Punisher lives up to billing

Josh Pritchard. Picture: Mick Young
Josh Pritchard. Picture: Mick Young
Jack Bishop aged 21 in the Airborne Division

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

  • Pritchard delivers win in second outing
  • Featherweight floors rival three times
  • Purbrook ace returns to ring next month
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JOSH PRITCHARD lived up to the hype as he delivered a powerful statement of intent in London.

Purbrook’s rising star, nicknamed the Punisher, matched his billing as he floored Elemir Rafael three times on the way to a one-sided 40-33 points win on Saturday.

I did everything well and I was pleased.

Josh Pritchard

Pritchard has been touted for big things by boxing legend, Barry McGuigan, after being signed to his CWM Cyclone stable.

And the 20-year-old showed why with a mature performance against the Slovakian journeyman on his second professional outing.

The featherweight continued his education against an opponent who came to survive, and dealt with the challenges that provides impressively.

The former Purbrook Park School student was pleased with his night’s work in the capital.

And the same could be said of McGuigan and his son Shane, who is Pritchard’s trainer.

Pritchard said: ‘It was a good performance.

‘I did everything well and I was pleased.

‘I put the lad down three times and it was one sided.

‘He was there to survive.

‘Sometimes it’s hard to get someone out of there when they are surviving.

‘He was holding and putting his head down.

‘So there’s a lot to learn, but that is all part of the process for me.

‘I’ve had eight rounds in my pro career, but that’s better and you learn more than blowing people away.

‘Barry and Shane were pleased with the performance I put in.

‘They were happy – and I was happy.’

Pritchard was backed by a raucous following who travelled up the A3 to support their man.

The 2-0 talent is hoping to build his support as he continues on a journey which looks set to be going towards titles over the next couple of years.

Pritchard said: ‘The support was unbelievable.

‘I had the loudest fans at the show.

‘I couldn’t ask for better support.

‘It’s overwhelming really.

‘I want to keep that going and build things up.

‘I’ve got a lot of Portsmouth fans and people coming from all over to watch me.

‘It looks like I’m building a good fanbase – and I’m really pleased about that.

‘I’ve had messages from sportsmen in the Portsmouth area, too.

‘It’s exactly what I want and I can’t ask for more.’

After a debut win over Hungarian Aron Szilagyi on the undercard of stablemate Carl Frampton’s world title win over Chris Avalos in February, it was a quick return to the ring for Pritchard.

He’s looking to stay busy and continue on the learning curve which takes place early in a fighter’s professional career.

That means he is set to return to the ring quickly with another outing slated for next month in Scotland.

Pritchard is happy to get quick outings under his belt and he will soon be back in training again.

He said: ‘I’m looking to get out again in June.

‘So I’ll have a few days off and get back in the gym again.

‘I want to keep fit, keep ticking over and picking up wins and stay injury free.’