Branco's class – warns Lynes
PUBLISHED: 15:46 09 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:07 02 July 2010
BRITISH and European light welterweight titleholder Colin Lynes looks forward to his Euro title defence against Italian challenger Gianluca Branco at Dagenham s Goresbrook Leisure Centre on January 25 as his official welcome home night - but is not expe
BRITISH and European light welterweight titleholder Colin Lynes looks forward to his Euro title defence against Italian challenger Gianluca Branco at Dagenham's Goresbrook Leisure Centre on January 25 as his official 'welcome home' night - but is not expecting an easy test.
The 30-year-old titleholder, a member of Paul Cook's Dagenham-based stable, hit the road last year to bring new life to his 10-year pro career with outstanding triumphs.
He lifted the vacant European championship with a clear win over local favourite Young Muttley at Wolverhampton in July.
That impressive success came less than six weeks after Lynes travelled to Motherwell to shock Scottish pride Barrie Morrison and bring home the British title with an against the odds success.
The defence against the 37-year-old Branco, a former European champion from Civitavecchia near Lazio, has been scheduled for several months after being ordered by the European Boxing Union.
Lynes is happy that his Matchroom promotions group resisted the strong pressure to take the fight to an Italian city.
Visiting fighters have often been given a tough time in Italy with British champs reluctant to risk title defences in that country.
However, although his fans will be ready to celebrate, Lynes knows he cannot afford to underestimate Branco, who has an impressive record with just two defeats in his 39 fights.
"Branco's a class fighter and only the very biggest names in the game have beaten him - the likes of Miguel Cotto and Arturo Gatti," said the champion.
However, Lynes insist he is 100 per cent confident that he will retain his title in front of his home supporters on a promising Matchroom bill that also includes his stablemate lightwelter Michael Lomax, who meets a selected rival on the undercard.
Another attractive light welter clash on the bill pairs former European champion Ted Bami with mandatory British title challenger David Barnes.
Goresbrook show tickets are available from Colin Lynes sponsors Home International on 01708 707020.