BOXING: Opponents must be toughened up for Nick

Trainer Mark Kent, pictured with Blackwell after his 2012 win over Martin Concepcion, wants his man to face tougher tests

Trainer Mark Kent, pictured with Blackwell after his 2012 win over Martin Concepcion, wants his man to face tougher tests

First published in Sport by

TRAINER Mark Kent says the challenges have to be as uncompromising as possible for Nick Blackwell if the Trowbridge fighter is to make 2014 his year.

The two-time British middleweight title challenger is hoping to vie for more major titles this year, with the Lonsdale belt remaining a big target, but to make himself a contender, Kent says that the 23-year-old needs to add more impressive victories to his record.

Blackwell is scheduled to fight in a 10-round contest at the Forum, in Bath, on April 5 and his Contender Gym trainer is hoping to see his man put through his paces by a tough international opponent. “Nick doesn’t need any ticking-over fights – what he needs are tough opponents that are going to test him,” said Kent.

“It’s still hard to try and find him opponents because no-one really wants to step in the ring with him but we’re looking at someone international, who’s ranked at the top of their country.

“We’ve been thinking about someone from Spain but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

“It should be a good show in Bath and there are some good people on the bill.”

Nigerian light-middleweight King Davidson is set to top the evening’s fight card as he defends his WBO international title whilst Bristol boxer Danny Butler will be making a second defence of Blackwell’s former English middleweight belt.

Blackwell became the youngest ever English title holder when he won the belt in 2010 and Butler is will be going toe-to-toe with the man who also challenged ‘Bang Bang’ for the belt in 2012 – Birmingham’s Martin Concepcion.

Fellow Contender Gym men Gareth Heard, from Bradford on Avon, Dan Carr, from Trowbridge and Melksham’s Luke Martin are set to be in action, as well as Joe Hughes, from Malmesbury, Mike Rose and Tony Hill.

Meanwhile, Kent has also been looking to add another string to his bow after being interviewed by British Boxing Board of Control Southern Area representatives for his manager’s license earlier this month.

He added: “It’s just a bit of natural progression for myself, really. I’ve got boxers who are talking about coming back and I’ve got a few others that I’d like to sign too.”

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