Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thaxton on a Mission

He might now be referred to as the former British and European Champion but Jon Thaxton would clearly prefer the term, future British and European Champion. It’s been a roller coaster two years for the Norwich lightweight but despite 17 years in the pro ranks Thaxton promises that there are plenty more thrills and spills to come. His first objective is to get back to winning ways in London next month following the controversial loss of his European title last time out. Thaxton will feature on the undercard of the Danny McIntosh – Nathan Cleverly British Light Heavyweight title fight at the York Hall, Bethnal Green on July 18. The Hennessy Sports event is live on ITV4 and Thaxton is determined to prove that he is far from a spent force. The 34-year-old is firmly focused on regaining his beloved British and European titles and in the case of the British title winning a Lonsdale belt for keeps. The title is currently vacant following John Murray’s failure to make the weight ahead of his impressive win over Scott Lawton earlier this month. Thaxton however is in prime position to regain his old crown in the autumn having already been awarded the position of mandatory challenger. With the title now vacant Thaxton is waiting to hear who the BBB of C will nominate as his co-challenger. “It’s up to the Board who they match with me for the vacant title but I’ve no problem getting it on with anyone in the country,” said Thaxton. “I personally hope it will be John Murray. That’s the fight I want. He’s the unbeaten, young up and coming guy and I know me and him in the same boxing ring will be one hell of a fight. It’s one of those fights that will have people split down the middle but I believe I have the style, the experience and the power to defeat him. “Ever since I turned pro as an 18 year old it’s been an ambition of mine to win a Lonsdale belt outright and I’m just one win from that. It took me thirteen years and three attempts to win it for the first time but I never gave up hope and now I want to win it for keeps. That would be a tremendous achievement and it’s something I would treasure. I want that belt on my mantelpiece and its one thing that’s really driving me on now.” Thaxton also has plans to regain the European title which he lost on a contentious points decision to Frenchman Anthony Mezaache in February. “I thought I won that fight and a lot of people agreed with me but unfortunately the 3 judges saw it the other way and they are the people that matter. “I should have had him out of there in the first round when I had him down but he spat out his gum shield and bought himself some time that way. I’m a sporting guy but that for me wasn’t playing by the rules.” Thaxton admits that the defeat had him contemplating retirement, if only for 24 hours. “It was a bitter pill to swallow then and it still is now but you have to move on. I got up the day after the fight and thought maybe that’s it for me but by the time the next morning had come around I knew I wanted that title back.” The first step on the road back will come at the York Hall on July 18th and Thaxton says he can’t wait for that first bell. “I’m counting down the days right now and I’m very happy with the way I’m performing in the gym. Even at 34 and after 17 years in the professional game I still feel that I’m learning and getting better. I really believe I have not just one, but a few more big fights left in me. “I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the way I lost my European title. It cost me a World title fight so I’ve a point to prove now and that makes me a very dangerous fighter. My determination, discipline and dedication has got me to British and European titles and I’m very proud of that and my ambition now is go get both of those titles back again and then take it from there.” A clash of unbeaten fighters tops the bill at the York Hall on July 18th with Danny McIntosh and Nathan Cleverly squaring off for the British Light Heavyweight title. The undercard features Thaxton alongside unbeaten Heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury and Ireland’s European Union Lightweight Champion Andy Murray. Hot prospects Steve O’Meara, Dwayne Lewis, Bradley Evans, Del Rogers and Bobby Ward also feature on an action packed night of championship boxing

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