Josh Kelly-Tom Whitfield: Underdog has nothing to lose against Pretty Boy

Tom Whitfield says he has 'nothing to lose' when he climbs into the ring with Josh Kelly.

Thursday, 22nd June 2017, 4:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:46 am
Boxer Tom Whitfield, at the Harton & Westoe Miners Welfare gym. Picture by TIM RICHARDSON

The South Shields boxer is looking to shock Sunderland’s Olympian in Newcastle tomorrow night.

Whitfield asked for and subsequently received the eight-round bout with one of Eddie Hearn’s newest stars at the Walker Activity Dome.

It’s a dream night for the 30-year-old who relishes the opportunity to show a national TV audience on Sky Sports just who Tom Whitfield is.

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“Josh is really really talented, he’s exceptional, he’s slick, he’s awkward,” admitted the Mal Gates-trained welterweight, who was beaten in a challenge for the Northern Area title last time out.

“I’ve not seen either of his pro fights, but I’ve watched him in the amateurs, both the club shows and ABAs and, of course, the Olympics.

“He’s so good, but it’s a massive opportunity and I’m looking forward it.

“There is no pressure on me this time, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

“I’ve not a bad word to say about him – I don’t really know him – I’m sure he’s going to win some big titles, but tomorrow i hope I can throw a spanner in the works.

“I want to win. I’m 30, I’m not getting any younger – it’s a massive chance for me and I’d love to get a few more [big fights].

“The worst case scenario would be getting beaten but putting in a good display.

“But my intentions are to get in there and win. I want to pull off an upset, there is no reason why not.”

As befits a Gates-trained boxer, no stone has been left unturned at the Harton & Westoe Miners Welfare Gym.

Whitfield has completed more than 60 rounds in sparring, a number with the team’s newest recruit, Sam Menzies, in a bid to find someone to match the sharpness of Kelly for the JD NXTGEN show.

“I’ve done quite a few rounds with Sam,” said Whitfield. “He’s smaller and faster, so that helps quicken me up a bit because obviously Josh is fast.”

Elsewhere on the bill, ex-Olympian Natasha Jonas will make her professional debut, while there are appearances from unbeaten North East stars Warren Baister and Jordan King.

Sedgefield’s Bradley Saunders makes his comeback from two broken hands, while Darlington’s Stuart Hall is also in action.

Tickets are on sale, priced £30 (unreserved balcony), £40 (unreserved tier) and £60 (reserved floor seats) and are available at the venue.