El Toro wants title charge

Joel McIntyre, right, has been sparring with British and Commonwealth champion Billy-Joe Saunders
Joel McIntyre, right, has been sparring with British and Commonwealth champion Billy-Joe Saunders
Danny Couzens. Picture: Natalie Mayhew, Butterfly Boxing

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Joel McIntyre has targeted moving into the title mix in the next 12 months.

The Leigh Park light-heavyweight aims to take his professional record to 8-0 in London tomorrow.

McIntyre takes on Mitch Mitchell over six rounds at the home of British boxing, York Hall, as he aims to stay busy and continue his development.

The 25-year-old, nicknamed El Toro, has built up a decent record after moving into the paid ranks without masses of amateur experience.

He had developed under the tutelage of Tony Oakey’s former trainer Johnny Eames in London.

McIntyre’s time has been spent between the capital and working with John Murray at Bognor’s VK Gym.

He now finds himself 16th in the British rankings going into the contest.

McIntyre is looking for a ‘polished’ performance – before getting into title contention in the next couple of fights.

That could catapult him towards some intriguing match-ups further down the line.

McIntyre said: ‘Training has gone really well and I’m looking forward to getting in there now.

‘I don’t want to look past the fight because I know I will get a tough test.

‘I’m continuing my education and these people don’t come in and lay down.

‘He (Mitchell) will know I’m a prospect and want to push me all the way.

‘I want to get a good performance under my belt and then hopefully push towards a title in the next couple of fights, though.

‘It would be good to be able to box for a British Masters or Southern Area title down the line.

‘There are people like Nathan Cleverley and Tony Bellew at the top of the light-heavyweight division.

‘But I would like to be able to get into that group behind them.

‘It would be good to be high up the rankings.

‘But you need to have the fights to get there.

It would be quality over quantity for me. I don’t want to be babied.

‘I want to get in there with decent opponents as and when I can.

‘I want to do it the proper way. If I lose on the way I can say I tried.

‘But first I want to get a good win under my belt – and look good doing it.’

McIntyre’s preparations for tomorrow’s contest could not have made him any sharper after sparring plenty of rounds with British and Commonwealth champ Billy-Joe Saunders.

Saunders looks destined for great things after building up an 18-fight unbeaten professional record.

He comprehensively defeated Irishman John Sullivan last weekend ahead of a British title defence against John Ryder in September.

The sparring has ensured McIntyre’s skills are razor sharp going into battle.

‘I’ve been doing rounds with Billy-Joe and it’s been pretty intense,’ said McIntyre.

‘You can’t afford to switch off or fall asleep against someone like him – you’ll get your head taken off.

‘You have to have 100-per-cent concentration, keep moving and keep your head moving.

‘It also really helps your confidence as well. There’s a partnership with the TKO Gym in London and VK Gym in Bognor and it works out brilliantly for me.’