ST JOSEPH’S star Gary Buckland believes his experience can put an end to Richard Commey’s perfect record when the pair clash for the Commonwealth lightweight title on Saturday night.
African champion Commey, from Accra in Ghana, has won all 17 of his fights as a professional and all by way of knockout.
But Buckland, who trains at St Joes in Newport with Tony Borg, is determined to get back to winning ways after a split decision defeat in his rematch with Newbridge’s Gavin Rees in May.
Both fighters have beaten tough Middlesbrough man Paul Truscott in the last two years and Buckland sees those fights as a good guide to how Saturday’s clash at London’s York Hall will play out.
“Commey’s record is impressive but I think I’m his biggest test to date and hopefully I can put an end to his record,” said the 28-year-old.
“I’ve watched the Paul Truscott fight and he stopped him but I don’t think that should have been a stoppage.
“I reckon I did a better job on Paul Truscott than he did. I beat him up for 12 rounds.
“It’s important to win this one,” he added. “He’s a good boy but I’m going there to win and bring that title back.”
Despite defeat to Rees in their second bout after winning the first, Buckland knows that the two titanic tussles have earned him a lot of credit in the sport.
“I thought it was a fair result last time and I thought he’d won it by a lot more but when I watched it back it was a close fight and he just boxed the right fight and kept away nicely,” he said of the rematch.
“Gav was ready to retire but he was still an awkward opponent and he’s done the sport proud over so many years.
“He’s a former world champion and I beat him, then he beat me so I think I’ve come out with a bit of credit.
“It didn’t do me any harm because I’ve got a title fight straight away now.”
And the former British super-featherweight champion knows that he can always drop down a weight if the right opportunity comes along.
“I’m still keeping my options open,” he said. “I’ll always want to come back down to win the British super-featherweight belt outright but a Commonwealth title at lightweight was too tempting.
“I’m feeling great and ready to put on a good show on Saturday,” he added after road running with Newport County AFC footballer Mike Flynn as part of his fitness regime.
“I’ve been training with a few of the football guys,” he explained. “I was running on the roads with Flynny and a few others but I left them behind after ten minutes!”
For tickets for Saturday’s show contact Buckland’s manager Brian Powell on 07821004684.