Evans expects Stalker to ‘run’ in ‘make or break’ fight
Blackwood’s Craig Evans (15-1, 4KO) expects Tom ‘The Captain’ Stalker (10-1-1, 2KO) to ‘run away’ when the pair meet in their ‘make or break’ fight.
The southpaws will contest the vacant WBO European title at the Manchester Arena on the undercard of Frank Warren’s stacked ‘World War III’ show and it will be broadcast live on BoxNation.
Evans said: “What type of fight do I expect it to be? I think he’ll be on the back foot, running from me. I don’t think he’s strong at all, I’m going to take it to him and have a war like.
“I’ve watched a couple of his fights back and he’s open to the jab, I think it’s going to be a good exciting fight.”
Stalker took to the sport later than most but excelled as an amateur, winning a host of medals around the world. However, the Scouser’s professional career hasn’t got going as experts predicted and he enters Saturday’s show with just one win in his last three outings.
Evans said: “It’s a make or break fight for me, as well. I’m not too bothered about pressure, really. I just take each fight as it comes.
“I’ve trained hard for this, I’m going in there and I’ll do the business. I’m going to beat Tom Stalker and then we’ll go on to the next one.
“Frank Warren obviously thinks a lot of me, to get me two title fights back-to-back. I appreciate their belief in me.”
Evans, trained by Tony Borg at St Joseph’s Boxing Club in Newport, has operated at super-featherweight and admits he can still make 9st 4lbs but has to take the opportunities at lightweight (9st 9lbs) when they’re available.
He said: “I could still drop back down to super-feather but I like it at lightweight, it’s easier for me. I feel stronger at lightweight but I’m naturally bigger at super-featherweight, obviously. I make lightweight easier but if they got me a title shot, I’d go to super-featherweight.
“You never know what oppoertunities will come up. I’ve offered Liam Walsh [British and Commonwealth champion] the fight twice, he’s turned it down twice. That’s why I moved up, I couldn’t get a proper fight at super-featherweight.”
It will be Evans’ first fight since suffering his maiden professional loss in May when he was edged out by British champion Scott Cardle in a competitive clash on Sky Sports Box Office.
Despite the disappointment, Evans isn’t dwelling on it, he said: “I look back on it like he wasn’t a better fighter than me, or nothing like that, just I started too slow because it was my first time doing 12 rounds.
“I picked it up in the middle rounds and hammered him, hammered him for about five rounds. It was a close fight, it could’ve gone either way but he won. Nothing I can do about it now.
“It was a learning curve, I started off too late because I’d never been 12 rounds. Now that I know I’m fit enough to go the distance, it’s different for this fight. My mindset is different and I can’t wait to fight.”
Cardle operated at welterweight as an amateur and his natural size advantage over Evans was evident at points of their battle. Stalker, Team GB’s captain at the 2012 London Olympics, will also be coming down in weight, having campaigned at light-welterweight since his debut in 2013.
Analysing his opponent’s arsenal, Evans said: “I just carry on as usual. I don’t think he’ll be any bigger than me. I’m fit and strong, as long as we both weigh nine stone nine pounds the day before, it’ll be a fair fight like.
“He hasn’t done much as a pro but he’s still a good fighter in my eyes. He’ got a good amateur background and he’s only lost once since being a pro, so he isn’t all that bad.”