Swiggy Has Eyes On The Prize

Matt Craddock has set his sights on the prizes in the bantamweight division after establishing himself as a six-round fighter.

His next stand comes as part of BCB Promotions’ show in Wolverhampton, at the Hangar Events Venue (Pearson Street), on the Friday night of February 18.

He plans to drop down from super bantam and campaign at the new weight, where the likes of Charlie Edwards, Lee McGregor, Paul Butler and Sean McGoldrick currently reside.

Craddock isn’t even the highest-ranked bantamweight in the BCB ranks, with English title holder Liam Davies ahead of him, although that situation could change.

Davies could yet step up and vacate, which could open the door for Craddock and others such as Sean Cairns, who has previously challenged for those honours.

Craddock, who is trained by Spencer McCracken Jnr, isn’t getting too far ahead of himself, but feels that time is of the essence with his ambition to become a champion.

By day, he’s a groundworker and works for the Fitzpatrick Group, who have backed him with sponsorship to support his boxing aspirations.

The 31-year-old Brummie, from Kings Norton, became a pro in 2019, after an amateur run largely spent at the now-defunct Ironworks ABC, with 17 victories from 30 bouts.

His pro debut saw him outpoint Jake Pollard, overcoming a shaky start to prevail by a 39-37 scoreline, before shutting out Luke Fash by a 40-36 whitewash.

‘Swiggy’ then jumped from four rounds to six to take on puncher Jack Bateson, who dropped him twice in the last session, but couldn’t force the finish. Bateson settled for a 60-52 verdict.
Craddock bounced back with his first TKO, capitalising on bloodshed from adversary Ricky Starkey to end proceedings in the fifth.

He then built on that success with a useful victory over Stephen Robinson, seeing him off by a 58-56 points result. Now comes his sixth pro outing.

Craddock said: “It was competitive when I had my debut, I lost the first round and won the other three comfortably. It was almost punch perfect, the second time, nothing went wrong.

“I learned a lot against (Jack) Bateson, going up against a classy switch hitter and getting the rounds in, with a quality opponent. He was 11-0 and I was 2-0.

“To me, I had everything to win and nothing to lose. Everyone thought I’d get stopped, so it felt a bit like a victory going the distance. They have all been six-rounders since then.

“I needed a good result against (Ricky) Starkey, his nose was badly bloodied and the corner threw the towel in. There was no way he could continue.

“He told the referee that it was from a clash of heads, in the second round, but my jab, which got him again and again, made it worse. I was happy with that.

“(Stephen) Jackson was a good lad, he had his debut on Channel 5 and won, so it was a decent test and probably the best result I’ve had so far.

“Now it’s time to get another one and push on, I’ll be the best I can be on the night. There’s nothing flashy about me, I go in there to do my job.

“I want to fight for titles and I’m moving down to bantamweight to do it, I’m ranked sixth already but a lot of the others aren’t English or are past domestic level.

“There’s nothing around in the Midlands, really, apart from Liam Davies (BCB), who is the English champion. I’m not sure if he will be defending it, though.

“I think he wants to move on to bigger things and rightfully so. That might free up the title, although I’m not sure who would be next in line for it. Hopefully, I’ll be in that mix.”

Tickets for the Hangar bill are available, priced at £40 standard or £75 VIP ringside with buffet, directly from the boxers or by visiting myfighttickets.com.

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