There must be something in the water in Norwich with English Light Heavyweight champ, Danny McIntosh joining a long line of big punchers from the area including former WBO heavyweight champ, Herbie Hide and reigning European Lightweight champ Jon Thaxton. There’s only one problem – McIntosh wishes he didn’t punch so hard!
The undefeated 28-year-old is looking to defend his title, subject to Board approval, against Matthew Barney at the Norfolk Showground in his hometown on February 28, live on ITV4 and he’s hoping to get some rounds under his belt against seasoned campaigner Barney.
McIntosh raised some eyebrows last time out with a stunning one punch KO of Rod Anderton on the Carl Froch – Jean Pascal undercard in December but he says it was a result that brought mixed feelings.
“I’m just as happy to get the rounds in to be honest”, said McIntosh. “I knew as soon as I hit Anderton that he was gone and it was ‘fight over’ but I’d prefer to go a few rounds and get the experience under my belt. I suppose the KO’s are pretty exciting for the crowd and that last one was pretty spectacular but I was actually hoping it would have gone a bit longer!
“Nobody thought of me as a puncher earlier on in my career but the truth is I’d rather do the rounds and get the experience under my belt. I’ve still only had 9 fights so I like to get as much ring time as possible. On the plus side my last couple of wins have been on ITV so it’s great to get that kind of coverage on big bills because it gets people talking about you.”
Prior to his quick fire win in Nottingham McIntosh had claimed the English title stopping local rival Steve Spartacus in a real thriller at the Norfolk Showgrounds. McIntosh is looking forward to his return there next month when he provides the chief support to Jon Thaxton’s first defence of his European title.
“It’s always nice to fight in Norwich and having all your own supporters there does give you that extra boost. It’s great that there are big shows back in Norwich. I’ve had a lot of advice from Jon down through the years and he’s someone I’ve always looked up to.
“In fact it was Jon who inspired me to go to Sheffield to train with the Ingles. He did the same thing and of course it’s a sacrifice with the travel and everything but it’s too easy to stay at home and have the home comforts. There’s a lot of good boxers here in Norwich so I felt that to break out of the pack I’d have to link up with the Ingles.”
McIntosh knows he can make a real statement if he can impress against Matthew Barney. The Southampton man is on an impressive run of wins following his last defeat, a point’s loss to Carl Froch for the British Super Middleweight title in 2005.
“Barney’s a good fighter, very elusive and awkward and he’s fought at top level,” said McIntosh. “In my opinion he was robbed in a European title in Germany a few years back and he’s on a good run lately so he will fancy the job.
"I think a good win over Barney can make a bit of a statement and catapult me to the top of the British ratings but it will be my hardest challenge yet. There aren’t too many guys queuing up to fight him.”
McIntosh says he doesn’t fear any of his domestic rivalries and feels he will be ready for any of them in another couple of fights. “Tony Oakey’s a good pro but he’s not a natural light heavy and I don’t think Nathan Cleverly’s as good as is made out either. I think the biggest threat out there is still Dean Francis, He’s a top notch fighter but I believe I’m as good as any of them and if I can just get a little bit more experience I believe I can go on to win the British and Commonwealth titles and who knows after that. We already have one European Champ in Norwich, who’s to say we couldn’t have another one.”
Tickets for the English Light Heavyweight title clash between McIntosh and Barney and Jon Thaxton’s first European title defence at the Norfolk Showground, Norwich on the 28th February are available from the Ticketline box office on 0871 424 4444 or via www.ticketline.co.uk.