Andy Townend spends most of his weekend evenings working as a bouncer on the doors of various Barnsley pubs and clubs, but this Saturday he will be fighting in front of tens of thousands of people at the o2 Arena in London.
The lightweight, who turns 30 tomorrow and has won his last six bouts, will face former Olympian Joe Cordina for the British and Commonwealth titles live on Sky Sports. Shafton man Townend has fought just once in the last year, due to injuries and the withdrawal of opponents, so has been working as a bouncer in Barnsley town centre while he was also part of the security team for Josh Wale’s British title fight at the Metrodome in March.
He said: “It will be a bit different to my normal weekends. I have cut down my hours in the last few weeks to do more training and obviously I will take this weekend off to go down to London.”
Welshman Cordina is one the rising stars of British boxing. The 27-year-old Commonwealth champion and former European amateur champion has won all eight of his professional contests since representing Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Townend would love to join his former training partners and fellow Barnsley men Robbie Barrett and Wale in winning the British title.
“I am always confident and I know that I am going to cause an upset. He has a good pedigree but, if I am at 100 per cent, I can go to war with anyone. I have the power to end the fight early but I also have more experience so, if the fight goes longer, then I could win it on points as well.
"My plan is to win this fight then get to European or maybe even world level. I am getting into my 30s now and I want to achieve everything I can. My preparations have gone really well. It’s been a long and tough camp but it’s been worth it and I am just counting down the days.”
The fight will be part of the undercard of Doncaster heavyweight David Allen’s contest against Australian Lucas Browne, on a bill which features British stars such as Dereck Chisora, Josh Kelly and Conor Benn.
The last time Townend fought at the o2, he lost against Martin J Ward for the British title. He is in with another highly-rated fighter this time but has not watched many clips of Cordina.
“I never look at my opponents anymore. I used to watch loads of videos but then they come out and box a totally different way and it really shocks you. I am just going to trust my ability and learn about him throughout the fight.”