Clapton fighter Ian Napa set for ring comeback

Dappa set for 10-round super-bantamweight title eliminator

Clapton’s Ian ‘Dappa’ Napa has his eye on British super-bantamweight champion Jason Booth as he prepares for a probable comeback fight against Ryan Walsh.

The Hackney boxer has not fought for a year, but could be set for a return to the ring this summer on the Kevin Mitchell v John Murray undercard in an eliminator to face champion Booth.

The pair have fought twice before with the honours even at one win apiece.

“It would be an all or nothing fight I would say and whoever loses would probably have to call it a day,” Napa said. “It’s a good fight and a sensible fight.”

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If the fight were to go ahead it would be quite a turnaround for a fighter who admits he considered quitting the sport after his last bout, when he retired in the eighth round against Stuart Hall last June.

“Retirement certainly crossed my mind for a long time and is the reason why I have been inactive for so long,” Napa said.

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“I started thinking that maybe there was more to life than boxing and lost a bit of motivation. I started looking into maybe taking boxercise into schools and just trying to spread the sport in Hackney.

“But I kept watching fights on the tv and when you keep watching I found it hard to walk away from something I have been doing all my life.

“I kept training and sparring and when I heard I was set for a 10-round title eliminator that really motivated me. I’m at the back end of my career and have to be realistic, I don’t have time for six-rounders.”

Manager and trainer Brian Lawrence is working hard to give the fight a chance. He is confident the fight will go ahead and Napa won’t be rusty, despite his lengthy absence from the ring.

“It’s a case of dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s, it’s a great fight for Napa,” Lawrence said.

“He doesn’t need a warm-up fight, this eliminator will be his warm-up. His last 10 fights have been for titles. We aren’t worried about rustiness because he is a classic fighter.”

Walsh is unbeaten in his 12 contests, but Lawrence is confident his man will be too strong for the Norfolk-based fighter.

“I’ve seen clips and he does have a bit of power but he’s quite basic, he switches to southpaw now and again, but he has not fought anyone in Ian’s class before,” he said.

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