Interview: Lee Purdy

Lee Purdy
© PA Photos
Sports Mole talks to welterweight contender Lee Purdy as he prepares to finally meet Carson Jones at Wembley Arena in March.

Lee Purdy has insisted that he will make Carson Jones wish their fight was cancelled for good when the pair meet at Wembley Arena on Saturday, March 9th.

'Lights Out' was forced out of a December clash with Jones at the last minute with a virus but the bout is back on Matchroom Boxing's 'London Finest' bill.

Wembley represents a chance for 2013 to begin in style for Colchester native Purdy, who believes that he has the punching power to take his career to the next level.

Sports Mole spoke to the Welterweight contender about the road to recovery, aiming to reach the elite level and making a statement against Jones.

Hi Lee, you're here today to announce that the Carson Jones fight is back on. Will it be hard to start from square one and prepare for the same opponent, Groundhog Day-style?
"Definitely not, in a way I've got to stay positive and it's a good thing. I've had a full camp training and preparing to face Carson, drilling tactics and getting everything in place. Now I've got more time to prepare and brush up on my gameplan and make sure I'm in the best physical shape of my career."

Where are you in terms of fitness and mentally after having to deal with the disappointment of a last-minute postponement in December?
"I've been back in training for two weeks now and we're going away to Spain on Saturday for 10 days for some real hard work. From there we'll come back and jump straight into sparring. Spain will put me in tremendous shape. I probably had about three weeks off but I was still in fairly good shape. It was tough to take but I'm looking at is as it's putting me in good stead for training camp moving forward."

The fight will now be in March at Wembley Arena, at a bigger venue and a bigger stage to showcase your skills. Is that something that motivates you to perform?
"Most definitely, there's more titles and names on this bill and hopefully more public interest. I want to get my point across that I believe I'm one of the biggest punchers in the welterweight division, not just in Britain but in the world."

Has it been frustrating at all to see Kell Brook get his world-title chance after edging Jones as you face a longer wait to face the same man?
"Yes a little bit, but Kell's been a little bit delayed now too, these things do happen in our sport. I could've been sitting here talking to you now and Carson Jones could've beat me in December when I wasn't at 100%. This time I will make sure I'm at 100% and I believe if that's the case I'll do a goob job on Jones."

Can you take anything from your gym mate Darren Barker's situation? He's a fighter who you've seen suffer setbacks and come through tough times to return.
"It's definitely something I've thought about and I believe I will be better for it. I only fought a few months back but it feels like I haven't had a fought for years. I keep repeating myself on this but I'm as hungry as ever to push forward and that's why I believe I'll be in the best shape of my life on March 9th."

Did you watch Jones fight to a draw against Dean Byrne in your absence last month and can you take anything from that performance?
"I'm taking no notice of that fight. I can understand why he wasn't at his best given the circumstances. A late replacement, he probably took a big paycut, maybe a lack of motivation, all those things can affect you. All his focus would have been on me but I just hope he's at his best on March 9th because if he's not I believe I'll take him out in a couple of rounds. I seriously think my punching power is second to none."

In the Brook fight Jones proved he can take a shot and go the distance. Is a knockout win something you are actively targeting to prove a point?
"Early on in his career Jones got stopped, then he went on a big unbeaten run before he lost to Kell, but he came out of that fight with a lot of credit. I believe that if I can knock him out that's a statement of intent, a message I can move up and mix it with the best at welterweight. So I plan on doing exactly that."

How are you handling the process of building towards the same fight for a second time?
"It's early days but I feel more motivated to be honest because I want this win more than ever now. Kell went down this road, fighting for an eliminator and he went onto secure a title shot within 12 months. It sounds a long way off but I could potentially fight for a world title myself, that's how I see it."

Have you thought that far ahead into 2013 and mapped out any plans or goals to strive for?
"I'm heading down the right path, I want to take on eliminators, final eliminators, it's all working towards something bigger and better. Even domestically I wouldn't rule out a fight between me and Kell at the end of the year if things go my way, things happen quickly. All I can do is beat Carson convincingly and put myself in."

Lee Purdy
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