Thomas Essomba’s title challenger Jay Harris confident of taking title back to Wales

Boxer Thomas Essomba outside of the Stadium of Light, the home of Sunderland AFC . Picture by FRANK REID
Boxer Thomas Essomba outside of the Stadium of Light, the home of Sunderland AFC . Picture by FRANK REID
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Thomas Essomba’s title challenger rates the champion highly but is “confident” he’ll be taking his belt back to Wales.

Jay Harris, who has reeled off nine wins as a professional, the last six by KO, will face the flyweight Sunderland king in London tomorrow night.

It looks an intriguing match between the experienced Essomba and the hard-hitting Welshman at the York Hall in Bethnal Green.

“I’ve not really watched much of Thomas,” said the Swansea fighter. “I’ve seen highlights of his last fight, against Iain Butcher.

“I know he’s good and been to the Olympics as an amateur.

“He’s tough and strong, we have similar styles, we are both come-forward fighters so I think it will be a good bout.

“My camp has been good, I feel fit and I did my pre-fight check weight on Monday with no problems.

“I’m looking forward to it and I’m confident.”

The power, certainly on paper, would appear to be with the unbeaten 26-year-old, from Swansea, with the endurance with the Phil Jeffries-managed fighter.

Harris has stopped six of his nine victims, compared to two out of seven for Essomba, but the champion has gone eight rounds or more on three occasions, while the challenger has never been past four rounds.

However, Harris was quick to play down both factors.

“I’m not sure I am a big hitter,” said Jay, who is trained by dad, Peter, a former British champion.

“I didn’t stop many in the amateurs and my first three pro fights went to points.

“I’m throwing the same punches I’ve always thrown!

“Maybe I’m physically stronger, fitter, I don’t know.

“The distance won’t be a problem, I’ve trained for 12 rounds.

“I’ve only been four and been scheduled to do sixes and an eight.

“To be honest, I think the thing about the rounds will be more mental than physical.

“I’ve done it in sparring so I know I can do it, so it will be more in my head than anything.”