KENNEDY KEEN TO MAKE UP FOR LOST TIME

Craig Kennedy (8-0, 5KO) is aiming to make up for lost time when he takes on Henry Smith (3-3) at the Merthyr Leisure Centre on July 11th, live on Eurosport. ‘The Kid’, as he’s locally known in the east side of Cardiff, fought seven times in 2013 but he’s been unable to repeat that activity in his second year as a professional. Kennedy captured the British Masters Bronze title in March with a shut-out points victory over Moses Matovu but it’s been his only appearance of 2014. Kennedy said, “It’s been very frustrating. In the first year of me turning pro, I wasn’t signed with a promoter and it worked in my favour, enabling me to jump from show to show as a freelancer. I could do it because I can sell hundreds of tickets wherever it is in Wales. “This year though, promoters in Wales haven’t been able to put the shows on. I feel sorry for the up and coming fighters who are starting off because it’s a bad time for Welsh small hall boxing. Fingers crossed, there are a couple in the pipeline and we need all of Wales to get behind these shows. Without these shows, we can’t progress.” Despite the disappointment, the Welshman has, as always, stayed in the gym. Kennedy has spent time training in Tenerife and insists that, amidst the inactivity, it’s always been business as usual for the fighter. He said, “It’s take a lot more than this to get me down, this is my job and I just stay in the gym. If I keep persistent, one of these short notice phone calls for a big fight is going to come my way. I put the work in and I think I’m going to start reaping the rewards. “I’ve never really been out of the gym in between fights. I always have a week off actual boxing training but even then, it’s only to let any injuries heal. I’ll still be in the gym then – once a day and is a rest period for me. At the beginning of your career, you’ve got to accumulate as many fights as you can. So, you’ve got to stay fit and strong and that’s what I do.” The cruiserweights, Kennedy and Smith, will meet in a six round contest on the undercard of Sanigar Event’s ‘Repear Or Revenge’ show. On the Sanigar’s initial Merthyr show in March, Smith showed all of his nuts and guts as he won a four round war with Courtney Richards. Fully aware of his opponent’s abilities, Kennedy shows now hesitance in stating that he’s also willing to go to the wire. Kennedy said, “If he wants to box, I can box or if he wants to fight, I’m happy to oblige. I believe I’m superior to him. He has a relentless style that’s just attack, attack, attack… I’ve heard his defence isn’t the best, he leaves his hands quite low. So, hopefully his style and mine will make for a good fight. “He’s no journeyman, that’s for sure. He’s had a lot of unlicensed fights which can go unnoticed, so he’s got a lot more experience than people actually realise. His style is going to suit me down to the ground, I’m a counter puncher and he’s going to come straight at me. My last few fights, I’ve had to chase people around as they’ve just tried to survive but if someone comes to win, I can see it being an early night for them.” Having celebrated another birthday last month, Kennedy is keen to kick on with the next stage of his career and recreate the carnival atmosphere his fans are famous for. He said, “I feel like I’ve done my apprenticeship now, I’ve just turned 29, so I’m no spring chicken and I know that. I need to hit the big fights now, every boxer deserves to have an apprenticeship but I’m at the end of mine now. I owe it to myself and my loyal fans to be in a fight where people expect me to fall short, it’s going to see me up my game and prove what I’m capable of. “It’s my first televised fight, it’s like my debut all over again. I want this so much, it’s a chance to showcase my talent on the tele and show the rest of Britain what I’m capable of. This is the start of a new chapter. It’s my chance to showcase my skills, there’s so many people tuning in and I want to get their attention.” July 11th will be the first of Kennedy’s fights to be broadcast on mainstream television and he’s hoping to attract attention of the main players in British boxing, he said, “There’s a big show coming up in September in Wales with Matchroom. I’ve missed out on two Matchroom shows in Wales already but third time lucky? I hope so but I’ve got to show Eddie Hearn what I’m capable of first. “Eddie’s obviously doing alright without me, he’s the most established promoter in Britain but boxers like myself can make his job a lot easier. If he has me on his show, I’m going to sell at least 400 tickets and I’ve got no problem fighting one of his good boys. My name has been put forward to Eddie by some respected people in the game and this is my dream.”

£30 and £50 tickets for ‘Repeat Or Revenge’ on July 11th at the Merthyr Leisure Centre are available from Sanigar Events and Bristol Boxing Club on 01179496699. For more information, visit: www.westcountryboxing.com. It will be headlined by Dai Davies (10-23-2, 1KO) and Robbie Turley’s (13-4, 3KO) Welsh featherweight title rematch.

In support will be Frankie Borg (8-2, 3KO), Luke Osman (3-12-1, 1KO) v James Lilley (6-4, 1KO), Craig Kennedy (8-0, 5KO), Alex Hughes (1-0, 1KO), Adam Goldsmith (2-0-1) v Stuart Brewer (1-0), Tony Dixon (4-0, 1KO), Dorian Darch (7-3, 1KO), Lewis Patterson (3-2, 1KO) and debutant Kyle Jones.

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