LIVERPOOL lightweight ace Thomas Stalker will take on Portugal’s Antonio Joao Bento for the Vacant WBO European Lightweight Championship on the action-packed Liverpool Echo Arena show on June 4, live and exclusive on BoxNation.
Stalker, 10-1-3 2 KO’s, will be hoping to make it third time lucky against the big-hitting Bento after drawing against Craig Evans in his previous two challenges for the Vacant European belt. 31 year-old Stalker is confident his best is yet to come and hopes a win over Bento will kick-start a big 2016.
“A win would secure me a top ten or fifteen world ranking; it would be massive for me. When I win this belt I’m sure more big fights will follow. I’ve had a good eleven months with my new trainer Danny Vaughan and I feel like everything is coming together now. Even though I’m not a spring chicken anymore in boxing terms I still think I haven’t reached my prime yet. I’m constantly learning and striving to be better,” said Stalker.
Bento, from Olhao, Portugal, boasts an impressive 18 knockouts from 30 career wins and has only been stopped three times in a career spanning over 16 years. ‘The Captain’ has the amateur pedigree after captaining Great Britain’s record-breaking Olympic medal winning boxing squad at London 2012 but is hungrier than ever for his own success in the paid ranks.
He said: “He’s very experienced. He can punch a bit but it’s all about me and what I’ve been doing in the gym. If I deliver come fight night then I’m going to be fine. I’m very confident of winning and then stepping on and being involved some big fights in the lightweight division this year.”
With a rich batch of champions and contenders, boxing in Liverpool is booming. Southpaw Stalker is looking forward to fighting on a huge night of boxing that sees fellow scousers Liam Smith, Ryan Farrag and Jazza Dickens all involved in title fights.
“I’m buzzing to be fighting back in my home city on such a big show. I know I’m going to win this fight and I know I’m going to go on to have a great year. I’m good mates with Liam Smith and all of the Everton Red Triangle lads and it’s always pleasing to see local talent doing so well; it’s going to be a great night for the city of Liverpool.”
A mouth-watering night of action sees Ellesmere Port star Paul Butler defend his WBO International Super-Flyweight belt against Petchbarngborn Kokietgym, should he win Butler will be guaranteed mandatory position with the WBO. South African super-puncher Zolani Tete makes his eagerly anticipated return to Liverpool to defend his IBF International Bantamweight title. Ryan Farrag makes the first defence of his EBU European Bantamweight title against Frenchman Karim Guerfi and Jazza Dickens takes on Spain’s Abigail Medina for the Vacant EBU European Super-Bantamweight Championship. A top undercard sees Liam Williams, Steven Lewis, Josh Leather and Declan Geraghty all in action.