Ochieng off to Wales for comeback fight in February

Liam Smith and Erick Ochieng (left) in action during the vacant BBBofC British Light Middleweight Ti

Liam Smith and Erick Ochieng (left) in action during the vacant BBBofC British Light Middleweight Title bout at Liverpool Olympia. - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Stoke Newington’s Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng returns to the ring next month when he travels to Cardiff to take on Dale Evans.

The welterweight bout was originally due to take place on December 14 at the ExCel Arena, but had to be postponed after Ochieng’s trainer Brian Lawrence pulled him out.

Welshman Evans has only suffered one defeat over the last 12 months, against Glenn Foot in the Prizefighter final, and Ochieng is anticipating a tight contest on February 1.

The east Londoner told the Gazette: “This is my first bout at 10st 10lbs since my amateur days at Haringey Police ABC. I want to try to get a good win and a good ranking at welterweight.”

As a light-middleweight, Ochieng reached number three in the rankings, but lost his bid for the British title against Liam Smith in his opponent’s home city of Liverpool last September.

“That was a learning experience,” added the 26-year-old. “It was my first 12-round fight – all my English title fights were over 10.”

Ochieng has been preparing for the fight by sparring sessions with Lee Purdy and John Ryder – both taller and heavier boxers – at Tony Sims’ gym in Essex.

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For ticket information, call the box office at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on 02920 224 488 or Matchroom Sport on 01277 359 900.

Meanwhile, Lion ABC are staging the North East London division of the inaugural England Youth Championships at their Hoxton base on Friday, with boxing due to get under way at 7.30pm.

The Pitfield Street club are fielding two Class A entries, Louis Isaacs (Under-63kg) and Billy Underwood (Under-66kg) in the tournament, which has effectively replaced the junior ABA Championships.

Also entered is Pedro ABC’s Celal Ozturk, who boxes in the Class B Under-66kg section.