New lightweight Northern Area champion Gary Fox got back in the gym this week looking ahead to the next stage of his flourishing career.
Fox dispatched of Darlington’s Neil Hepper in five rounds on Phil Jeffries’ promoted show in Hartlepool on September 30th to claim the vacant title and revealed he is going back to gym this week and looking forward to stepping up to bigger and better things.
Fox said: “I don’t know fights will be down the road but I will face whoever need to. Obviously it’s onwards and upwards for me now maybe I’d like to go in with a decently ranked opponent and get myself noticed a bit more.
“Getting in the ring with someone who’s ranked in the top ten would be ideal, I want to fight someone with a good name and get that notice. I’ve had ten fights now so I’m feeling good but I am still learning and I think everyone is still learning up until about the 20 fight point as a professional but you do have to test yourself as well so that you can move on.”
Fox beat Hepper in a non-title fight back in March on points but acknowledged Hepper was a lot better this time around and that he knew he was down on points when the referee stopped the fight in the fifth round after Fox followed up a heavy knockdown with a barrage on an unsteady Hepper.
“I knew I was down on points. He came out very aggressively and I had to change the game plan and sit on the back foot a bit. To be honest though he can’t have had his game plan right because there was no way he was going to last ten rounds at that pace. I could see as the fight went on that he was getting tired and that was when I took advantage.
“I knew when I saw he was tired I would stop him I just didn’t realise how soon it would be. It was a sweet punch I caught him with and I just took it straight to him after that because i knew he wasn’t right, he barely made the count.”
Gary was right, after the knockdown Hepper was on ver wobbly legs and this reporter was surprised the referee allowed Hepper to continue, however short-lived. Despite this, the champion revealed that Hepper was angry with the stoppage and was asking for another rematch which Fox was quick to quash.
“He is a good boxer and I don’t want to take anything away from him there but he has been complaining about the stoppage and asking for a rematch but there is just no gain in that for me. I’ve beat him twice now and like I said I’m moving onwards and upwards now.”
The only other current holder of a Northern Area title is Newcastle’s cruiserweight Jon-Lewis Dickinson. He won that belt a little over 12 months ago on another Phil Jeffries show against Sunderland boxer David Dolan. Fast forward to the present and Dickinson has used that victory to elevate himself to a British title shot.
Dickinson meets Shane McPhilbin in Liverpool on Saturday for the vacant British cruiserweight on the undercard of the David Price Audley Harrison fight. Fox is hoping he can have a similar year to Dickinson and get himself in the British title picture.
“I’m a champion now and I’ve got to train like one now.” said Fox, “I’ve just got to pick the right fights at the right time like Jon-Lewis Dickinson did and that is the way it goes. I would love to be at British level myself next year like Dickinson is now, one year on.”