The Lion Ready For Area Title Tilt
Leo D’Erlanger insists winning the Midlands super featherweight title will represent just the start of his glories.
D’Erlanger and Josh Baillie and Leo D’Erlanger have been paired for a crack at the now vacant crown, which has been relinquished by James Beech Jr.
The 10-rounder makes up one of two battles for a belt on BCB Promotions’ bill at the Deco in Northampton, with fight night set for Saturday May 25.
Both men are based in the Midlands, but were born elsewhere. Londoner D’Erlanger lives in Banbury, Oxfordshire, with Baillie residing in Tamworth but originally from Barrow-in-Furness.
It could prove to be an interesting clash, with the co-challengers currently presenting erratic pro records. D’Erlanger is the more experienced, after 14 bouts.
‘The Lion’ has won nine of those contests, with a solitary early finish after Mirsad Ahmeti retired after just two rounds.
His eight points successes have come over distances as long as eight rounds, where he defeated Qasim Hussain for an International Masters strap.
Another of those victories came under the Deco lights, vanquishing Inderpreet Gill by a four-round whitewash in 2017. Now comes a bona-fide title opportunity.
One of his two defeats came by first round retirement, due to a broken bone in his hand, against Muheeb Fazeldin, who he had previously drawn with.
That was one of three stalemates, the others with Ryan McNicol, who he would later beat in a rematch, and Russ Midgley.
His one loss came in the seventh of an eight-rounder against Joe Ducker, but he’s bounced back with verdicts over Ivan Godor and Andy Harris since.
D’Erlanger honed his skills in a Northampton gym, representing Kings Heath Boxing Club 36 times with 25 wins to show for it.
The 35-year-old trains on weekdays under the tutelage of Dominic and John Ingle in Sheffield, where the likes of Kid Galahad is a sparring partner.
Standing in his way on fight night will be Baillie, 33, who has five victories and five defeats, with two won and lost inside the distance.
D’Erlanger said: “I want a bit of consistency from my boxing now, I’ve had my setbacks but I cannot afford to let this opportunity pass me by.
“I’ve come back from defeat before and, after the last time, I told my team that I wanted to get a couple of wins and then go after a title.
“That’s exactly what’s happening, so I’m happy. I think I can go further than the Midlands, too, so this might be just the start of something.
“I can go for this area belt, because I’m recognised as a Midlands boxer and where I live in Banbury is on the border.
“I want that title and then to go on to bigger and better things, I beat some good fighters, as an amateur, and I’ll do it again.
“I never won a national title there, so I’m determined to put that right as a pro. I came into boxing late, so I need for things to happen quickly.
“I wasn’t allowed to take up the sport until after I left school, because I had ADHD, but I still feel like I’ve got a lot of time left. You’re as young as you feel.
“If I can win this, I’ll be looking at the English next and then onto the British and Commonwealth titles. That’s always been the dream for me.
“I’ve trained hard for this, I’ve got great coaches and had some great sparring, so I should be at my best. I’m determined to show my skills and prove to people how good I am.”
The main event at the Deco will pit Northampton’s own Nathan Reeve against Craig Derbyshire for the English super flyweight title.
The Far Cotton Boxing Club graduate, who has previously challenged for English honours at flyweight, tackles the two-weight Central area champion, from Doncaster, over 10 rounds.
Three Northampton cohorts feature elsewhere on the card in the home corner, along with Ricky Hatton’s protege Chris Blaney who takes on Black Country boy Tom Stokes.
Kieron Conway makes a quickfire return to the ring, all of 15 days after competing in the Ultimate Boxxer competition, a Prizefighter-like affair, at middleweight.
Conway was the pre-favourite tournament and gave a good account of himself, outpointing Kaan Hawes unanimously before bowing out on a split to Derrick Osaze in the semi-final.
Welter Curtis Felix Jr has notched eight victories and is undefeated, including a stoppage of Jack Green on his paid bow.
His older brother Dominic Felix, who his nine years his senior at age 39, resumes his efforts at light heavyweight with a win, loss and a draw on his record.
Middleweight Blaney, who will have former two-weight world champion Hatton in his corner, returns to action just 20 days after his last outing.
‘The Ginger Ninja,’ who has been lined up for a shot at the Irish crown, boxed to a draw with Owen Jobburn. It came after 11 victories, with three TKOs, and just one defeat.
Stokes will be in the opposite and has previously challenged for the Midlands middleweight title.
The 24-year-old, from West Bromwich, will be looking for his 11th victory from 13 pro contest, with a drop down to super welter likely to be in the offing.
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