Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Barney prepares for McIntosh

Matthew Barney admits he’s drinking in the last chance saloon this weekend when he challenges Danny McIntosh for the English Light Heavyweight title at the Norfolk Showground in Norwich.
Saturday nights intriguing clash on the Hennessy Sports show will be broadcast live on ITV4 and provides the chief support to Jon Thaxton’s first defence of his European Lightweight title. Local favourite McIntosh won the title in a thrilling derby with Steve Spartacus at the same venue last October but Barney says this is a fight he cannot afford to lose. “I’m 34 now and I know this is probably my last chance to get back into the title picture,” admitted Barney. “I’ve been training very hard for this, sparring has gone well and I’m putting everything in to this fight. When, and I stress when I beat McIntosh I want a crack at either the British or Commonwealth title. Dean Francis has the British title and I’ve already beaten him so maybe we can get that on again.” Barney believes the title fight experience accumulated in his 32 fight pro career will prove the difference against McIntosh who is unbeaten in 9 pro fights. “I think McIntosh is biting off a bit more than he can chew with me. He’s not a bad fighter but he’s very inexperienced and I’ve seen enough of him to be very confident going into this fight.” Barney says he has no concerns about going into the lion’s den to face McIntosh who will enjoy raucous home support in Norwich. “I’d go anywhere for a fight so that’s not a problem for me. I’ve no problem taking on anyone in their backyard. I fought Carl Froch in Nottingham for the British title and I went to Germany to challenge Thomas Ulrich for the European title. I beat Tony Oakey in Portsmouth so going to Norwich won’t bother me in the slightest.” McIntosh has branded Barney an “awkward, negative” fighter but the 34-year-old from Southampton bristled at that suggestion. “I think that’s unfair, generally the only people that call me awkward are the people who have real problems with me. I’m a clever boxer and I use my head in there but if some people want to call that awkward or negative then that’s their problem not mine.” Barney also dismissed any suggestions that McIntosh’s power punching would be a factor in the fight. “I’ve boxed lots of people who are supposed to be big punchers and they haven’t bothered me so I’m certainly not worried about McIntosh’s power. “I’ll be giving him plenty to worry about myself. Like I say he’s a good fighter but he’s not anywhere near the level of some of the guys I’ve been in with before. I think I’ll just know too much for him.” Barney’s clash with McIntosh for the English Light Heavyweight title is the chief support to Jon Thaxton’s first defence of his European Lightweight title against French Champion Anthony Mezzache. The exciting undercard also features heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury alongside Matthew Thirlwall, Steve O’Meara, Lee Purdy and Earl Ling. A special attraction sees the pro debut of 2008 ABA Champion Bradley Evans. The Royston featherweight came away from last years ABA’s with the best boxer of the night trophy.

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