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Hibbert to square up to undefeated Midlander
1:10pm Friday 23rd August 2013 in Sport
A BRITISH Masters Gold light welterweight title is looming for Thurrock’s ‘John’ Wayne Hibbert, 28, as the boxer prepares for the first 12 round fight of his professional career.
Grays Civic Hall will be the venue for the bout which is due to take place on September 27.
And the fight – against undefeated Midlands champion Callum Cooper – gives Hibbert the chance to put behind him an illness which ruled him out of his last battle with just hours to go.
Back in June, Hibbert was due to take on Giuseppe Lauri in Grays, but the fight had to be called off with just hours to go after Hibbert suffered from hives, which affected much of his body.
And having to pull out left its mark on proud Hibbert.
He said: “I wanted to go into the ring against him. But you have to have people around you who talk sense into you and the doctors were not happy with me boxing.
“I’m over that now,” said the fighter who has signalled his desire to make his local fans proud of him.
“Lots of people bought tickets for the Lauri fight and did not get to see me in the ring.
“I want this bout to be for them, as a way of saying thanks for sticking with me.
“I know that Cooper is a southpaw. He’s exciting and has fought seven times and is undefeated, so he’s going to be a tough opponent.
“It’s my first time at 12 rounds and I am changing my training a bit. I’m training for 15 rounds because you have to have plenty in the tank to go the whole way.”
Hibbert will be fighting at 10 stone which he has reached before.
He said: “Last time I was training to make 10 stone I felt strong and this makes me think that this is the right weight for me if I want to be successful.
“If I do well next month it takes me a little bit closer to a shot at a British title.
“I’m also changing the way that I train. I’m sparring with Matt McCarthy, who is a southpaw so that’s going to be good for me to get used to this. Matt’s a top man and has his own fight a few days apart so I’m hoping sparring will be good for both of us.”
Hibbert is also sparring with the talented Danny Conner from East London to see if the Southern Area champion can improve on his fight skills in advance of the Cooper clash.
Hibbert is sponsored by Reeds Butchers, T&P lead roofing, Whites Scrap Yard and Ray Ellis at the Rising Sun.