JOE PIGFORD: “I NEVER LOOK FOR THE KNOCKOUT. IT JUST ALWAYS HAPPENS!”
The trade is bitterly split as to who will prevail when crunch punching super-welters Joe Pigford and Aaron Morgan trade atom bombs over eight rounds or less, as a warm up to Liam Walsh’s world title challenge at the Copper Box in Stratford this Saturday, writes Glynn Evans.
Both have blitzed to a dozen straight wins in the pros and the potent pair boast 19 stoppages between them. Few can pick a winner of this genuine crossroads collision with any degree of confidence. However, that certainly doesn’t appear to be how 24 year old Pigford from Southampton is reading it.
‘To me, this isn’t a huge step up. It’s just the next step I’ve got to take to progress my career. I’m 100% confident that I beat Morgan,’ claims the big hooking former two time national junior finalist who has iced 11 of his victims before the judges were required.
‘Maybe on paper it’s a big step up but I’d not have took it if I didn’t think I’d win. There were other options offered. I’m entering really relaxed and comfortable. This will propel me into title fights. If I win this fight and put on a good performance. I’d like a British title fight next.
‘With the two Liams (Smith and Williams) agreeing to a rematch and out of the domestic equation, I’d fancy myself against any of the others. Ahmet Patterson’s not about at the moment so it’d likely be Jimmy Kelly. I’d be very confident.’
With BT Sport and BoxNation screening live, the Wayne Batten coached prospect appreciates that this is the perfect platform upon which to project his potential.
He says: ‘A lot of commotion is being made about this Gervonta Davis (Baltimore’s unbeaten IBF Super-Feather king who defends against Walsh) and it’s always nice to get coverage on Frank’s biggest shows. But this is nothing new to me. I’ve boxed at The Copper Box before and I’ve won on big shows before. I thrive under the spotlight.
‘This is Morgan’s big night, his first time…..and after I’m done with him, it’ll be his last! I’ll be onwards and upwards, he’ll be back to six-threes in the small halls!
It’s bold talk from ‘Piggie’ whose huge army of disciples have illuminated fight venues across the land with their snouts, pig masks, whole porcine costumes and ‘Release the Pig’ chants!
However, ‘Marksman’ Morgan is five years his senior and has completed the eight round trip twice whereas Joe has never got past six. Featuring in his home city, the pride of Newham is reported to have shifted £20,000 of tickets and, for once, there is no guarantee that Pigford will have everything his own way.
‘He’s sold £20,000 tickets?! Well, I reckon my ten best fans are better than his 20 grand’s worth! The atmosphere at the Guildhall for my last fight was insane. My lot are always mental,’ says the super confident Saint.
‘Lasting the eight rounds, if needed, certainly won’t be an issue for me. My camp has gone brilliantly, no stone left unturned. My weight’s fine, everything’s good.
‘I often spar 10 rounds straight off. And I’m more than ready for this so called step up in class because I’ve sparred hundreds of rounds with Chris Eubank Jr and I’ve also done a lot of work with champions like Liam Williams and Nick Blackwell plus top prospects like Josh Kelly, Anthony Fowler and Gary Corcoran – men far better than Aarron Morgan – albeit without the small gloves on.’
Perhaps it is the innocence (or ignorance) of youth but the Hampshire hitter appears genuinely oblivious to the obvious and apparent danger that the former London amateur champion posses to his unbeaten status.
A ruthless sharpshooter himself, Morgan has sent eight of his own victims for an early shower and is adamant that he, not Pigford, enters with the greater weapons of mass destruction.
‘Morgan can think what he likes. It’s false confidence,’ continues Pigford who at 6ft 1in tall will enjoy a four inch height advantage.
‘I’ve had a little look at him on DVD and, honestly, I’ve seen nothing to worry me. Aarron’s record suggests he might have a bit of a punch on him but he’ll need to be a lot better than anything I’ve seen so far if he’s to have any chance of beating me.
‘Besides, I don’t care what he does. I focus only on myself. We’ve got a game plan and I’m ready for whatever. I’ve prepared for eight high paced rounds. I’m better in every department. I’ve more power and better boxing ability.
‘Obviously I’d be stupid not to use my height advantage. I’ll be looking to box properly rather than relying on my power to blow him away. It’s just when I catch them, they get knocked out. I don’t look for it. It just always happens!
All floor seating at the Copper Box Arena has SOLD OUT.