No room for compromise as former Sandygate ABC star vows to stick to his optimum weight

Featherweight fighter Sam Larkin has learned only to compete at his optimum weight following on from his first reverse as a professional boxer.
Sam Larkin lands a body shot on Jimmy Quinn at King George's HallSam Larkin lands a body shot on Jimmy Quinn at King George's Hall
Sam Larkin lands a body shot on Jimmy Quinn at King George's Hall

Valuable lessons were absorbed in light of the 28-year-old’s points loss to journeyman Jamie Quinn at King George’s Hall in March having stepped up to take on an opponent who had operated at lightweight.

The former Park High School pupil was asked to drop to the opposite end of the spectrum on this occasion with southpaw Kieran Holman requesting that Sunday’s bout at Colne Muni go ahead with an 8st 10oz cap.

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The Yorkshireman who, in a nod to Ricky Hatton, goes by the alias ‘The Hitman’, was taken ill when the pair were scheduled to lock horns in Pendle last year.

This time the 20-year-old has withdrawn in advance. Instead, Larkin will face Hull’s Luke Fash in a division much more suited to him.

“I’m as fit as a fiddle and as strong as an ox,” said Larkin. “There’s been a change of opponent, I’m up against Luke Fash now, but that works out better for me.

“I had been scheduled to fight Kieran Holman again, but he’s pulled out. He said that 8st 12oz was too heavy for him, but I wasn’t dropping down to 8st 8oz. I couldn’t make bantamweight anymore.

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“Around 9st 2oz is the perfect weight for me, I’m able to get some good portions of food down me rather than restricting myself. I’ve been sparring southpaws for six weeks, but I’d have floored him in 30 seconds.

“We had a replacement sorted within a couple of days, but I was panicking at first. I thought to myself ‘this can’t be happening again!’ I didn’t want another fight falling through in my hometown.”

Larkin has been flying under Alex Matvienko’s watch at the former super welterweight’s Elite Boxing hub in Bolton.

The one-time Sandygate ABC star is ready to get back on centre stage and reignite the form that blew Ricky Leach out of the water on debut at Bolton Whites Hotel.

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“I’m hitting hard now and I’m ready to go,” he said. “Luke is an aggressor and comes to take centre of the ring.

“We’ve been working on staying in front of him throughout the fight and not giving him time to breath. I’ve been working on body shots so I’ll look to take the wind out of him early on.

“I can’t wait, I’m finally going to get to fight at Colne Muni. I’ve got a good set of fans coming to back me so it’s going to be class. The atmosphere will be mint.”

Earby’s Josh Holmes will headline the show, promoted by Maree Boxing and Frankin Duffin in association with Heatseeker Boxing, while Aaron Hayden, Alex McCloy, Kurt Grieve, Artif Ali, Dan Catlin and Liam O’Reilly will also feature.

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“It’s going to be loud and it should be a good show because there are some good lads on the bill,” said Larkin. “It’s going to be packed out.

“I’m nowhere near as stressed as I have been in the past. I’m working, earning a wage and I’m sleeping well at night. It’s making a massive difference.

“Tickets have been flying out, I’m pushing on 100, so the atmosphere will be booming. I’m buzzing now, I’m ready for it.”

Sam, who can be contacted on social media for those wishing to purchase tickets, would like to thank PKB Building and Roofing, Steptoes Yard, Unique Clean, Viverre Liberaire, Norpol Recycling, Mick Hughes Sports Massage, JOG Building Services, Intershape Fitness, The Asphalt Works, Shokwaves Barbers and DWE Building and Landscape Specialists for their ongoing sponsorship and support.