Conah Walker plans on using his homecoming as a platform to reinforce credentials for another title tilt at national level.
His last contest was for the English welterweight title, which remained in the possession of Samuel Antwi after a hard-fought 10 rounds.
Tonight he’s back in his hometown as he fights at The Hangar, Wolverhampton.The two clashed on a card promoted by Frank Warren, which was televised on BT Sport, in February, at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena, with Walker still unbeaten at the time.
A bloody battle ensued, with both men cut, Walker on the head and Antwi by the eye, and a close points call was needed, at the final bell, to separate the two. It was Antwi who had his hand raised, unanimously with all three judges, through scores of 97-94, 96-94 and 96-95. He has since vacated his crown. Walker is now looking to rebuild and challenge for domestic honours again, having previously held and relinquished the Midlands area strap himself.
The 26-year-old, from Warstones, had previously registered 10 pro wins and a draw, before facing Antwi, and has three TKOs to his credit. His last stoppage was at the Hangar, last October, where he took less than a round to wipe-out Jack Ewbank, in front of his supporters. ‘The Wolf’ used to be trained by Ricky Hatton, early on in his pro career, but is now coached by Richard Ghent, working out of the RG Box Fit gym in Bilston.
Walker was a successful amateur, with Wolverhampton’s Merridale Boxing Club, leading to 30 wins from 33 bouts and two national titles in the England Development Championships.
He said: “I had a few bumps of bruises and, obviously, a cut to recover from, after the Antwi fight, but when they healed, I was straight back in the gym.“There’s no point in arguing with the decision, it was close and they chose him. I wasn’t happy, as I thought I’d done enough to win, but there’s nothing I can do about it.
“The game-plan was to get on his chest and not give him enough room to work, he walked on to some good shots from me and took them, so fair play.“I shipped a few, as well, and that’s probably down to being a bit too eager. I’ve been back to the drawing round, in the gym, and tightened up my defence since then.
“It was a fight of three halves really – I controlled the first few rounds, he had the middle and I was back on top, by the end. My fitness was there, which bodes well for the future. “He won’t rematch me until I’ve got something to bring to the table. Maybe down the line, it could be for something bigger, over 12 rounds.
“Just being there got me loads of exposure, it was a great experience and the Sky Sports commentators gave us Fight of the Night, which tells you how much I wanted that belt.
“My journey hasn’t changed, I will take a loss because of the way I fight, I’m entertaining to watch because I like to have a scrap, although I’m trying to become a more polished boxer.
“Now I’m coming back to the Hangar, I’ve shown what I can do there before and I will again. There will be pressure on me, being back on home turf, with all of my people watching.”
Tickets are priced at £45 and are available on the door at The Hangar from 6.00pm tonight.