Wigan boxer James Moorcroft looking forward to 'step-up in opposition'

James Moorcroft in action. Photograph courtesy of Karen Priestley Photography
James Moorcroft in action. Photograph courtesy of Karen Priestley Photography

Boxer James Moorcroft will have the opportunity to take his career tally up to double figures when he returns to action at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday.

The Wiganer, who currently boasts an undisputed professional record of nine wins and no losses, will make his first appearance of 2019 when he faces Simon Henry in a 6x3 welterweight clash.

Henry is set to provide Moorcroft with his most challenging test to date with the Kettering boxer currently occupying an equal win-loss ratio prior to Saturday’s showdown.

Since storming to three victories and one draw in his first four fights against respected boxers, Henry has been on the wrong side of the judges’ score-card in his last three bouts.

The 35-year-old- whose last loss came against Ryan Stevenson in April 2018- will now travel to the North West this weekend determined to return to winning ways against Moorcroft.

Moorcroft said that although Henry’s hunger for a victory makes him more dangerous, it’s the calibre of challenge that he’s been crying out for over the last few months.

He said: “Henry is a very good opponent. He’s looked great in his previous seven fights, and I’m looking forward to lock horns with him.

“He’s going to coming up to Bolton to win, and he’s a very determined competitor. It makes him even more of a threat given his desire because he- like myself- is going to give everything he’s got to be victorious on Saturday. It’s going to be a great spectacle for the fans.

“He’ll want to win, I certainly want to win, so it’s got all the makings to be an absolute war. It’ll be a really tough fight- and definitely my toughest one yet. He’s got a great winning record and is on the same path as me.

“It’s the sort of fight that Lee Blundell and I have been asking for. We want to face the best boxers at our weight and prove how good that we can be. It’s a step-up in opposition, and it’s more than welcome because I want to have difficult bouts and be given a run for my money. The step-up will help bring out my true potential because the better quality of people that I fight, the better James Moorcroft turns up. I cannot wait for it.”

Since turning professional in April 2017, 25-year-old Moorcroft has become one of the hottest prospects on the local boxing scene over the last 23 months.

He is ranked as the 19th best welterweight in Britain according to the BoxRec British Rankings, despite the Hindley-ace only having nine professional bouts.

Although Moorcroft is delighted with his current position, he revealed his target to reach the top 10 by the end of the calendar year.

“I’m over the moon- it’s a dream come true to be in the top 20 of the British Rankings, but I’m not stopping there, this is only the start,” he said.

“I want to go as far as possible, and my long-term aim is to reach number one. It’s not worth boxing if you do not want to be the very best, so I’m setting my aims high. I ideally want to be in the top 10 by the end of 2019- it would be amazing- and I believe in myself and my team at Blundell’s Boxing that we can achieve that goal.”

More than 100-plus fans are expected to be making the short coach-journey to Bolton, and Moorcroft expressed his gratitude for his continued support.

“From the bottom of my heart, I really would like to thank everyone who has bought tickets to my next fight and to the people who have planned to watch it live on Facebook. My support from Wigan has always been overwhelming,” he said.

“As a town, we are strong and passionate about getting behind each other and I feel proud to be apart of this. Wiganers always support my fights in numbers, and I’ll always be eternally grateful for that.”

Moorcroft thanked the following sponsors: Advanced Fencing and Gates Ltd, Mullins Associates, Acorn Environment Services, North West Aesthetics, Big Dog Bullys, Maidens Butchers Hindley, J R Plastering (Uk) Ltd, Doing Bits Street Food and Desserts, WL Building Developments, Just Tarmac Ltd and MPS Print Solutions UK.