The eagerly awaited ‘local derby war’ between experienced Belper boxers Gary Beardsley and Shane Sloman looks set to go ahead in Derby later this month.
Veteran Gary Beardsley, who is 47, will defend his EBF East Midlands Area light-heavyweight title against the 36-year-old Sloman at Rollerworld on Saturday, May 21.
They were due to clash on February, but Sloman had to pull out because of a hand injury. He had been at ringside that month to see Beardsley capture the East Midlands belt with a one-round stoppage, and offered his congratulations.
Now he wants to take it off him, and has been training with English champion Vinny Glover to prepare for the fight.
“It’s going to be a war,” Sloman promised. “And I have to be ready for war.
“I have to really knuckle down in training if I want to win this fight. Vinny drew up a seven-week plan for me, so I’m going to be in the best shape possible.
“It’s going to be a good fight, and may the best man win. Whatever happens, I am sure we will have a drink together afterwards.”
Beardsley, who didn’t start boxing until he was 20 and didn’t turn pro until he was 26, said: “We are mates, but this is the fight we both want. Shane has the extra weight, but I will be faster. I’m relying on speed to win me the fight. I felt strong and sharp when I won the title.
Beardsley has donated the profits from his last two fights to charity, and Sloman’s employers, Q&A Structures, of Horsley, are handing over £400 to the local charity Dylan’s Dream, which helps youngster Dylan Jones who is suffering from a muscle-wasting disease.