Champ Lyon roaring into contention

Wigan boxer Craig Lyon
Wigan boxer Craig Lyon

REDEMPTION appears to be the main thing on Craig Lyon’s mind as he gears up for his ring return on Saturday week.

Twenty-nine-year-old former Wigan ABC star Lyon, the current English bantamweight champion, is about to wrap up a tough training schedule as he bids to bounce back from his shock first defeat in the paid ranks against unfancied Ryan Farrag in Liverpool in October.

Won 12 and drawn one out of 13 fights read Lyon’s record as he entered the super-flyweight Prizefighter Tournament at the Olympia in Liverpool three months ago, but despite being joint favourite to eventually land the coveted crown, the local ace fell at the first hurdle as home favourite Farrag secured a unanimous points decision.

“That was a very frustrating and disappointing night for me,” admitted Lyon, the son of Wigan ABC head coach John.

“I was devastated as it was a shocking way to lose my unbeaten record.

“I was one of the favourites to win the tournament, but ended up getting beat by the rank outsider. He got beat in the semi-finals.

“I wasn’t prepared properly and my tactics were all wrong, and once I’d lost the first round [out of three] I was chasing it.”

Despite that potentially damaging reverse that came a lengthy eight months after his previous bout, Lyon has now switched gyms and trainer and has been handed a bout against dangerous Russian Yuri Voronin.

Lyon is now being trained by Ricky Hatton at his gym in Hyde and will feature in a six-round contest on the undercard of Scott Quigg’s British super-bantamweight title defence at the Reebok Stadium on Bolton. If he comes through that bout unscathed, Lyon will then make a bill-topping English title defence against Martin Ward at the Sutton Sports Centre in St Helens on March 31.

“I need to redeem myself after the Prizefighter disappointment,” said Lyon.

“I need to wipe those memories away as quickly as I can.

“I can’t afford to be taking any more chances with my career at my age now.”

Tickets for the Reebok Stadium fight night are priced at £35, £55 and £75 [VIP ringside]. You can buy by calling 01925 755 222, ticketmaster on 0844 847 2500 or ticketline on 0844 888 9991.