'I don't believe in myself sometimes' - Norwich's newest boxing champion
- Credit: Chris Lakey
Liam Goddard is a believer – now he is in possession of the first title belt of his career.
The 24-year-old from Norwich beat Joshua Menzie on Friday night to claim the Southern Area welterweight crown in his eighth outing as a pro – all of them victories.
“It was all down to the people in the gym making me believe I could do it as well, because I don’t believe in myself sometimes, but in the gym they tell me what I can do so I will start believing it now,” said Goddard.
“My boxing ambition was to fight for a belt and win it - I am happy so everything from now on is a bonus.”
Trainer Graham Everett will have bigger plans for Goddard, who ended Menzie’s resistance with a destructive flurry of punches at the end of the fourth round. The bell saved the Essex man, but he remained on his stool – and the celebrations began.
Trainer Graham Everett has guided Goddard through to championship level, and was delighted with not just the title win, but a show that saw five home successes in front of a packed house.
“It was a tremendous show,” he said. “It had a lot of everything – it had a war, a good calculated fight, a couple of really clever boxing matches and an absolutely destructive young lady who is angelic but vicious.
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“Menzie was always going to be a hard night’s work and to be fair to him, he stepped in at late notice. He is very experienced and he’s been around for a long, long time. He tried to unsettle Liam, there were all sorts of mind games going on, but I kept saying to Liam, ‘you are making him uncomfortable, keep breaking him, keep breaking him and he will go’, and after am explosive burst from Liam he retired, that was him done. “
Owen Blunden (Norwich) beat Ezequiel Gregores (Argentina) 39:37
The fight of the night, a feisty toe-to-toe affair.
“You will not get a better small hall fight,” said Everett. “Very evenly matched. I believe Owen won with the cleaner punches. I believe the Argentinian was very dirty, he used his elbows, he used his head, he kept banging him under the chin. There were a lot of tricks there. He is an older man, a more mature man, but Owen will learn a hell of a lot from that. It is fights like that which will make you.
“I’m really pleased with him - we have worked hard for a long time now and he is starting to show the benefits of that.”
Emma Dolan (Dereham) beat Nicole Goldsmith-Ryan (Birmingham) – stopped after 53 seconds
Dolan came out all guns blazing on her debut, releasing punch after punch until it was stopped.
Dolan has one thing on her mind.
“My main ambition is to win a world title – I am not in this sport to mess about,” she said. “Anything I do I want to do well at – so I will be world champion at some point.”
It’s a big statement, but Everett wasn’t about to take the wind out of her sails.
“No doubt about it, if she keeps improving like she is,” he said. “She is really happy in the gym, we gel really well. I just love her power. She is just a great student, fun to work with and I have seen so much progress since she has been with us and we haven’t even touched on what we can do.
“I expected a good performance, but I didn’t expect that explosive performance – but I’m not complaining.”
Frankie Davey (Ipswich) beat Charlie Sheldon (Bury St Edmunds) 40:36.
A good debut for the man from Suffolk. “Frankie I thought boxed absolutely superbly,” said Everett. “He did everything he had to do, but remember, with Frankie he is quite a big lad and he is a work in progress. He is going to grow. He has had only eight amateur fights, winning six, we have to be careful with him, bring him along nicely – there is no massive rush with him.”
Mikie Webber-Kane (Great Yarmouth) beat Carl Turney (Bognor Regis) 40:36
A classy way to start your pro career against an experienced campaigner.
Everett said: “Mikki comes over to the Norwich gym a couple of times week, he trains with Tony Norman. He put on a really good display of clever boxing against a more experienced, bigger guy. I thought it was a quality debut. His fans were head over heels with it, they thought he was brilliant - so did I.”