Evans back on track and targeting top contenders

Evans back on track and targeting top contenders

St Clears’ Dale ‘Big Boy’ Evans (10-2-2, 3KO) is targeting the top contenders at domestic level after Friday’s away day win over Leeds’ Adil Anwar (21-5, 7KO).

The welterweights were neck and neck at the halfway point of their eight rounder at the Ice Arena in Sheffield but Evans pulled away with a knockdown in the sixth stanza and another two in the final session to secure a 77-73 decision.

Evans, a front foot pressure fighter, hits hard with both hands but his power has usually made its mark early in fights. So, the Welshman was delighted that he carried it in to the later rounds and he credits his mental strength for the success.

Speaking 24 hours after the fight, Evans said: “His jab was very difficult to deal with, it was the best I’ve ever come across like. I just could not get inside it. The plan was to slip it and go to work but I couldn’t do it.

“As the rounds went on, I was feeling strong and I just knew I’d wear him down in the end. I put him down in one of the mid-rounds and the last round, I put him down twice. I think that was down to my physical strength that I got the job done.

“I think that shows I’m a bit more mentally tough. I’ve stopped people early on but now I’ve got knockdowns in the latter rounds. So, it won’t bother me next time if I don’t get them out early. I really needed that fight and really needed a good win, as well.”

The win, arguably the best of Evans’ four-year career, came just two months since the 23-year-old suffered a fifth round stoppage defeat against London’s Larry Ekundayo. However, the British eliminator set back hasn’t deterred Evans’ attitude and he’s still very keen to fight high-class opposition.

He said: “Every fight is a gamble for me. I’d rather take a risk in a 50-50 fight with the chance that I might lose but if I win, it leads to something big. Those fights will better myself with an improved ranking to go in to bigger fights.

“I don’t mind doing that. I understand a journeyman’s role but I want to fight guys better than me on paper. I pushed Gary [Lockett – trainer and manager] for a fight as soon as possible because my head was gone after the last defeat. I wanted to get straight back in there and prove myself, to be honest.”

Commonwealth champion Sam Eggington and the undefeated Glenn Foot meet for the vacant British belt in July. While a respectful Evans refuses to call out his former opponents, who he fought in 2013’s Prizefighter tournament, he has reinstated his intention to fight the best calibre of opposition possible.

He said: “I don’t check the rankings often but I’m happy to be back in the top 10. I’m worthy of my place and I deserve to be there. I’m a good enough fighter to be in the top 10 and the top 10 fighters are the boys I want to be fighting. Coming off a loss last time, if I lost again [then] I shouldn’t be given a chance to fight the top boys but now I should.

“I’ve said to a few people, it’s not down to me who I fight. I’ll just prepare myself to get in the ring and I will fight anybody. Obviously, it’s Gary’s job to get the right fights for me. Whoever he comes up with, the answer will always be yes. If it is one of the top 10, I’ll be ready, fit and strong whenever the fight is scheduled for.”

Heading in to the crossroads clash with Anwar, a former English champion and Prizefighter tournament winner, Evans had only won one of his last three fights and had visited the canvas on three occasions. With his back against the wall, Evans returned with a back to basics approach and it’s one he’ll be adopting in future.

Evans said: “From the start of training camp, I said I’m going to the fight with a completely different attitude and a different style. I was thinking too much bout my boxing in the past and in this fight, I went back to what I normally do and that’s fight with power.

“There wasn’t a lot of boxing going on, it was head down and throw some bombs. If I can land a punch, then I will hurt them. It was down to my mindset, I was so eager just to prove myself.

“There wasn’t any tactics at all, bar keep my hands high and go to work. That paid off, I was telling myself to be nasty from the first bell. In future fights, if I can do that with the right training, I think I’m ready for any realistic fight.”

Image by Lindsay Bowes.

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