News April 2019

Goodings to outbox Fox before targeting British honours


By Michael J Jones

This Saturday at Newcastle a host of North East boxing stars take to the stage at the Metro Radio Arena. While world bantamweight champion Stuart Hall defends his IBF strap against Martin Ward, Jon Lewis Dickinson, Bradley Saunders and Frankie Gavin are all in action in respective bouts.

One young fighter looking to impress on the mammoth show is Sunderland lightweight Kirk Goodings who defends his English title against Fishburnís Gary Fox in something of a local grudge match.

The two men were set to face each other a few weeks ago before the show fell through. Fox made no secret that he felt disrespected by team Goodings for taking a fight with him so close to the Newcastle bill. Now the rivals get to settle their score over ten rounds in the biggest show put on in the North East for many years.

Goodings, 24-years-old, turned pro in October 2009 and quietly eased to his first seven victories. The skilful prospect then endured a frustrating lay-off before getting the call on five days notice to take on the more-experienced Stevie Williams for a British Masters title.

After ďBulletproofĒ gave a very solid account of himself after twelve close rounds, the naturally bigger Williams took the decision by a single point though the young Sunderland man showed what he could do in his first ever twelve-rounder.

Since then the quick-handed lightweight has won all three contests and looked impressive in doing so. Last year he would start his 2013 campaign with a four-round points win over tricky Youssef Al Hamidi before stopping the usually-durably Dean Mills in five rounds. Goodings would then end his season by clearly out-scoring former British title challenger Paul Truscott to win his English crown.

Now 10-1 (2), Goodings is the firm favourite to see off the decent 11-2 Fox this Saturday and Livefight managed to talk to Kirk ahead of the fight-

LF) You fight Gary Fox this Saturday heís been quite vocal in the build-up?

KG) Yes but talk is cheap, heís talking a good fight but I know what I have to do and Iím concentrating on that.

LF) Do you see it as a comfortable victory for you then?

KG) Heís a good credible opponent and thatís why weíre fighting him. Iím not saying it will be easy but if I do what Iím supposed to and stick to the game-plan it should be an easy night in some sense.

LF) You scored arguably your best victory to date last time out over Paul Truscott. Are you looking to build on that win in the coming months?

KG) Yeah thatís why Iím fighting Fox, I want credible opponents now not any journeymen who I wonít gain anything from fighting.

LF) You were unbeaten in the early stages of your career at 7-0 before that short-notice title fight with Stevie Williams. You appeared to outbox him for long stretches before being edged by a single point?

Goodings (left) and Fox

KG) Well I hadnít fought for five months prior to that fight and took it on only five days notice. At the time it looked like I was never going to get a fight so we took a bit of a chance. Iíd never done a twelve rounder before but (being competitive over the distance) gave me huge confidence as I thought if I can do that after just five days training then how good could I be in full fitness. Iíve had a totally different mind-set since then and I used that in the Truscott fight.

I felt like I had to take a chance (by facing Williams) with the view as win or lose it could lead to other opportunities and so it proved as I was fighting for the English title a year later.

LF) Youíre not noted as puncher but last July you stopped the very tough Dean Mills in five. Do you feel your power is improving?

KG) The two times Iíve fought good kids, guys who came forward and tried to put the pressure on me, Iíve stopped them both. Lee Jennings was the first, he put me down for the first time in my career but I got up and stopped him in the fourth. Jennings was 4-1 coming in and Mills is a tough kid. I think itís just easier for me when lads come towards me and Ďhave a goí but with the journeymen-types they just cover up and run away and itís much harder to stop them.

I also think some refís are aware that the journeymen guys donít get to box the following week if they get stopped so let fights go on a bit longer than they should so theyíre not stopping them from earning a living. I remember fighting Robin Deakin and that should have been stopped as I dropped him heavily twice but the ref let it go on. Iím not saying Iím the most powerful person out there but I feel if I can land my best shots Iíll stop the opponent.

LF) You currently hold the English title how would you like the rest of the year to play out; is the British title maybe in your sights?

KG) Right now Iím concentrating on Fox but afterwards weíll just have to see what opportunities present themselves. My team will work out whatís best for me but personally Iíd like to think the British title would be up for grabs later this year. I donít want to get stuck at this (English title) level too long and risk going stale.

LF) Most of the top British lightweights like Ricky Burns and Kevin Mitchell are in the last phase of their careers do you think that fact is good for you coming through?

KG) Thereís quite a few coming to the end of their careers and thereís probably no point for guys like Derry Mathews or the others to fight a guy like me or Scott Cardle as it wouldnít benefit them in any way as they might risk losing their big chances. I feel as long as I stay patient though Iíll get there eventually.

Kirk would like to thank his fans, team and sponsors Lonsdale, Alldec Northern and MCPS for their continued support.

Jon Lewis Dickinson vs Neil Dawson will be live and exclusive on BoxNation this Saturday alongside the Stuart Hall-Martin Ward IBF world bantamweight title fight with support from Frankie Gavin, Bradley Saunders and Kirk Goodings.

Footage begins at 7pm Sky channel 437 and 490 for HD viewers.

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