British title chance for Ian Napa
Former British and European bantamweight champion Ian Dappa Napa has featured in 14 title fights, most at local venues but on Friday night he faces the longest trek of his 12-year pro career
Former British and European bantamweight champion Ian 'Dappa' Napa has featured in 14 title fights, most at local venues but on Friday night he faces the longest trek of his 12-year pro career.
East London's long serving pro heads for County Durham to face Darlington's tough, unbeaten prospect Stuart Hall on Frank Maloney's latest promotion at Peterlee.
He returns to the ring for the first time since controversially losing his British title to Jamie McDonnell in January this year.
"I'm looking forward to the fight. Hall is a good fighter, lots of aggression and determination. You know, I've faced these type of opponents before, they make for a good fight," said Nappa anticipating the action.
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"After this fight there is only one option for me, I don't want to have to just keep defending the British title, I want to move back up.
"Getting a fight with Jamie McDonnell, or if he doesn't defend the European title getting whoever has the European title at the time I'll be looking to fight them. I want to get the European title back."
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Napa's long time manager/trainer Brian Lawrence added, "Things like the Jamie McDonnell result just doesn't affect Ian, it just makes him more determined.
"As I said, straight after the British fight we'll be looking for the European and then we want a world title shot. So that's what we will be looking for.
"If Jamie McDonnell is in our way then we'll be going right through him. Basically he can hide or come and face Ian Napa to prove who is number one."
Napa refuses to look too far ahead as he admits: "I want to get on the world scene, but obviously I have to get back on the European title scene first.
"In order to progress back onto the European scene I've got to get the British title back. So that's my main objective."
As usual there is confidence in the camp that Napa can come home a winner against a strong but inexperienced rival with just eight fights to his credit however the former champ knows he cannot afford to lose again.
Napa first won the title in 2007 after beating Jason Booth in Nottingham and won the Lonsdale belt outright after three succesaful defences.
After winning the European title then losing it again he was matched against St Helens fighter Gary Davies, whom he beat comfortably on points, before going down on the wrong end of a controversial points decision to McDonnell.