The big-hitting Scouser has fought some tough opposition down years including Anthony Crolla and Stephen Ormond and is gearing up for another big test at the Liverpool Echo Arena on Saturday 12th March, live and exclusive on BoxNation.
The 32-year-old has been one of the busiest fighters in Merseyside in recent years and boasts an impressive 20 stoppages from 38 career wins. Mathews wants to mark his big night with another belt.
“When I first turned professional at the age of 18 I had no idea I’d enjoy such a long and fulfilling career. If somebody had told me I’d be fighting for a world title in my 50th fight I wouldn’t have believed them. Not many people get to 50 fights and I’m lucky that I’m still around and I’m still the same person inside and outside the ring,” said Mathews.
He added: “I’m a dedicated fighter and I love the sport but a lot of it is down to all of my coaches and the people that have supported me; they’ve looked after me. I’ve been involved in some tough fights but I’m still here and I’m feeling fitter than ever. I was put in some hard fights as kid when I was 18 and 19 but they helped toughen me up.”
With just three weeks to go to the massive showdown Mathews is putting in the hours with trainer Danny Vaughan and says he’s never felt in better shape.
He said: “I’m feeling young, fresh and probably in the peak of my career. I can still do things I could do when I was 18 and I can do them better now as well. I’m a top athlete, the day I stop being a top athlete is the day I’ll walk away from boxing but at the moment I’m feeling stronger than ever and I’m ready to become a world champion.”
“Dirty” Derry has vowed to beat his bitter Mancunian rival in what he says will be his last shot at a world title and is confident that he could carry on boxing for many years to come. The likeable Scouser has been involved in some gruelling contests and say he’s earned his title shot the hard way.
He said, “After March 12 there’s nothing stopping me from going on and making ten title defences to get to 60 fights. For now I’m fully focused on making the big 50 a special night. What better way to win a world title than in my own city against a Manc? It doesn’t get better than that.
“Some boxers get a shot at a world title after 20 or so fights and most of them lose. People use them as a defence but I’ve done it the hard way; I’m coming to win. I’ve had some great nights in Liverpool and some bad nights but this one is going to be special.”
Flanagan v Mathews headlines an action packed card that also features one of the worlds greatest boxers, Guillermo Rigondeaux, taking on Merseyside hero Jazza Dickens; another star of world boxing, dynamite punching South African Zolani Tete challenges for the Vacant IBF International Bantamweight Championship against Jose Santos Gonzalez; Birmingham ace Tommy Langford defends his WBO Intercontinental Middleweight title against Lewis Taylor; hard-hitting Ellesmere Port’s star Paul Butler will challenge for a championship belt; Blackpool’s Matty Askin defends his English Cruiserweight title against Swindon’s Lawrence Bennett, plus Indian superstar Vijender Singh makes his Liverpool debut. The undercard features some of the best talent in Merseyside: undefeated leading world title contender Kevin Satchell; red-hot prospect Steven Lewis; European Champion Ryan Farrag; Manchester prospects Macaulay McGowan and Zelfa Barrett and Leicester ace Lyon Woodstock complete the card.