Oakey: Moore’s fighting spirit can make difference

Ryan Moore has been backed to cause an upset tonight   Picture: Mick Young
Ryan Moore has been backed to cause an upset tonight Picture: Mick Young
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Tony Oakey believes Ryan Moore has the mentality to spring a big-fight shock tonight.

Moore takes on Liverpool’s rising-star Callum Smith on the undercard of Carl Froch’s mega fight with Mikkel Kessler.

Waterlooville powerhouse Moore knows the odds will be stacked against him when he steps out at the O2 Arena in London.

He has taken the contest at just 10 days notice in the knowledge an upset will propel him into domestic boxing’s big leagues.

The 24-year-old super-middleweight has been applauded by Portsmouth’s most famous boxing son, Oakey, for his fearless attitude.

The Leigh Park Warrior enjoyed a long and distinguished career, picking up a host of titles.

His Commonwealth light-heavyweight victory against Hastings Rasani in 2001 was a breakthrough win taken at short notice.

And he believes Moore’s determination to do the same deserves praise.

Oakey said: ‘I think there’s a big opportunity there for Ryan. I like his attitude. He’s in a no-lose situation.

‘He wants to fight what’s put in front of him, and that reminds me of myself.

‘It’s an old-time fighter’s attitude and will hold him in good stead. I took my fight with Hastings Rasani at short notice. That win made all the difference to my career. I hope the same happens for Ryan.’

Oakey knows all about the big stage and believes Moore’s bravery means he deserves to operate on a similar platform.

He said: ‘It’s the biggest show in Britain this year.

‘He’s willing to take risks and that’s brilliant to see.

‘The nation will be watching now and it’s a chance for him to arrive.’