1st Jul, 2022

BOXING - Jay Sharkey returns to the ring on Friday night at Sports Connexion

BOXING binman Jay Sharkey is promising a masterclass in the rematch Coventry fight fans demanded, writes Matt Bozeat.

Promoter Marc Dwyer says fans asked him to stage a return between Sharkey and Chris Twyneham after last year’s back-and-forth eight-round battle – and it goes ahead at the Sports Connexion on Friday, April 8.

Twyneham won narrowly on the scorecards last time – and Sharkey says the rematch will be different.

Sharkey said: “It’s hard to swallow when you don’t perform at your best in a big fight.

“Congratulations to him and if he beats me again, he’s the better man.

“But I will be better prepared this time. Last time the gyms hadn’t been open for very long after lockdown and I wasn’t in the right head space either. It was a good fight, but I didn’t really perform at my best. I was flat footed.

“People were telling me afterwards: ‘You weren’t moving, why weren’t you boxing?’

“I was throwing big shots and not landing them and that’s not how I box. People were telling me afterwards: ‘It was a great fight,’ but I don’t fight. I box.

“I slip, jab, make you miss and make you pay. But that night I just stood there. I’m usually hard to hit.

“I want to put it right. I want to win every round and stop him late on. I want to make him hit thin air this time. I’m planning to put on a masterclass.”

At 37-years-old, Sharkey has spent around 20 years in the gym.

Sharkey added: “I was always a quiet kid until I lost my dad and that’s when I started to get angry with the world.

“I went out drinking and fighting. I was lost and hurt. I found myself when I went to the Red Corner gym. Glenn Smith told me: ‘Take it seriously, go amateur and then pro.’

“I could have been a good pro like Troy James, but it wasn’t the right time for me. It wasn’t until I found a good woman that I started to take life seriously.”

Sharkey’s gym mates at Red Corner include Jensen Todd – and he’s convinced he is the future of Coventry boxing.

The 17-year-old also features at the Sports Connexion on Friday night and Sharkey said: “I’ve been around some top fighters and Jensen is going to be a champion. He is going to be a big name.”

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