December 14, 2002, was a big night for Newcastle boxing. Tonight, Kirk Goodings will be “privileged” to be part of another.
Like Stuey Hall, Goodings saw Joe Calzaghe and Ricky Hatton at Newcastle Arena in 2002. This evening he hopes to make a name for himself by defending his English lightweight title against Fishburn’s Gary Fox at the same venue.
“It’s a massive, massive night of boxing in front of a big crowd,” he says. “I feel privileged. If I put a good performance and win the belt I might get picked up. I was watching in 2002 as an 11-year-old who’d just started getting into boxing and to be fighting there now is crazy.
“Nights like that make you want to box. It was a bit of a blur but the atmosphere was electric.”
Derbies are never short of spice, but Fox has provided extra needle.
“If I stick to my gameplan it’s going to be comfortable,” Goodings insists. “I’ve sparred with him and he knows exactly what happened. We had 16 ounce gloves on and something happened – I’m not going to say what.
“He’s let his mouth run on Facebook and his mam has. I’ve risen above it. There’s only me and him in the ring. He can’t call on those fans.
“He’s scared, trying to talk himself into a fight instead of remaining humble, like I am.”
British cruiserweight champion Jon-Lewis Dickinson, Frankie Gavin and Bradley Saunders also feature on the 15-bout show.