Gary Buckland (27-2-1) defends his British super featherweight title against Stephen 'Swifty' Smith (16-1) on August 17 as chief support to Nathan Cleverly v Sergey Kovalev, and though he stands just one win away from claiming the Lonsdale belt outright, the Welsh scrapper has never fought in his home city of Cardiff until now.
Rumney-born Buckland can’t wait to hear the first bell at the Motorpoint Arena on August 17:
“I’ve boxed in Newport but I’ve always wanted to box in Cardiff and now I’ve got my opportunity,” Buckland told Phil Blanche of Wales Online.
“I’m chief support and with 5,000 people there that’s going to be good recognition for me. Put on a good show and people will want to come to my fights if I’m topping the bill.”
Buckland stopped Stephen Foster Jr in his second title defence in November, but TV exposure has been a problem for the Hatton promotions fighter.
His challenge to Fernando David Saucedo for the vacant WBC Silver title in Buenos Aires in April was called off when fans stormed the ring.
“I wanted to get the Lonsdale Belt outright but then the Argentina opportunity came up. I was training for the Argentina fight since Christmas, but then it just got killed within a few minutes. I put so much into that fight, I left my family for three months, was ready for the job.
“But now I’ve got this chance to defend the title, win the belt outright and go onto European and world level.
“I was struggling without TV but now we (Hatton Promotions) have got TV on BoxNation hopefully we’ll give Sky a run for its money.”