Fox is fired up by title ‘insult’

Boxers Kirk Gooding (left) and Gary Fox.
Boxers Kirk Gooding (left) and Gary Fox.
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GARY Fox says he will go to war with Kirk Goodings after an English title “insult”.

Sunderland’s Goodings makes the first defence of his belt against the Hartlepool-trained crowd-pleaser at Rainton Meadows Arena in Houghton a week on Friday.

But Fox “is in a bad mood” and out to make the Sunderland star pay for looking past him.

Trainer Neil Fannan believes Goodings and his manager Phil Jeffries have made a mistake by agreeing a title defence on the big world championship show at Newcastle on Saturday, March 29.

If Goodings beats Fox in Houghton, he will put his belt on the line against unbeaten Yorkshire boxer Jamie Sampson on the undercard of the Stuart Hall v Martin Ward IBF bantamweight derby.

“I think Gary was up for the job anyway but they have helped us no end with this,” Fannan said.

“It has put Foxy in a bad mood, I think he sees it as a bit of an insult.

“They say they haven’t meant anything by it but, outwardly, it looks as if they see this as an easy fight in their eyes.

“Jaffa’s my mate and he said to me ‘it’s the winner of the Goodings v Fox fight, who’ll defend against Sampson’.

“I said ‘then change it on the website’ but when you go on it still says Kirk Goodings v Jamie Sampson.

“I’m sure they wouldn’t disrspect me as trainer and I don’t suppose they’d disrespect Gary as a fighter – Jaffa is a pal and Kirk seems an all right lad.

“They say (promoter) Dennis Hobson has made all these arrangements but it does look as if they are thinking they are going to have an easy night.”

Fannan believes all this talk will inspire Fox to greater efforts and, even if he fails to wrest the belt from the 24-year-old, he will give him the fight of his life.

“Even if Kirk Goodings wins, I don’t think he’ll be in any fit state to box again three weeks later,” Fannan said.

“This is going to turn into a war and whatever the result, Kirk will know at the end of it that he’s been in a fight.”

West Rainton’s Tommy Ward – younger broher of world title challenger Martin – is also down to box at the Rainton Meadows Arena and the Metro Radio Arena.

“He will have a six rounder on both shows, but I won’t even think about the bout in Newcastle until after this one on the seventh,” said Fannan.

“I think Kirk and his people are taking Foxy a little lightly.”

Goodings v Fox is the main event at Rainton Meadows Arena, while unbeaten Hartlepool fighter Peter Cope will challenge for the British Masters super-featherweight belt.