Lee Markham (5-1) and Diego Burton (2-0-1) go head to head in Brentwood Saturday night in a six rounder that’s a real ‘pick em’ fight - two young prospects putting it on the line and trying to prove who has the quality to go all the way.
Markham probably has the edge when it comes to experience, but Burton (2-0-1) has never tasted defeat and wants to keep it that way. Will Markham’s pressure fighting style prevail, or will Burton's lightening jab be the key to victory?
Markham, who fights out of Dom Negus’s Sparta Gym in Chingford, has impressed during the second part of 2012, scoring wins over Gilson De Jesus (pictured above) and Valerijs Mikalauskas in fights that had all in attendance on the edge of their seats throughout. It’s simple really - Markham loves an old fashioned tear up, which makes him one to watch.
Markham sees Diego Burton as a young fighter who is going to present him with his biggest test to date. “I don’t know that much about him. I’m told he was a good amateur fighter and fought some good kids. He wont want to give up his unbeaten record. He’s not a big puncher like my last opponent, but I know he's ten times a better boxer.
"I’m really looking forward to this fight. I fight better against live opponents like Diego who’s an unbeaten up and coming prospect. Fights like this make you train that little bit harder in the gym. “
Lee is ready to take on the world but his promoter Steve Goodwin is stepping him up slowly so if he does reach championship level, he'll be ready. “I am always ready to jump in at the deep end and take on anyone but Steve Goodwin is doing a great job with me and getting me the right fights at the right time. I really feel we are heading in the right direction now.”
Finally Lee tells us how and why he thinks he will be victorious come Saturday night. “I know he hasn’t done six rounds so that might work in my favour. I think he will try and outbox me, but I think I will be a bit to strong for him on the night. I want to slow him down with some hard body shots.”
"I want to win and win in style. Winning fights in style is how you get recognised and that can lead to more big fights down the line. “
26 year old Burton has been out of the ring for a year now , and is itching to get his career moving again. He drew on his professional debut against Iain Jackson back in June 2011 but didn’t let that result deter him as he scored two wins in September and October of the same year. When he fought Wickford's Danny Brown, both lads were unbeaten and Burton put on a masterclass behind a seriously quick jab on his way to a 40-36 points win. He then fought and defeated Duncan Cottier from Woodford (pictured above) a month later.
Now Diego embarks on the next step of his career against Markham, who in Diego’s eyes is somewhat of an unknown quantity. “I don’t really know much about him to be honest. All I know is that he is a strong, come forward fighter.”
Ranking systems are typically straight forward - you beat a fighter higher up the rankings than you and elevate your own position. Diego knows that winning this weekends clash will open the door to some big fights over the next twelve months.
“Yeah, definitely, it’s a good fight for me. I need to get back in the mix and winning this fight will do exactly that. Its time to step it up now and keep more active. I want to try and get into the title mix in 2013.”
So how does Burton expect to get the job done Saturday? “I think that my boxing skills will shine on the night, if he can get past my jab then good luck to him. I can see him starting the fight all guns blazing and I just need to keep him at bay and bide my time. Then I will pick him off.”