Saturday night marks the return of former British super lightweight champion, Tyrone Nurse (34-4-2 7KO) as he takes on old foe Liam Taylor (19-1 10KO).
The clash is at welterweight and headlines a competitive card at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester, promoted by VIP Promotions.
The two have met previously, in 2015, with the more experienced Nurse winning by unanimous decision over 10 rounds despite dropping Taylor in the 7th round. Nurse however believes Saturday’s fight is a completely different prospect all together and won’t be reading too much into the meeting 3 years ago.
“You can’t read into the previous fight, he was inexperienced going into the fight and although he was training for another fight at the time, he wasn’t experienced at any sort of level and he probably saw the fight as a bit of a chance to break through but you can’t look into that, it has no reflection on who he might be now, anyway.”
Nurse will be competing in his 41st fight as a professional on Saturday night despite still being only 28.
The yorkshireman stated weight issues began to affect him during his reign as British champion in the 140lb division and went on to suggest the extra 7lb has revitalised him.
“I was taking ridiculous weight off to get down to 10 stone and the last few fights, probably from the fight with Willie Limond onwards, I began to struggle. I wasn’t a small super lightweight at all so moving up a weight makes sense, really”
Returning on the back of a disappointing defeat in Australia where he dropped a very contentious points decision to Australian welterweight Jack Brubaker (14-2-1 7KO) Nurse has quickly moved on and tells us he is eyeing up honours in the 147lb division.
“The dream obviously is to win the biggest and best belts and ultimately become a world champion but for now I am happy to start back by winning another British title, you know, to be a two-weight British champion, not many have done that and I would love to win it outright this time, so I have one to keep!”
Assessing his opposition, Nurse suggests that although the domestic scene at 10st 7lb remains competitive it is not as stacked as the 10-stone division.
“I don’t think the welterweight division is quite as talented as the 10-stone division to be honest, I am not saying the fighters aren’t any good or that there not difficult fights, I just don’t think it’s as deep with the likes of Josh Taylor, Jack Catterall, Robbie Davies Jnr and a lot of younger fighters coming through. At welterweight, the only fighters that stand out to me are Bradley Skeete and Josh Kelly and I don’t get the same feel from any of the other names. It’s a good division but just not as deep, in my opinion.
The clash on Saturday evening is an eliminator for the British title and a fight with newly crowned champion Johnny Garton (23-1-1 10KO). A future clash with ‘The Pexican’ is one that Nurse would welcome with open arms.
“The Garton fight is not one I would shy away from. Garton is good at pretty much everything, he is fit, game and strong but ultimately, I think I am a better technician. But, I don’t think people realise how strong I am and with the weight now suiting me, everything is coming together nicely. Hopefully I beat Liam Taylor on Saturday then we can fight Garton in March/April and then see what comes up’
Continuing on, Nurse states that he would welcome challenges beyond the domestic scene, should he be successful on Saturday night and insists that he would open to facing the winner of fellow Brit Frankie Gavin (26-3 15KO) and European champion Kerman Lejarraga (26-0 21KO) who meet for the formers EBU title in Bilbao on Saturday night.
“If Gavin can get the win on Saturday night then that’s a fight I would welcome but even if he loses and a fight with Lejarraga came about its not one I would shy away from, it’s a big opportunity for a big belt and you can’t say no to those opportunities. Boxing is not a long career so you have to make the most of it, while you can. I am excited by it and I am looking forward to where this journey at welterweight takes me”
What is evident whilst speaking to Tyrone Nurse is that he remains as ambitious as ever and although he conquered the domestic scene as a super lightweight, the desire to replicate such achievements at welterweight is something that excites the Huddersfield native.
If Tyrone Nurse can come through this fight on Saturday night then he will be a welcome addition to the wider Welterweight division and with weight troubles behind him it would be no surprise to see him in big fights in 2019. As the old saying goes, a happy fighter is a dangerous fighter.