High hopes for Hillyard

HARD-HITTING Canning Town campaigner George Hillyard hopes to highlight a four-year pro career with a Southern Area middleweight title triumph at Watford next week. He faces strong rival Matthew Thirlwall in a clash, proposed for the Southern Area middlew

HARD-HITTING Canning Town campaigner George Hillyard hopes to highlight a four-year pro career with a Southern Area middleweight title triumph at Watford next week.

He faces strong rival Matthew Thirlwall in a clash, proposed for the Southern Area middleweight belt, at the Watford Colosseum, as the chief supporting bout on a title show, promoted by Hennessy Sports on Saturday, May 23.

It looks like a real crowd-pleaser between London rivals, from north and south of the Thames, who have enjoyed mixed success during their pro campaigns.

Both have suffered three defeats and do not want to contemplate a fourth in their vital showdown.


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The 24-year-old Hillyard, who has trained around most of the gyms in the area, has enjoyed a stop-start career, but realises that victory next week could give a real boost to his fighting future.

Bermondsey-born Thirlwall has suffered three defeats in a 21-fight pro career that started back in 2002, and knows that, at the age of 28, another setback could spell the end of his big-time ambitions.

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They clash on a Hennessy Sports show, which is headed by Commonwealth middleweight champion Darren Barker's meeting with Midlands' rival Darren McDermott on a night of championship boxing at the Watford Colosseum.

Unbeaten Barker, a classy former Repton amateur title winner now based at trainer Tony Sims TBS Promotions Gym in Hainault, looks for the victory that will send him forward to a British title showdown with Matthew Macklin.

However, rival McDermott, known as the "Black Country Body Snatcher", sees himself as the victor of the the clash, which will be screened live on ITV4.

"There's only going to be one winner when I meet Barker and that's me," predicted the Dudley native. "I've watched quite a bit of him. I saw him win the Commonwealth title as an amateur and then I saw him win the Commonwealth belt as a pro.

"He's a good technical boxer, but I've that bit more grit and strength, and that will make the difference."

Hennessy Sports undefeated heavyweight prospect Tyson Fury, from Manchester, will be looking to maintain his own victory run when he has his sixth pro fight at Watford.

Light-welterweight contender Nadeem Siddique also features alongside hot prospects Bradley Evans, Steve O'Meara, Steve Barnes and the pro debut of Phil Fury.

Tickets are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or at www.ticketline.co.uk.

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