BRITISH super-featherweight champion Sam Bowen has been waiting for an opportunity to prove his credentials on a bigger stage and on Saturday he will get that chance, as he takes on Argentine Horacio Alfredo Cabral for the WBO Inter-Continental title at the Leicester Arena on BT Sport.
The fight also marks his first under the promotional backing of Frank Warren and “The Bullet”, who was long avoided by his fellow domestic super-featherweights, is eager to prove that the hype surrounding him was justified.
The 26-year-old impressed last time out, back in April, when he stopped Maxi Hughes to win the Lonsdale belt and was expected to defend his newly won belt on the card. However that will have to wait until December and he is looking forward to adding to his 13-0, nine early, ledger on his TV debut.
Bowen said: “I’m really excited to fight on Saturday. I’ve got the week off work, so there is nothing to drain me, so I’ll be firing on all cylinders on Saturday. I work near Leicester as well, so I’ll have plenty of support to help push me up to that next level.
“A win will get me that world ranking and open more avenues for me, plus it will go nicely with my British title, which I’m defending in December against Ronnie Clark. Cabral looks awkward and is a good boxer, but I’m more than confident in getting the job done.”
Bowen insists he isn’t looking past the fight on Saturday, but admits that joining forces with Warren will be massive for him, especially as some that withdrew from a fight with him are now his promotional stablemates.
He believes that the deal with Warren might not have happened if he hadn’t beaten Hughes and also poured praise on Carl Greaves, who is his manager and trainer for securing the opportunity and backing him without any TV backing.
“The hardest thing for me so far in the pros has actually been getting fights because everyone keeps pulling out. The original aim was to go through the Midlands Area, then the English and then top it off with the British title. I had to skip a couple of levels, but if I hadn’t then maybe I wouldn’t have signed with Frank,” he said.
“I’m grateful for the chance and I have to perform better than I ever have to prove that I’m where I deserve to be. I might actually get to fight some of these guys as well, as they’re also signed with Frank, so they will have no choice but to face me now.
“It’s all been made possible though by my Carl Greaves, who has delivered for me and then some since we started working together. I won the title off TV, which obviously wasn’t ideal but I got the job done. Now is the time to start repaying that faith, starting with a big win on Saturday.”
Greaves is effusive in his praise for “The Bullet” and is looking to the test that Cabral will provide him at the weekend and has his sights set on some big domestic clashes in the future for Bowen, who he believes has all the tools to go a long way in the sport. He also explained how the deal with Warren came about.
He added: “It’s all come together, which we weren’t sure it would for a while, which was very frustrating. Sam is a TV calibre fighter and it was a huge shame he wasn’t given a slot before, so we did it the hard way, showing the last fight online and investing my own money to get him the chance he deserved.
“Cabral is a hard fight and he won’t be fazed. He went to Canada last year and beat Logan McGuinness who was 25-0 at the time and he’s a tricky guy. But he isn’t big and not much of a puncher, which unfortunately for him, are some of Sam’s best attributes. We’ve only known about it for a week, but he has sparred with Lewis Ritson and Leigh Wood, so we’ve got all the boxes ticked.
“The deal to work with Frank came together very quickly and I’m excited for the future with Sam. It actually came together, as we were trying to get the Scot Jordan McCorry for a voluntary but then he was pulled for an eliminator with Leon Woodstock who is already signed with Frank.
“I rang up to see what was going on, met with Mervyn Turner and all of a sudden we had a promotional deal with Frank Warren, which was announced at the subsequent press conference. It just goes to show how quickly things can work in boxing. So the plan is simple, get the win on Saturday and then beat Ronnie Clark, a strong southpaw which will suit Sam down to the ground, on the 8th or 22nd of December. After that, wait and see.”