Jenkins in bid to become Wales’ first British light-welterweight champ

Jenkins in bid to become Wales’ first British light-welterweight champ

Garnant’s Chris ‘Rock n Rolla’ Jenkins (16-0, 8KO) can’t wait for his long-awaited British title chance on Saturday and he’s vowed to snatch it with both hands. The 26-year-old light-welterweight will face Huddersfield’s Tyrone Nurse (30-2, 6KO) at the First Direct Arena in Leeds as he bids to become Wales’ first ever Lonsdale light-welterweight belt holder. It’s the third date and second opponent Jenkins has prepared for, having originally been scheduled to face Scotland’s champion Willie Limmond in January and March. However, last week Limmond withdrew and vacated the title after suffering a shoulder injury. Jenkins said: “I just can’t wait now. It’s been a long time coming, not just for me but for my wife, my team and family. For me now, I’m just counting down the days. I’m keeping calm and focusing on the day in hand. “It’s easy [to keep focus] because I’ve got two beautiful twin boys in the house and a cracking wife. They’ve been keeping my mind off the game. When I had the news last week, I went home and did family things. I’m very laid back like that. “At the end of the day, this is professional boxing and things like this do happen. I’m just ready for fight night.” Nurse, who has won Central Area and English titles, has been in training as he was scheduled to appear on the undercard but Jenkins believes that his replacement opponent has had more than enough notice for their title fight. He said: “We’ve known and he’s known the situation; he’s been waiting as back up. I’ve been told he’s been sparring 12 rounders, so we know that he’s ready. It’s not a case that he’s just turning up with a week’s preparation – both camps knew the situation. “To be fair, I was [surprised by Limmond’s withdrawal]. We were told to be ready for it, though. Obviously, Tyrone Nurse was in the background ready to fight, anyway. “At the end of the day, health comes first in this game, I would’ve done the same if I was in his [Limmond’s] boots. Limmond’s done the honorable thing of giving myself the chance to fight for the title. It’s only fair that, touch wood I win, I give Limmond the first shot.” 25-year-old Nurse presents different qualities to Limmond and stands at just under 6ft tall, whereas Limmond is a comparative four inches shorter, having originally been a super-featherweight. Their different physical features will require Jenkins to apply different tactics but the Welshman is keeping his cards close to his chest. Jenkins said: “We’ve got a game plan. Obviously we had one for Limmond but due to him pulling out, we’ve got a new game plan since we were told last week that he [Nurse] is stepping in. “I’m not saying too much but I know for a fact that he’s not coming to have a fight with me. That’s not going to happen, he’ll try to nick rounds but you can only look pretty against average fighters and I think I’m a level above. I’m going to stay professional, be relaxed and not rush it. “I know he’s a boxer and I’m going to be ready for that style on fight night. I expect the best Tyrone Nurse and he’ll be fighting against the best of me.” Nurse has been defeated on two occasions; first to Adil Anwar in the three round Prizefighter format in 2012 and then more recently against Dave Ryan, visiting the canvas twice on route to a decision loss for the Commonwealth title in October. Wary of reading too much in to previous performances, Jenkins said: “He had a close fight with Dave Ryan but got put on his bum twice. I can’t really take a lot from that, though. If everyone goes off what he done to Tyler Goodjohn, then he looks outstanding but against Ryan, he didn’t look so good. So, it is what it is.” Jenkins hasn’t fought since October when he left Jacek Wylezol with suspected broken ribs, needing only two minutes and 10 seconds to halt the usually durable Pole, who has since lost on points against the highly rated Stephen Smith and Ohara Davies. Since then, Jenkins has trained the whole way through, under the experienced guidance of Ronnie Davies at Cwmgors Boxing Club in Swansea and he admits that he’s had hardly any time off amidst the uncertainty. He said: “I’ve had a few days off here and there, like Christmas, but our team works on certain things over all the time. If I’m good on my diet, I can have a night off and if I’m ahead of schedule in the gym, I’ll have a night off to recharge. I’ve had about two weeks off since my last fight, that’s all.” Jenkins’ appearance on Matchroom Sport’s ‘We Are Leeds’ show will be broadcast by Sky Sports, the platform where he burst on to the scene with a storming Prizefighter tournament win in 2013 and he plans to leave viewers with an equally impressive impression in three days time. He said: “I’ve boxed on Sky before, the Prizefighter night was my breakthrough. I’m on a big show again, Josh Warrington’s [headliner] fans are crazy and I can’t wait to showcase my talent in front of them. I want to bring this British belt back to the Swansea valleys.” Nurse, a native of nearby Huddersfield, will be on familiar territory but Jenkins was relatively unphased by the home advantages his opponent may own. In conclusion, he said: “To be honest, I’d fight him in his back garden. That’s for anyone, I’ll fight anyone wherever they are. “I’m a fighter and I’ll go where the fights are. He’ll probably have more of his crowd there, lets just hope the judges don’t get dragged in to that. I’m not bothered, though. It’s a fight and I’m planning on winning it.” Image by Matchroom Sport.

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