7:00am Friday 19th July 2013
By Andrew Penman
NEWPORT boxer Craig Woodruff is setting his sights on Gary Buckland’s British super-featherweight belt.
Alway fighter Woodruff may be only 20 but he has made quite an impact in his first five professional bouts.
He forced former British super-featherweight champion Carl Johanneson into retirement with a shock points win in Manchester last December.
Woodruff then claimed the Welsh lightweight title by overpowering the favourite Tony Pace at the Newport Centre in February.
And he will look to pick up another belt – the British Masters super-featherweight – against Dai Davies at the same venue on Saturday, July 27.
Trainer Steve Sims, himself a former British featherweight champ, explained that there are big plans for his star pupil.
“It’s going to be a big year for Craig,” said Sims.
“Mark Prior of Warrior Promotions is investing in Craig and we’re looking at a Celtic title fight against Scotland’s Ronnie Clark in Newport on September 21.
“That would be a very good fight. Clark is unbeaten and he’s a tough operator but Craig is ready.
“That would be a British title eliminator and we’re chasing Gary Buckland’s belt. Craig is in great shape and he’s got a fantastic future in the sport.”
Clark, known as The Shark, has eight wins and two draws in his ten pro fights and would prove a tough test for Woodruff if he overcomes Merthyr journeyman Davies on July 27.
Woodruff, whose one defeat came against Gary Buckland’s younger brother Mitchell, is unlikely to face Buckland senior.
The St Joseph’s star defends his British title for the third time against Stephen Smith on the undercard of Nathan Cleverly’s world title show at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on August 17.
If he wins that fight, and with it the Lonsdale belt outright, Buckland is likely to give up the title and look to move on to European and world level.
Also in action on the Warrior Promotions bill on July 27 is St Joseph’s star Frankie Borg, who faces Gary Cooper for the Welsh middleweight title, as well as local favourites Jerome Samuels, Craig Kennedy, Wayne Brooks and Lewis Patterson.
For tickets call Warrior general manager Greg Steene on 07572 421365.
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