘Speedy’ has built up an impressive 15(3)-0 record – however he is yet to take a real step up in class and welterweight Wilton wants to change this in the coming months.
The Belfast boxer takes on tough journeyman Willie Warburton [23(4)-114(2)-9] over six on Saturday night on the big Sky Sports show at the SSE Odyssey Arena, and he hopes this will be the first step on the fast-track to the British title
The Lonsdale belt is currently held by Bradley Skeete, however the Londoner requires only one more defence to retain the title outright – and Wilton believes he may be primed to take over.
The 27 year old has spent time sparring Skeete ahead of this weekend’s fight and feels he is ready to take a step up.
“It was a real good spar,” Wilton told Irish-Boxing.com today. “We had good sparring with him.”
The Ulsterman believes there could be a gap to filled towards the end of 2017 or the start of 2018, and stated “Listen, he [Skeete] fought last week, and one of his coaches said he’s fighting in August defending his title – and if he wins that, he wins it outright, and he’ll probably move on.”
The Eastside fighter has been plagued by inactivity over the years, suffering two periods of twelve months without a bout. However, Wilton shook the rust off in March and is ready to get moving on Saturday.
The younger brother of flyweight Luke described how “it [his frequency of fights] has been sporadic. This time it’s been short and sweet, that’s the plan, hopefully I’ll keep busy.”
“The more often you fight, the sharper you get. This is it, I just have to stay busy.”
“Everybody wants to be on the big stage and shine, and hopefully I shine. There’s plenty of Belfast boys on it and everyone wants to get their chance.”
In recent times a fight with Lenadoon light welter Tyrone McKenna [3(5)-0-1] had been suggested, but Wilton confirmed that his future now lies squarely at 147lbs, admitting that I’ll probably never make light welter again to be honest
A fight with Dubliner Sean Creagh had been mooted, however this would fall through. While Warburton may not be a big name, Wilton wants bigger fights soon.
He explained that “there’s nothing we could do [for the Creagh fight], it’s not up to us to pick and choose.”
“We have this [Warburton], then we’ve got to step up in class a bit and go again.
“Wherever there’s a fight we’ll take it.”
“Let’s hope that Saturday’s the start of something good, that I catch the eye and we get on another show somewhere else.”
The Burnett-Haskins undercard at present also features an Irish cruiserweight title fight between Luke Watkins and Ian Tims, Feargal McCrory v Paul Holt, James Tennyson v Ryan Doyle, Paul Hyland Jr v Adam Dingsdale and appearances from Padraig McCrory, Paddy Gallagher, Sean Magee, and Tyrone McCullagh, as well as the return of Mike Perez.
Tickets for ‘Belfast Boy’ on June 10th at the SSE Odyssey Arena cost £30, £40, £60, £100, and £150 (VIP), and can be bought from HERE.
LISTEN: Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill speak to Luke Keeler and Paddy Barnes on Episode 6 of The Irish Boxing Show: