The 33 year-old Nottingham veteran, is the most experienced boxer in Barry Hearn’s popular eight-man, one night tournament, which matches British boxers who may have seen better days, against novice pros – with the odd wild card – and last time out an ex heavyweight champion of the world was thrown in for good measure, in Herbie Hyde.
Pickering on paper looks to have the credentials to pull this one off and at 7-1 on to win looks a good bet, but as this Prizefighter series has shown, anyone can win it over 3 rounds and boxers who may not have been fancied before hand, have a chance to make a name for themselves and get a very welcomed pay cheque of £32,000.
BOXING – PRIZE FIGHTER Super BantamWeights Preview from www.bettor.com
Nice guy Pickering, who has been out of the ring since October last year, when losing to Ukrainian Oleg Yefimovych in a European featherweight title challenge, when he was stopped in 3 rounds, is back down to super-bantamweight and is itching to get back into action tonight and is convinced he has the buzz, experience and ring savvy to win tonight’s latest showing of the Prizefighter.
“I really cannot wait – I’ve been buzzing in training this week and I’m totally convinced that I will win this,” said Pickering at the official weigh-in at the Crowne Plaza London Hotel in Shoreditch, where all eight fighters made the weight..
The Nottinghamshire fighter takes on Barnsley’s Josh Wale in the second quarter-final on the night – a 22 year-old with nine wins from his 11 professional fights. “Josh is a good fighter and I’ve got a lot of respect for him but I will win that fight – and the two after that as well,” said Pickering. “It’s a three round fight and I will win all three.”
Wale himself is confident of a good showing at York Hall and the window-cleaner by day is raring to get in the ring with Pickering. “I’m looking very good in training so I’ve nothing to fear at all,” said Wale. “Esham’s a top fighter and I know it’s going to be a great fight, but I can win that – and the trophy too.”
The opening fight of the night promises to be a cracker as Commonwealth bronze medallist Mark Moran takes on unbeaten Limerick fighter Willie “Big Bang” Casey, with the winner facing the winner of Pickering and Wale’s clash. “Everyone here has a good record so the draw wasn’t that important – whoever you fight is going to be quality,” said Casey. “I just have to go in there and do my thing and if I fight to my potential I will win this.”
The second half of the draw sees an all-Welsh affair in quarter-final three with Commonwealth gold medallist Jamie Arthur taking on Swansea’s Robbie Turley, before unbeaten Welshman Ricky Owen takes on Yorkshireman Gavin Reid.
Tickets for Prizefighter Super-Bantamweights are available on the door from 7.30pm priced at £35 (unreserved), £60 (ringside) and £100 (VIP).
or from 9pm live on SkySports 1 and HD1. see preview above.
Mark Moran (8st 11lb 10oz) v Willie Casey (8st 10lb 5oz)
Esham Pickering (8st 11lb 11oz) v Josh Wale (8st 10lb 11oz)
Robbie Turley (8st 12lb) v Jamie Arthur (8st 10lb 11oz)
Gavin Reid (8st 11lb 2oz) v Ricky Owen (8st 11lb 7oz)
Moran/Casey v Pickering/Wale
Turley/Arthur v Reid/Owen