Why Wigan boxer will 'cast no shadow' as he readies for bareknuckle fight

John Collier isn’t looking back in anger at the result of his last bareknuckle boxing match.
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Collier thought he did enough to beat Johnny Lawson at the O2 Arena last month, but lost narrowly on the cards.

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He says Lawson has promised him a rematch next year, but before that happens, the 38-year-old from Wigan faces Paul Hilz on Saturday, November 25.

John Collier has been combining his love of '90s music and boxingJohn Collier has been combining his love of '90s music and boxing
John Collier has been combining his love of '90s music and boxing
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Collier revealed that when he isn’t trying to knock out his opponents, he’s knocking out the hits of 1990s Britpop bands such as Oasis and Ocean Colour Scene.

He said: “I grew up in the 1990s listening to those bands and I’ve played the guitar my whole life.

“I’ve been in a band called Grapefruit, but we haven’t played a gig since we played at the Night and Day Cafe in Manchester in 2019.

“The drummer had a baby and we haven’t got together since, but I still get booked by some local venues.

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“I take my guitar along and sing Oasis songs and other hits from the era. I know those Oasis songs like the back of my hand.

"I grew up listening to them.”

Collier says ‘Cast No Shadow,’ a song off second album ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory’ that was dedicated to Wigan singer Richard Ashcroft, is his favourite tune to play.

He joked: “It would have been easier to be in a successful band than being a bareknuckle boxer.

“I would still have my looks if I had made it in music.”

Collier instead entertains audiences with his fists and the 02 Arena is sure to be full with 3,000 fight fans next month.

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He said: “I know Paul is strong and fit and I’m preparing for five hard rounds.”

Collier looks set to increase his punch output in his next fight after believing it was Lawson’s workrate that impressed the judges when they fought.

He said: “It was a close fight. He threw more, but I thought I landed more and my defence was better.

"But if I had thrown more punches I would have won clearly. I’ve been promised a rematch next year.

"Johnny wants a break to heal and freshen up and then we are looking to do it again next March.”