Stoke Newington fighter confident of claiming British title

Erick Ochieng (left) in action against A.A Lowe at the Capital FM Arena, Nottingham.

Erick Ochieng (left) in action against A.A Lowe at the Capital FM Arena, Nottingham. - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Stoke Newington’s Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng will be flying high on Saturday if he wins the vacant British light-middleweight title against Liam Smith in Liverpool.

The 26-year-old has made three successful defences of his English light-middleweight title and is confident of making the step up at the Olympia Arena.

“I have seen one or two of Smith’s fights and he does the basics well, but I’ve got the style to beat him,” Ochieng told the Gazette.

“I can fight going forward or off the ropes and not everyone can fight off the ropes, but I can and I have fast feet and hands.”

Ochieng will be aiming to emulate Maurice Hope’s heroics in 1974 – and become only the second Hackney boxer to claim the British light-middleweight crown.

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Hope went on to take the WBC world title and Ochieng believes his preparation has put him on a good footing to progress, having won 14 of his 15 professional fights.

“Since my amateur days with Haringey Police ABC, I have become much harder to hit and beat,” he added. “The last few weeks I have been working on my technique in both punching and defence.”

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Liverpudlian Smith has designs on the title too, as he aims for a place in the record books alongside brothers Paul and Stephen as one of three siblings to simultaneously hold British championships.

But Ochieng’s manager and trainer, Clapton-based Brian Lawrence, has other ideas, insisting: “We are looking to make our own bit of history.

“The sparring has gone well and none of Erick’s sparring partners have been able to land any telling punches.”

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