FOR years Dougie Curran has been a “have gloves, will travel” boxer. But the Newcastle super-featherweight is aspiring to more in 2013.
Curran takes on unbeaten Kris Matthews in his eighth fight of the year in Wishaw on Friday night. He is hoping to put on a show that can earn him another English title shot.
In three years on the professional circuit, Curran has earned a reputation as the sort of fighter matchmakers love – someone they can pick up the telephone to at the last minute, knowing they will find a boxer on the end of the line almost certainly game for whatever challenge is thrown at them.
But the first knockout wins of his career – two in his last three outings – have suggested Curran can do more than make up the numbers. He certainly thinks so. “I’ve been doing well,” said the 24-year-old, whose record suddenly looks a lot better with seven wins from 24 fights.
“Since my last fight (against Stephen Russell in October) I’ve been in the gym working on my weaknesses – and my strengths.
“I’m never out of the gym. I take fights with not much notice.
“When I get to a higher level, hopefully I can have more rest between fights, but for now it’s the best way for me to keep sharp.
“I’ve got a bit of a reputation as someone who’s just willing to turn up anywhere for a fight at short notice, but I hope things can change.
“I had a nice win in my last fight (knocking Russell down twice in the second round) and I’m hoping to build on that.
“If all goes well my next fight might be for a title. I’d love the opportunity to be back in for the English title. I don’t know if (holder) Terry Flannigan is planning to give it up, but I’d love to fight Troy James for it.
“I know 100% I could win, but I’ve got to take things one step at a time.” Unsurprisingly, Curran has already been in the ring with both men, although he is yet to beat either.
He was the opponent in May when Flannigan claimed the then-vacant vacant English super-featherweight title, a belt he defended against James in September. Flannigan also beat Curran in November 2010.
Flannigan has since gone on to win the made-for-TV Prizefighter lightweight title, and could relinquish his super-featherweight crown to further his career. James, who also beat Curran on points in his hometown of Coventry 12 months ago, would more than likely be at the front of the queue if he did.
Curran finally had his first experience of a home crowd at Newcastle’s 02 Academy in September, and would love another fight with James to be part of promoter Steve Wraith’s planned spring show in the city.
Unusually for Curran, he has had lots of time to prepare for his latest bout, and claims to have used it wisely.
“I’ve had plenty of notice for this one, I’ve had four weeks,” he revealed.
“It’ll be one of the best preparations I’ve had for a fight. I’ve studied the boy and I know what I’m up against.
“I’ve been through his write-ups in the Scottish papers and he’s shown a lot of respect for me.
“He’s a southpaw, 5ft 11in (Curran is four inches shorter), so I’ve been sparring with a lot of lads like him. I’ve boxed a few tall, rangey southpaws.
“I’ve done a lot with (Felling cruiserweight) Paul O’Hagan. He’s been using his reach, and I’ve been getting into his body. It might be a bit scrappy on Friday but I’m looking forward to it.”