Larkin having to be patient as he waits for the right offers

The offers are already presenting themselves to former Sandygate ABC star Sam Larkin – even though the featherweight fighter has had to respectfully decline.

Sunday, 4th August 2019, 2:03 pm

The 28-year-old, who has won two from three fights as a professional, had expressed a desire to compete for the Central Area title when the opportunity arose, but it has to be on the right terms.

The Elite Boxing athlete was offered the chance to take on Artif Ali for the strap at King George’s Hall in November, but his team, led by coach Alex Matvienko, chose to rebuff the proposal.

Matvienko, who finished up with 15 wins from 19 bouts at super welterweight in his guise as the ‘One Man Riot’, was dubious about the size difference while questioning whether Larkin was ready to step up to 10 rounds.

“There’s been talk of a few opportunities coming my way,” Larkin said. “I’ve already been offered a shot at the Central Area title, providing I got through my next test without any complications.

“We’ve had to say ‘no’, reluctantly.

“It would have been against Artif Ali at King George’s Hall, but it was at super featherweight.

“That is definitely too big for me.

“At the moment I’m fighting as a featherweight, but if any opportunities arise for me to fight for a belt then ideally I’d be looking at taking it at bantamweight or super bantamweight. I’m big and strong at that weight.

“Artif would have been coming in to the fight close to 10st so my coach, Alex Matvienko, decided against it.

“He’s experienced and I’ve got to listen to my team.

“I’ve only had four round fights as well so it would be a big jump going up to 10 rounds.

“I’ll need to step up to doing a six-rounder first and hopefully something will come off the back of that.”

Larkin, educated at Park High School in Colne, will look to bury the demons of his past when going up against impermeable opponent Edward Bjorklund at Colne Muni on August 31st.

The featherweight fighter had a fear of southpaws during his amateur days, a style which caused him no end of bother as a youngster.

His Swedish opponent, who hails from Malmo, has never been stopped with his right hand lead in 25 contests, a record Larkin his wary of.

However, having been lined up to face Kieran Holman several times, the Pendle pugilist is more than prepared to take the experienced 39-year-old the distance.

“I can’t wait,” said Larkin, who has been training alongside promising Boltonian Greg McGuinness. “I’m hoping I can get another good win under my belt and build towards a bigger fight later in the year.

“He’s a southpaw and he’s tough.

“His record suggests that he’ll be as hard as nails and he’ll be tough to put away.

“We will just have to see what happens.

“I can hit hard, I hurt Ricky Leach to the body a number of times on my debut, I hurt Luke Fash as well and I caught him with a peach of a shot in the second round.

“I don’t need to go looking for the knockout.

“It’s tough fighting southpaws, I never used to like boxing them because I lost to a few of them in the amateurs. But there are some good southpaws at Elite Boxing who will help me prepare.

“I’ve already had two full camps training for a southpaw as I’d been scheduled to fight Kieran Holman so it’s just the norm for me now. It’s nothing new for me, it’ll just be another day in the office.”

Sam would like to thank Vivere Liberate, Steptoe’s Yard, M. Hughes Sports Massage Therapy, Intershape Fitness, J.O.G Building Services Ltd, PKB Building and Roofing, The Branding Iron Tattoo Studio, ShokWaves Barber Shop, The Asphalt Works and Norpol Recycling for their ongoing sponsorship and support.