Buckland aims to bounce back with a second Prizefighter win

Buckland aims to bounce back with a second Prizefighter win

This weekend will be a case of Déjà vu when Gary Buckland (28-5, 9KO) enters London’s iconic York Hall in an attempt to regain momentum towards title glory once again. The 28-year will be one of eight lightweights in Matchroom Sport’s Prizefighter competition, a position he found himself in 2010. On that night, Buckland stormed to the £32,000 winnings, adding knockouts of current and future British champions to his record. Four years later, Buckland hopes to benefit from the experience of doing it all before and become the first ever two-weight Prizefighter champion. He said, “With Prizefighter, it’s only three rounds, so it can go any way. I can adapt to three rounds but anything can happen. “I’ve done it before and it helps that I know what it’s like on the night. I think my style suits the format, too. I’m a come forward fighter and I try to win every round, whether it’s three rounds or 12 rounds. “We’ve been training exactly like Prizefighter is; three rounds, rest, three rounds, rest. I’ve had seven weeks training, I was ticking over beforehand but we’ve had good notice and my weight is down pretty good. We’re ready now.” The draw to Saturday’s show, where the finalists will have to box in three-three round fights, is yet to be made but Buckland may come up against former-European champion Stephen Foster, who he stopped in 2012. Aside from former sparring partner and Southern Area champion Floyd Moore, the rest of the line-up are unknown to Buckland but he’s not bothered. Buckland said, “Obviously there’s Foster who I’ve boxed and Moore who I’ve sparred but the rest are pretty much new to me. I’ll wait for the draw on Thursday, I’ll have a good look at who I’m fighting on YouTube and fight them on Saturday. That’s all you can do really. “These younger fighters don’t have a lot of experience but they’re four and six round fighters, so they’ll be okay at adapting to three rounds. It’s going to suit them.” The career of the Cardiff native has endured many twists and turns in 2014. So far this year, Buckland endured a points win and a loss in punishing Fight of the Year candidates with fellow Welshman and former world champion Gavin Rees, plus a decision loss against African knockout artist Richard Commey. Looking back, the St Joseph’s Boxing Club veteran said, “It hasn’t been too good a year for me. I know I beat Gavin [Rees] at the beginning and we had two good fights that will always be remembered but then I got beat by Richard Commey. I want Prizefighter to top this year off and end it on a high.” Buckland has won Welsh, Celtic and British titles from weight categories ranging from 130lbs to 140lbs. Ideally, he would like to compete in the super-featherweight division but Buckland’s happy to entertain all offers. He said, “My future is at super-featherweight, I’m a natural super-feather and it’s where I’m at my best. It’s just good fights have come for me at lightweight and I’ve taken them. “If someone offers me a fight up at light-welterweight, I’d even take that. That’s the kind of guy I am, I’ll fight anybody but I know my future’s at super-featherweight.” Last weekend, Billy Joe Saunders became the first traveller to win the British title outright and Buckland only needs one more defence of the Lord Lonsdale strap to own it forever himself. In the near future, Buckland does eye another British title reign having watched Liam Walsh win his old title last week against former foe Gary Sykes. A brief but forthright Buckland concluded by saying, “I watched the fight and I don’t think Gary Sykes was at his best but saying that, I don’t think Liam Walsh was either. It was a pretty quiet fight but Walsh did what he had to do to win. “I only need one more notch now and I’ll have the British belt for keeps – that’s what the aim is.”

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