Davies gets English title date

Ohara Davies hits out on his way to victory over Dame Seck in September 2015 (pic: Lawrence Lustig)

Ohara Davies hits out on his way to victory over Dame Seck in September 2015 (pic: Lawrence Lustig) - Credit: Archant

Step up for former Repton amateur

Ohara Davies will face Andy Keates for the vacant English lightweight title at The O2 on April 9, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Former Repton amateur Davies boxes for a first title in the paid ranks, having raced to 10-0 and adding an eighth stoppage win to his impressive resume at Stratford’s Copper Box Arena in January.

The 23-year-old, who is trained by east Londoner Tony Sims, will look to win the crown in style, aiming for a fifth straight win inside the distance on his fourth outing at the Greenwich venue.

But Keates will be looking to land the belt in his second tilt at the title, having been edged out by Kevin Hooper in November.

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“I’m delighted to finally get the chance to fight for a title as a pro,” said Davies. “It’s a big step for me from the six-rounders I’ve had so far – this is my first title fight and first fight over 10 rounds.

“I’ve had to tailor my training to be ensure I’m fit for the latter stages, if it lasts that long.

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“Andy is a southpaw so I’ve had to prepare for that. I’ve watched some of his fights on YouTube and his fight with Kevin Hooper was good, but I’m confident I can stop him in three rounds.

“My apprenticeship is over now and after this I’m ready to start challenging for British title and beyond.”

Davies’ clash with Keates is part of a huge night of Matchroom boxing at The O2 as Anthony Joshua MBE challenges Charles Martin for the IBF world heavyweight title.

Lee Selby defends his IBF world featherweight title against Eric Hunter, while there’s a key middleweight battle between former world title challengers Matthew Macklin and Brian Rose.

Three-time world super-middleweight title challenger George Groves meets unbeaten Scotsman David Brophy, with more fights to be confirmed soon.

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