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I will learn lessons from nightmare, says Danny

PUBLISHED: 12:10 17 February 2010 | UPDATED: 08:13 02 July 2010

Chris Lakey

Danny McIntosh returns to the ring this week insisting the nightmare of his last outing has taught him a big boxing lesson. The Norwich fighter - back in the city after a stint with the Ingle gym in Sheffield - saw his British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight title dreams shattered last July when he was dropped four times by Nathan Cleverly on his way to a seventh-round defeat.

Danny McIntosh returns to the ring this week insisting the nightmare of his last outing has taught him a big boxing lesson.

The Norwich fighter - back in the city after a stint with the Ingle gym in Sheffield - saw his British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight title dreams shattered last July when he was dropped four times by Nathan Cleverly on his way to a seventh-round defeat.

He returns for the third defence of his English title against the experienced Tony Oakey at Stoke's Fenton Manor Sports Complex on Friday - and says he's not just a little older, but a lot wiser.

"Everything that happens is part of the learning curve, and Nathan Cleverly was a brilliant learning curve for me," admitted the 29-year-old.

"He's going to become a world champion, he is a great fighter and when I fought him I thought I was going to go out and do the business on him, but obviously in retrospect that's not how things went."

But McIntosh sees Friday's fight with Oakey as the opportunity to change some misconceptions about him.

"I just feel like this next fight I am going to prove to people that wasn't me fighting in the ring that night," he said.

"While there are no excuses, I must say I wasn't 100pc.

"I had a bad ankle, a couple of things happened in training, I couldn't train properly for the last two weeks before we went into the ring - things happened, but this is going to be the fight that will show everyone that I'm back.

"I'm trying not to look after this fight but I want a shot at the British title next.

"The dream would be to win the British, maybe the Commonwealth, but there are still some good boys in the line-up, but I would love to have a rematch with Cleverly, just to do a bit better than last time.

"Even if I didn't beat him, I would be going out to absolutely take him apart - if I was 100pc Danny Mac I am sure I would give him a lot more trouble next time."

The fight with Oakey has been postponed once because of McIntosh's ankle injury, but rather than hinder his preparation, it's helped - with McIntosh back from Sheffield to work again with trainer Graham Everett and fitness and conditioning coach Neil Featherby.

"It's just given me longer to train and recover from old injuries," he said.

"The training I have done with Neil is like a 16-week training regime and I have never been this fit.

"I was a little bit heavy up top to be fair and I think my body has been equalled out in a way and I feel I am now the full package.

"This is the best training I have had since I came back from Sheffield.

"I have never trained like this before - coming back has been a big help.

"Financially there's been a lot of difference as well - travelling up and down to Sheffield takes a lot of money as does living somewhere else.

"It was the best decision all round, definitely."

McIntosh has been sparring with stablemate Sam Sexton, the Commonwealth heavyweight champion, as he prepares for a man who has won 29 times in 34 outings and last February claimed the Prizefighter title in the light heavyweight category, beating the likes of Courtney Fry to lift the trophy at Bethnal Green.

At 34, Oakey is getting towards the end of a career which started seven years before McIntosh's - but the Norwich man won't be taking anything for granted.

"Everyone says he's getting old now, he's long in the tooth," he said.

"But he only had three weeks to prepare for his fight against Cleverly and he went 12 rounds, so I am not putting all my eggs into one basket at all - I am preparing for a 100pc Tony Oakey.

"He doesn't change fight to fight.

"I don't know if he has done anything different for this fight but I expect he is going to come forward and be the pressure fighter he is," McIntosh added.

Tickets, which cost £30, £50 and £75, are available by calling Sportlink on 01603 868606.

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