Lyndon Arthur vs Joel McIntyre will open Friday night's Channel 5 show
Exclusive interview with English light-heavy champ Joel McIntyre: “I’m telling you this is gonna be the night of the upsets”
Joel McIntyre (20-4, 5KO) will take on former Commonwealth and WBO Inter-Continental light-heavyweight champion Lyndon Arthur (20-1, 14KO), live on Channel 5 at 9pm on Friday, December 2nd in Newcastle on a Wasserman Boxing event.
The pair will do battle at the Utilita Arena on the undercard of County Durham’s Troy Williamson's (19-0-1) British super-welterweight title defence to Sunderland’s Josh Kelly (12-1-1) on the Sauerland-promoted show titled, ‘Judgement Night’, to decide who reigns king of the North East.
BBN spoke to Portsmouth’s ‘El Toro’ ahead of what he described as the biggest boxing show of his career, up against a once-beaten Mancunian who has stopped two-thirds of his opponents and is the heavy favourite to win. But the Leigh Park tough guy, now 34, is planning on taking this last-minute opportunity with both hands, predicting an upset in his 25th pro outing.
When did you get the call about this fight?
“About two weeks ago. I was hoping for something, so I was trying to stay ready. Don’t get me wrong, this is a week or two earlier than what we had been anticipating so things went into a little bit of overdrive, but we’re all good.”
Trainer Daron Wiseman claims you’re in the best shape he’s ever seen you in, what’s made the difference in this camp?
“To be honest, I’ve got some really good sponsors backing me, they’re looking after me so I can stay focused and not have to worry about anything else. I’m training three times a day. And just my mindset. My team and my mindset, just serious, no more messing about.”
Has Anthony Yarde provided you with the perfect game plan to beat Arthur?
“I don’t want to give nothing away but I’m just gonna react to what I need to react to, but he doesn’t like being on the backfoot, he doesn’t like pressure. I think he gave up against Yarde, if I’m completely honest, and I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that, I’m not being disrespectful, I think he straight-up quit. But I haven’t followed his career at all.”
What would you say to anyone that’s already writing you off for this fight?
“Watch! Man, I know the bookies have written me off as well and there’s gonna be a few boys having it off this weekend, just know that.”
With the show being all the way up in Newcastle, far from the south east coast, have you got any support coming?
“Yeah, we’ve got a few. It’s short notice and stuff, and it’s about a million miles from home, and I said to people ‘listen, don’t stress, just catch me on TV’. But yeah, I got a few coming.”
The Utilita Arena has a capacity of over 11,000 and the event will be broadcast on terrestrial TV, but you are quite used to the big stage by now, aren’t you?
“To be fair, this is the biggest show I’ve ever done. I’ve done the BOXXER tournament, I’ve fought at Wembley Arena but that was on the undercard well before the place had anyone in it. So, this is the big time, but I’ve been there and done it, I’ve seen boxers come and go in this game, so yeah this is it, if I ain’t ready now then I never will be.”
Do you know what time your fight will be on?
“Channel 5 [coverage starts] at 9pm and I’m gonna be on at 9:10pm.”
The British Board recently installed Ricky Summers as your mandatory English title challenger, is that a fight you’re still looking to take?
“Ricky Summers [is my mandatory]. They [promoter Errol Johnson] won the purse bids, so yeah, which is fine by me, but personally I plan to win this fight then shoot off somewhere else, they can have the English [title]. I would [defend it] if that was to be done, I’m still champion and want to defend my belt, but I wanna win this and then just wait on the [phone] calls.”
Lastly, who do you think wins the main event?
“That is 50-50. I like Kelly because he’s supremely skilled and talented, but that Troy is a bit of a different breed, he’s a hard man, he’s my cup of tea. I don’t think you can say Troy isn’t the boxer, they’re both good boxers. Troy is a hard, inside fighter, and Kelly is on the outside moving his feet and head, like a pretty boy, but I think Troy could eventually catch up with him. But, no, I think it could either way.
“I know some boys on the undercard, I didn’t realise Troy Williamson was the B-Side because Kelly’s their boy, and there’s also another heavyweight who’s their boy [Hosea Stewart] and I know his opponent, Franklin Ignatius, they’ve fought before and he should’ve won, so I’m telling you this is gonna be the night of the upsets.”