Fight week update: Evans and Cardle clash at presser

Fight week update: Evans and Cardle clash at presser

Fight week is underway in London and there’s plenty of Welsh interest for Matchroom Sport’s packed ‘Rule Britannia’ show on Saturday. Earlier today, Blackwood’s lightweight Craig Evans (14-0, 3KO) and Lytham St Anne’s Scott Cardle (17-0, 5KO) met the media ahead of their clash for the vacant British 135lbs title and it almost kicked off. The 25-year-old Welshman, who trains at St Joseph’s Boxing Club in Newport attempted to shake Cardle’s hand but was snubbed and after an awkward few seconds, Evans laughed it off by tapping Cardle’s head. However, he took exception and angrily confronted Evans, who was more than keen to play along, prompting the pair to push and shove each other. It was quickly ended by the security team with Cardle’s glasses the only casualty. Cardle, who trains at the renown Gallaghers Gym in Bolton, said: “He went to shake my hand, I’m not about that anymore. I’ve showed him respect from the first press conference – I’m not going to shake his hand. It’s fight week now and I’m ready to fight. He gave me a little clip, I can’t… I’ve got to react to that. I can’t let that slide. I gave the reaction and that was it. “It’s gave me a bit more confidence because I can see he’s rattled. He’s obviously too nervous, he doesn’t know how to handle himself in front of the media and he showed himself today. So, I’m made up.” At the same press conference, Cardiff-based Nick Blackwell (16-3-1, 6KO) came face-to-face with John Ryder for the first ever time and the middleweights engaged in a tense but respectful stare off before their battle for the vacant British 160lbs belt. Blackwell, who is trained by Gary Lockett, said: “Me and Ryder is going to be a good fight, there’s loads of good fights on the card and we’re fighting at the O2 Arena, y’know? So, it’s massive. I’m looking forward to it, it’s going to be a good night. “It’s going to be one of my toughest nights, I know that. I know John, what he brings to the table, he’s a good lad. I think it’s both going to be one of our hardest fights.” Ryder, a 26-year-old southpaw, said: “Do you know what? Starting out in pro[fessional] boxing, it’s a belt I’ve always wanted to fight for and always wanted to win. Not only would it mean a lot to me, it would mean a lot to a lot of people around me. So, it’s not just for me, it’s for them as well. I’m looking forward to it, I really want to win, I’m desperate to win. “He [Blackwell] is no mug. He’s been there before, he gets down in the trenches as well. He’s got no fear. It’s going to make for a good fight.” At 12:30pm tomorrow, Eddie Hearn will host a press conference for the world titles on the show, including ‘Sugar’ Lee Selby’s (20-1, 8KO) challenge to IBF champion Evgeny Gradovich. Despite Selby attending Gradovich’s last defence of his 126lbs title in America, the challenger has never met the undefeated Russian featherweight before. The press conference is not open to the public but fight fans are welcome, free of charge, to the weigh-in – which will include all of the above and the return of Cefn Fforest’s former world champion Nathan Cleverly (28-2, 14KO). It will begin at 1pm on Friday at Indigo, a small theatre style venue inside the O2 Arena (SE10 0DX) complex. A running order will be released later this week but Cleverly is expected to be in the ring at approximately 9pm. Sky Sports Box Office will show ‘Rule Britannia’ exclusively live this Saturday. Buy now at www.skysports.com/brookgavin

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