The Devonshire Dome in Buxton is sure to be rocking for a momentous homecoming show that could earn boxer Jack ‘One Smack’ Massey his first title belt as a professional.
All tickets have been sold for the fight tomorrow (Friday) night, which is the first pro boxing event the venue has ever staged. And the 22-year-old Massey, from Chapel-en-le-Frith, says he is determined to produce an exciting performance for his legion of fans.
In a fight being streamed live and free on vipboxing.tv, Massey takes on Gogita Gorgiladze, of Tbilisi, Georgia, for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) youth silver cruiserweight title.
“It will be my toughest test yet,” said the Bobby Rimmer-trained fighter. “But I have been working really hard in the gym and have no worries.
“It’s time to step up to the plate. I feel that when I do, I am a better fighter. I am looking forward to fighting him and I am more than confident of beating him.
“I want to make the Dome an intimidating fortress where I can win future titles.”
Former amateur champion Massey has made admirable progress since turning professional. He has won his last eight fights over a two-year period, with three knockouts, and looks certain to be given a shot at a British title sooner rather than later.
However, Gorgiladze, who is also 22, presents a real challenge. In his 25 wins, the Georgian has knocked out 20 opponents and has been stopped only three times in eight losses.
“He boxes at range,” said Massey. “But he’s also strong, so I need to be a bit wary. We’ve been working on a tight defence and head movement, so if all goes to plan, there’s nothing to worry about.
“A stoppage would be nice, but it’s my first ten-rounder, so it would also be good to get the full distance in the bank for the future.
“The Dome is only five minutes down the road for me, so it’s right on my doorstep. It’s absolutely brilliant that the show is sold out.
“Everyone living here is so excited about pro boxing coming to town. The atmosphere will be great, and I hope this will be the first show of many.”
Promoter Steve Wood, of VIP Promotions, added: “The cruiserweight scene in the UK is wide open at the moment, and we don’t think it will be too long before Jack is in the mix for the British title. This is a decent test, though. The Georgian has a good record and can obviously hit very hard, so Jack needs to stay focused. If he wins, it will add to his growing reputation.”
A strong support bill at the Dome features Manchester duo Kallum De’Ath and Charlie Schofield, Rossington’s Maxi Hughes and Failsworth’s Jake Bulger.