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Saturday, 26 July 2014

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Business as usual as Barrow fighter Liam gets new opponent

COACH Jeff Moses is sure the disruption of a late change of opponent won’t have any adverse effect on Liam Conroy ahead of his third professional fight.

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READY: Liam Conroy will now face Gilson De Jesus in Friday’s Battle of Manchester Show LINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 50041153B004

The Barrow ABC middleweight has been training hard in preparation for what will be his first six-round clash, against Tony Randell at this Friday’s Battle of Manchester show.

But Randell pulled out of the contest after trying his luck on the undercard at Freddie Flintoff’s pro debut show at Manchester’s MEN Arena on Friday and being knocked out by Liam Williams in a super middleweight contest.

This means instead of fighting experienced pro Randell – a man with 44 fights under his belt – Conroy’s opponent at Bowlers Exhibition Centre will be fellow rookie Gilson De Jesus.

Angolan-born De Jesus’s pro career began with a victory, but he has since lost four fights and is ranked 78th of 99 British pro middleweights. And like Conroy, this will be his first six-round bout, having only previously boxed in four-rounders.

“We will be doing a bit of homework on this new opponent and we will be ready for him on Friday,” said Moses, the head coach at Brook Street gym.

“We’ve been preparing to fight Randell and coming up with a gameplan for that fight, but we’ve had to scrap that now.

“It’s not ideal, but the way Liam is now, the amount of training he has put in for this fight, I’m pretty confident that whoever he was facing in the ring, we will see a different Liam Conroy.

“Randell obviously thought he was better than he was and wanted to put himself in the spotlight at the Flintoff show, but it has backfired.”

Conroy said of the late change of opponent: “I always thought they would get a new opponent but it was just a bit stressful not knowing for sure.

“Watching the video of this guy he is totally different to Randell. He doesn’t look as tricky but he moves a bit more on his feet than Randell and throws a lot more shots.

“Even though he has only won one fight, he has won rounds every time, so it sounds like he will try and make a fight of it.”

Conroy has managed to sell 115 tickets so is guaranteed plenty of support when he enters the ring.

“It’s been a bit difficult with it being so close to Christmas so it’s great that so many are still supporting me. It’s quite humbling.”

l Don’t miss Thursday’s Mail for a special report on Liam Conroy’s preparations for his first six-round fight.

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