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Lawton promises to go out with a bang against Derry


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SCOTT LAWTON insists he will not be the fall guy as the curtain comes down on his career.


The Stoke man challenges city fighter Derry Mathews on January 22 for the vacant IBO International lightweight title but will retire immediately after.


Victory for Mathews will mark the latest progression in his path towards a return to former glories but Lawton remains adamant he is not about to step aside.


Lawton (27-7-1) concedes the Mathews he is preparing to face has changed for the better form the shell he punched into early retirement last year - yet believes the heat is on the Liverpool man.


A former European and British title challenger at super-featherweight and lightweight respectively, Lawton reflected on a blessed career and says he is determined not to let it end under a tidal wave of Scouse euphoria.


“I’m 100% on this and it promises to be a great fight on the night,” said Lawton.


“All the pressure is on Derry, he needs to win this fight but I will be taking that belt back to Stoke in this, my last fight.


“Who wants to lose a fight? I’m definitely here to win. I have about 200 fans coming up for this.


“I’ve got nothing to lose, all the pressure is on Derry. He is fighting in his home town with lots of support. All the pressure is on him, if I lose, I’m retiring anyway.


“Derry appears to have more focus and has all the boxing skills in the world to go where he wants to.


“I’m coming towards the end of my career and this is a great fight for me to finish on. Win, lose or draw this will be my last fight.”


The sixth round TKO defeat of Mathews (now 25-5) last November prompted the Liverpool man to retire against Lawton’s advice - but the tables have been turned.


Following a first round exit in last month’s Prizefighter: The Super-featherweights, Lawton was prepared to allow his licence with the British Boxing Board of Control to reach its conclusion this summer.


But a phone call from Mathews - who made it through to the Prizefighter final - handed Lawton one final hurrah.


“Derry has done brilliant since we last fought,” added Lawton.


“He has changed trainer and I’m expecting him to box better than last time. Things didn’t go to plan for Derry that night but that’s life and that’s how boxing goes.


“After I fought Derry first time I told him he should come back. Then after Prizefighter he was asking me the same question ‘why don’t you have one last fight?’ I didn’t think another offer for a fight would come but the phone call came from Derry. My fighting licence is up in May and I didn’t have any plans to renew it. But I’m grateful Derry offered me this fight and when the call came, it took me about a minute to decide.


“All credit must go to Derry because he is trying to right the wrongs of his past. It shows what type of fighter he is and that he is not scared of getting back in there.”


Lawton’s points loss in the opening round of Prizefighter to British super-middleweight champion Gary Sykes was no disgrace and as he explains, his body has just about enough for one more fight.


“Fitness wise I am fitter than ever before but I have issues with my arms,” revealed the Stoke man.


“I am proper struggling with tennis elbow in my right arm. It has affected me ever since I boxed Derry, which just shows you how long I’ve had it. It is so bad I am going to have to cut my sparring right down. It is not because I don’t like the sparring, it is because my body is not allowing me to do too much of it.


“Who would’ve thought I would box for the European title, it came as completely out of the blue. He (Levan Kirakosyan) was a world class puncher and he caught me right in the first round.


“I can’t throw many jabs but am fine with uppercuts. So it will just mean I have to get as close to Derry as possible to win this fight. Fitness won’t be an issue though.”



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