A fired up Craig Evans looking to box Roman Andreev’s head off or smash his face in as he looks to win WBO lightweight eliminator

James Tonks

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Craig Evans only had one fight in 2017 against Stephen Ormond in Belfast at the Waterfront Hall. Evans won the fight comfortably on points against a hostile crowd supporting Irish boxer Ormond. It turned out to be the only fight Evans had in 2017. He told

“I only had the one fight. It was a good fight against Stephen Ormond – he’s a warrior. Apart from that it’s been inactive; it’s been frustrating to be honest. But hopefully I’m going into 2018 with a bang and with a win over this boy in Russia.”

Evans next fight will be against Roman Andreev in an eliminator for the WBO world lightweight title next month. The fight takes place in Andreev’s homeland, Russia.

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“They’ve only given me four week’s notice for it. I’m in training, I’ve been ticking over. Soon as I found out about the fight I hit the gym hard. I’m looking forward to it. It’s one of my biggest fights of my career and hopefully I’m going to grab it with both hands.”

Evans gave an insight into his preparations for the biggest fight of his career.

“I’ve been training twice, three times a day. I’ve been training in the morning with Tony [Borg] from about 11 until 1. I do my runs in the night and sometimes I have strength and conditioning twice a week – I do that as well as my run. It’s been going spot on to be honest.“

Sparring has been going well and Evans has had several sparring partners help him in camp.

“I’ve been sparring a couple of boys from the gym, Lee Selby, Sean McGoldrick, Tim Cutler and Gavin Gwynne. I went to Cardiff and sparred this boy from North Wales – he’s in the Welsh amateur boxing team, did a couple of rounds with him. I sparred a boy from Plymouth today, I’ve forgotten his name [Louis Aitken]. We did a good 10 rounds today, good rounds in the bank.”

Evans last fight was away from home and again he finds himself on the road, fighting away from home doesn’t seem to faze the Welshman:

“I’m not too bothered where the fight is or who’s there because at the end of the day it’s only going to be us two in the ring. I don’t mind going away fighting in people’s backyards. It gives me momentum to smash their faces in, so hopefully I’ll go out there and do the job.”

Evans respects undefeated Roman Andreev and the challenge that lies ahead.

“I haven’t watched much. I clicked on him, I saw him in his last fight. He’s a good fighter, he fights a lot, he leans back on his back foot a lot and he punches you a lot. He’s a good fighter he’s got to be a good fighter to be 20-0 – I think I have the tools in the bank to beat him.”

Tony Borg said to South Wales: “to make absolutely sure of winning we’ll have to look to finish it inside the distance.” Evans isn’t too bothered if he wins by stoppage or on points as long as his hand is raised:

“It’s out in Russia; it’s going to be hard to win in Russia. If I can get the job done before the twelve round and if I hurt him I will push and hopefully get the stoppage. My record doesn’t say I have much power; I’ve been sparring and feeling good for this camp. You never know what can happen on the day. If I hit him, hurt him and catch him and can get him out of there, fair enough. If I don’t stop him, I hopefully go out there and box his head off.”

Evans isn’t too sure how fans can tune in to watch the fight:

“I’m not too sure. I don’t even know if it’s on the telly. I’m sure it’s the World Super Six Series cruiserweight main event. So, that’s probably on ITV Box Office – I could be on there, I’m not too sure though. “

Evans should he win would face the winner of Raymundo Beltran and Paulus Moses. They fight for the vacant title in Reno, Nevada on February 16.

“I’m no too sure who wins. I know Beltran; he came over here and had a draw with Ricky Burns. I don’t know much about the boy he’s fighting. I’m just focussing on my fight, try to get my win then I don’t care who wins as long as I get a world title shot after this fight – it’ll be happy days like.

A win in Russia and a world title shot means the world to Evans.

“It would mean the world to me and my family because I got a little baby daughter now – she’ll be 2 now in March . I’d be over the moon like, I’d be quite happy if I got a world title shot.”

Finally, Craig Evans had a message for his fans:

“I appreciate everything. They always come to travel. I had a good couple come to Ireland when I fought Stephen Ormond. Its hard work going to Russia as you got to get a Visa – so it’s hard work. They’re going to be watching me on telly if it’s on the telly. I want to say thanks and I appreciate every one of them.”

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