News May 2019

Erick Ochieng warns Perkins ďIím a real fighter and heís in serious troubleĒ


By Michael J Jones

Last year the terrific form of light-middleweight contender Erick ďThe EagleĒ Ochieng ground to a halt with a decision reverse against Liam Smith in Liverpool for the British title.

It would prove the 26-year-oldís second defeat after an impressive run as English champion and convince him and trainer Brian Lawrence to move down a division to campaign as a welterweight. In his debut at the lower weight however, Ochieng would suffer his third defeat in Cardiff to Dale Evans.

The less-experienced Welshman edged a tense eight-rounder just last month to leave some thinking the 14-3 (4) Ochieng may have found his level. However, ďThe EagleĒ remains positive his latest defeats are nothing more than temporary set-backs in his quest to becoming a world champion.

On Saturday, the likable contender with the infectious confidence faces another tricky assignment at the Echo Arena, Liverpool. Neil L Perkins is a gifted southpaw with home advantage and an undefeated record; certainly no routine assignment.

The two men do battle on the undercard of Tony Bellewís cruiserweight debut against Valery Brudov on the Matchroom-promoted bill and many, including the other stars of the show, are already predicting the eight-rounder to be the fight of the night.

Amazingly, Ochieng is also down to be in the welterweight Prizefighter tournament just three weeks after the Perkins fight at York Hall.

Livefight found Erick to be his usual positive self a few days ago. Hereís what he had to say ahead of Saturdayís crucial fight-

LF) You take on Liverpoolís Neil Perkins this Saturday at Echo Arena. The fight has been made at relatively late notice and seems a tricky comeback fight for you?

EO) No this is not a tricky fight. This is the fight game and itís always better when you have a difficult fight and Iím going to show what I can do on Saturday.

LF) Perkins is 5-0 but an older prospect at 34. Have you seen him box before?

EO) Iíve seen one fight but all I can say is this; I donít know who heís fought to get to 5-0 but on Saturday heíll be in with a real fighter and in serious trouble.

LF) You are actually coming off two straight defeats the first of which was to Liam Smith in Liverpool last September. Soon after that contest you decided to move down a division. What prompted that decision?

EO) Liam Smith did what he had to do, it was in his back-yard and it was a learning experience for me. Iím taking the positives out of it; it was my first twelve rounder which I completed and all the best to him in his career.

My trainer Brian Lawrence had talked before of moving down to welterweight and we talked again after the Smith fight and he explained that I was only walking around at around 11st 5 when many light-middleweights will come into the ring over 12st.

It made sense to me. I felt strong at 154lbs but I also feel stronger at welterweight. I make the weight comfortably and donít have to drain myself in any way so now I have to take care of business at welterweight.

LF) Last month you dropped a close decision to Welshman Dale Evans in Cardiff in your first fight at the weight. What happened?

EO) To be honest I didnít really feel it was me in there that night. Sometimes in boxing a fighter just doesnít Ďturn upí mentally to a fight. I was there in body but wasnít there mentally. I watched the fight back afterwards and couldnít believe what I was doing it was like it wasnít me in there.

On Saturday that wonít happen as Iíll be ten-times that fighter and 100% focussed.

LF) Just a few weeks after the Perkins fight youíll be in Prizefighter at York Hall. What are your thoughts to your rivals in the tournament?

EO) Iím just looking to take care of business on Saturday then go to Prizefighter and win that. For Prizefighter Iím just focussing on winning it and not on any other fighter. You never know who you are going to face on the night so thereís no point singling out anyone.

Welterweight is a hot division and thereís lots of exciting fights out there. Iíve always said I will one day be a world champion and thatís still my goal and just a matter of time.

LF) Boxing is a fickle sport and many critics are quick to write fighters off after a defeat or two. What would you say to people who will be suggesting you have found your level after two straight losses?

EO) People have the right to their opinions but obviously Iíll prove the doubters wrong. They can write me off but theyíll write me back on just as quick when Iím back on track.

I see (the recent defeats) as nothing more than bumps in the road. If you are on a journey and you get a bump in the road you donít just turn back and give up. Take Bernard Hopkins. He lost his first fight but now heís still a world champion at 49.

LF) What is your final prediction for Saturday and are you weary of the decision going against you if it goes the distance with him being the home fighter?

EO) Iím coming to win and have prepared to do everything it takes to win. Iím not worried at all (about the judges) as I canít see it going the distance.

LF) Thanks for your time Erick.

Erick would like to thank his team and sponsors; Boxfit, King Apparel, Fresh Manna and also Tony Dobbins and to all of his loyal supporters.

Tony Bellewís clash with Valery Brudov tops a great night of action in Liverpool, as popular Super Middleweight Rocky Fielding defends his Commonwealth title against former champion Charles Adamu.

Unbeaten Welterweight star Kell Brook faces Alvaro Robles in a ten-round clash, London Lightweight Kevin Mitchell will also be in action on Merseyside as he builds towards a big fight in the summer, exciting youngster Robbie Davies Jnr faces his fifth pro.

Paul Smith has been forced out of Saturday nightís action through injury along with brothers Stephen and Callum, after the British Super Middleweight champion was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with infected olecranon bursitis. A further bout will be added to the card within the next 24 hours.

Tickets are on sale priced £30, £40, £60 and ringside seats at £100 available from the Echo Arena on 0844 8000 400 and at


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