Undefeated super-bantamweight prospect Bradley Strand (4-0, 1KO) will face Stephen ‘Livewire’ Maguire (1-21-1) in his next fight on Friday, July 30.
Liverpool’s Strand will join teammate Nick Ball on the Black Flash Promotions event, aptly titled ‘Back in Business’, at the Devonshire House Hotel in his home city of Liverpool.
The 24-year-old will take part in his first six-rounder against Middleton’s Maguire at super-bantamweight.
“I don’t know much about him,” commented Strand, who was a four-time national amateur champion. “Just that he’s a southpaw.”
Maguire was a North West champion in 2012, winning eight from 16 amateur bouts. The 34-year-old journeyman earned his nickname through his quick feet and high energy, and he’s also known for throwing a lot of shots.
His pro debut was back in 2018 and will enter into his 23rd contest off the back of a win for the first time in his career, which could see an increase in confidence and motivation against Strand.
“I saw that he won his last fight against a debutant last month, so hopefully he’ll be full of confidence in our fight,” he wished.
Strand’s former teammate Connor Butler (4-0-1, 1KO) gave Maguire a torrid time during their September 2019 fight, especially with his left hooks to the body, but in the second round, a clash of heads caused the fight to be stopped on a cut sustained by Maguire, and the result was ruled as a technical draw.
Despite witnessing, firsthand, the successful shots Butler managed to get through with, Strand remains adamant he'll stick to his own strengths, stating, “I don’t ever look into what other people have done with opponents because everyone’s style is different. What works for one may not work for another.”
However, he did offer a glimpse into what fight fans could expect to see from him on the night, “I’m going to try throw my shots with a bit more spite and sit down on them more.
“I feel a lot stronger than before because I’m coming down from a heavier weight and I’ve put on quite a bit of muscle.”
Strand is a former ABA Elites champion signed with Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren.
Trained by Paul Stevenson at the Everton Red Triangle gym in Liverpool, he won both his fights in 2020, which included his TV debut on BT Sport on July 31, alongside teammates Nick Ball and Andrew Cain – also both signed to Warren.
His fifth professional contest will be the first time moving up to six rounds, which he ensures he is completely comfortable with, “I’ve always sparred four, six, eight, and even 10 rounds so I’ve not done anything different to prepare for this step-up.
“I just can’t wait to get in there and fight again!”
The Friday fight night event on July 30 is suitably named ‘Back in Business’, and also features Strand’s teammate Nick Ball (13-0, 6KOs) in a six-rounder at featherweight against an opponent yet to be confirmed. Ball is hoping for a tough opponent to keep him busy as he patiently waits in line for title shots.
Managed by Paul Stevenson, Commonwealth title contender Carly Skelly (3-0-1), from nearby Litherland, is back in action for the first time since her thrilling stalemate with rival Amy Timlin on Sky Sports in October 2020. The 34-year-old southpaw tackles European title contender Gabriella Mezei (11-26-5, 3KOs) over four-rounds at featherweight.
Former English super-flyweight champion Marcel Braithwaite (9-3) heads back to the ring for the first time since back-to-back defeats to world title contender Jay Harris and Britain’s newest world champion Sunny Edwards, who Braithwaite knocked down during their 2019 British title clash.
Mozambique-born Merseysider Dexter Makaza (1-0), a 27-year-old light-heavyweight from Liverpool, is also in action on the night; as are debutants Leon Willings from Widnes, and Rebecca Ainscough from Liverpool.
Tickets are £50 for ringside, and £35 of outer ring seats.
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