Opportunity knocks for Kirk in British title eliminator

Sunderland boxer Kirk Goodings.

Sunderland boxer Kirk Goodings.

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KIRK Goodings has been handed the chance of breaking into boxing’s big time.

The Sunderland star will defend his English lightweight title this Saturday in Manchester, where he faces one of the country’s top prospects.

Goodings will take on the gifted Scott Cardle at the Phones4u Arena. It is the biggest night of Goodings’ life – the fight is an eliminator for the British Championship and takes place on the undercard of Scott Quigg’s WBA super-bantamweight defence against Stephane Jamoye.

Cardle, from Lytham near Blackpool, is a man on the up – one of the country’s best amateur talents who has made a flying start as a professional with 15 straight wins.

But Goodings’ boss, Phil Jeffries, has no doubts about the dynamic Wearside fighter. “It is a huge fight and a great payday for Kirk,” Jeffries told the Echo. “But, more than that, it is a massive chance.

“When he wins, this will open a lot of doors for him.

“His English title is on the line, but it’s also a British eliminator.”

It will be the 25-year-old’s second defence of the belt he won last October with a brilliant display against Paul Truscott.

Goodings outpointed the brave Middlesbrough boxer at Houghton and his maiden defence was even better – an eighth-round stoppage of another derby rival, Gary Fox, at the Metro Radio Arena in March.

Fishburn fighter Fox comfortably went the eight rounds with Cardle when the holders of the Northern and Central belts collided in Glasgow 12 months ago, a result which will give Goodings some encouragement.

Cardle is being moved towards the top by promoters Matchroom, who are the kings of the British game at the moment.

And the 24-year-old is very good.

But so, too, is Goodings, as he has proven in a fast-developing career, which includes 11 wins from 12 outings.

He is exciting to watch and Sky Sports will screen it live, with Goodings having a sizeable army in the famous venue.

“He has sold a boatload of tickets,” Jeffries explained. “Kirk will have great support.”