Gatenby dusts himself off after big-fight woe

Andy Gatenby. Picture: Mick Young
Andy Gatenby. Picture: Mick Young
Jack Bishop aged 21 in the Airborne Division

‘If ever I had a hero in my life then Jack was it’

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ANDY GATENBY has vowed to take out his big-fight frustration on his new opponent after his glamour match-up was dashed.

The Portsmouth super-bantamweight has been dealt a blow after his September 20 clash with Esham Pickering bit the dust.

Gatenby was lined up to meet the former European champion at the Pyramids in the biggest test of his career.

But Pickering has pulled out of the showdown, leaving the 27-year-old in limbo.

Gatenby admitted the news is a body blow for him as he looks to accelerate his progress in the professional ranks. And he revealed his frustrations left him considering his future in the sport.

But the 5-0 man has now dusted himself off and explained his opponent next month will feel the brunt of his anger.

Gatenby said: ‘I’ve been properly down about it. I felt like jacking it in when they said the fight was off.

‘I’ve been training like an animal for this for six weeks.

‘I got my weight right down and was thinking what is the point, when I found out. My trainer, John Murray, has picked me up, though.

‘I’ve got my head back in the game now. There has been a couple of opponents mentioned, but their records aren’t good enough.

‘I had my sights set on fighting Esham, and these opponents weren’t up to it. I don’t want to fight someone who isn’t a test. I want to take it out on him.

‘I’m away from my family, training, dieting and hungry all the time.

‘So what is the point in having an easy fight? What is the point of the sacrifice?

‘I’d rather give it a real go, go as far as I can and push myself as hard as I can.

‘Then I can put my hand on my heart and say I gave it a good go.’

Gatenby has undertaken an intense training camp to help him gear up for his next contest in Southsea.

That has included travelling to London for sparring with George Groves’ new protege Garvey Kelly.

Kelly is a welterweight, but, despite the weight difference between the pair, Gatenby handled the Swindon man well.

And Gatenby has also had a spell of training in Liverpool and now a return to the capital is on the cards for some fine-tuning.

Gatenby said: ‘I was so disappointed with all the setbacks, but I’ve progressed each day.

‘I’ve been up to Paddy Fitzpatrick’s gym. George Groves was doing a public workout in front of a lot of reporters and photographers.

‘I literally got in the ring after he got out and did six rounds of sparring.

‘He (Kelly) was massive compared to me and he really stuck it on me.

‘It was a proper fight and he surprised me, but I got the better of him for four rounds.’