Lenny Daws is still happy to take up his right to make a mandatory challenge for the English light welterweight title, despite current champion Nigel Wright’s first round stoppage of Kevin McIntyre in Glasgow on Saturday night. “By all accounts Wright looked good,” said Daws, from Morden. “But I am not going to avoid him. We are on similar paths so will probably have to fight sooner or later.
“His fight against McIntyre was a final eliminator for the British, so he may vacate the English and we could meet further down the line for a bigger title which may be more appropriate, but if it has to be now, then it has to be now.
“Either way I want to fight for a belt soon. It would be nice to see how it feels to be a champion.”
Daws is no doubt all the more willing to meet his domestic rival Wright, given that he already holds a win over him.
“We met in the amateurs, in the Class C NABC finals. It was at 60kg, so neither of us have put on much since,” explained the 27-year-old Daws, who also defeated Gary Woolcombe (KO 1), Lee Beavis and Graham Earl in the unpaid ranks.
“I stopped Wright in the third round. I caught him with a combination and then kept unloading. I put on too much pressure and he couldn’t take any more; the ref stopped it.
“It was a close fight in the first couple of rounds, he may have even nicked them, but when I picked up the pace he couldn’t live with me.”
It is Daw’s renowned engine that earned him his shot at Wright. In Hartlepool last month in a final eliminator for the English light welterweight title against fellow former ABA champion Oscar Hall, he weathered an early storm before pressing on the gas to earn a retirement stoppage after seven rounds.
“I expected Hall to try and box me and win on points,” said Daws of the contest. “But when he nicked me with his head in the second round I think he saw an opportunity and went up a gear.
“He came at me fast, but I knew once I started to get on top of him from the fourth round that I was going to stop him eventually, even though it might be late.
“I think he punched himself out. It would have taken longer if he had stuck to his boxing, although I would have got to him sooner or later before the end of the fight.”
The Morden fighter is right to be confident of his ability in the later rounds given his outstanding stamina. His promoter Mick Hennessy believes it is an attribute that will now come to the fore.
“With his win over Hall, Lenny is starting to prove what I have always known about him – that we will see the best of him in title fights,” Hennessy said.
“He has got a big engine so will come on very strong over the longer distances and start to stop top fighters in the second half of contests.
“I feel that this, coupled with the natural ability that saw him win an ABA title, makes him the natural heir to Junior Witter’s British throne.”