Craig Macintyre was looking ahead to his Scottish Super Lightweight Title fight against Marek Laskowski on 16th June at Paisley Lagoon.
Signing with MTK earlier this year and featuring in a title fight in only his 2nd fight under their promotion has proven it has been a good move for Craig, he explained how the change of promoters came about.
“I was with Willie Limond but also training down at the MTK gym a lot for sparring and Sam Kynoch asked about my situation. I did say that I was happy working with Willie and wasn’t really looking to move. I then spoke to Willie about what was happening next and I told him about Sam, we then planned to do a co-management deal as I have known Willie for years and didn’t want to leave him as he is like a pal as well. It was Willie who said I think I’m just going to let Sam do it and you know I’m only a phone call away. This has been the right move for me though so I’m delighted, I headlined my first show with them and I think I’m headlining my next one as well or at least joint headlining. Sam has constantly been keeping me involved in what has been happening and we are talking about titles”
Marek Laskowski the former Scottish lightweight champion will be in the opposite corner come fight night, Craig admitted he hasn’t studied his opponent too much.
“I hadn’t seen him fight or heard of any of his fights before our fight was announced but to be honest I don’t really like watching my opponents anyway. I never read too much into it as what they do in one fight they could change for another. Obviously you can pick up on some things but I tend to let my coach Peter Lynch do most of the analysis and I just watch small bits. As a team, we know quite a bit about him now and we have come up with a game plan which we are working on. I’m more of a boxer-puncher but I adapt to my opponents and go with whatever game plan is right for that”
Turning to his routine at the moment Craig seemed to be concentrating on ensuring everything was in place for 30 minutes of hard boxing if required.
“This is my first 10 rounder so basically what we have been doing is just taking training up a level, at the running track we have been doing more work that’s specific to the boxing and longer runs. I never want to say I’m going to go in and stop someone, obviously if I hurt him then I will try and take him out but I’m fully prepared and want to make sure I’m fit enough to go 10 rounds at a good pace and be able to box the way I want to box for 10 rounds”
A stand out amateur which included 4 Scottish titles to his name, Craig gave an insight to his time in the unpaid ranks.
“I had around 90 amateur fights and have been in the Scotland team since I was 11 right through until I turned pro. I went to all the meetings for the big squad for the Commonwealth championships in 2014 but I had a couple of injuries so couldn’t fight at the time of selection, that meant my points were low so I was never going to be able to go. Even without that, I don’t think I would have got selected as I was the same weight as Josh Taylor and I don’t think I would have got picked over him. I actually said recently that Josh, if not now then in a year or two will be the best in the world at the weight”
As we sat and chatted you could tell that Craig had an inner confidence without being arrogant or cocky, I wondered if he would be nervous at all in his first title as a pro. Craig opened up on this and also what he hoped the future could hold for him over the next 12 months or so.
“There are always a bit of nerves, especially when you are undefeated as a pro, it would be a long way back if you got beat for the Scottish title. If you get beat for a British or European title in a competitive fight then it’s easier to come back, but getting beat at an early stage in your career it’s a long way back so there are always some nerves. I’m not nervous about losing, I’m more nervous about performing as I know if I train hard and perform to my full potential then I am confident in my ability so it’s just a case of getting it done. The Celtic is still lying vacant just now so hopefully that is something I could maybe go for around September, who knows maybe even another title before the end of the year. That then stands me in good stead for pushing on into the top 10 for 2019. I think titles matter more than rankings though as it depends on which rankings you look at as it’s all subjective”
Without wanting to give his own game plan away Craig was comfortable saying that this would be not only a victory but an exciting one as well.
“I reckon if the fight plays out the way I think and hope it does then it’s going to be exciting. I’m looking to make a statement in this one. I’m not going to say I’m going to stop him as I know Marek has only been stopped once. I am looking to make a statement though and win the Scottish title comfortably which I should be doing, if I’m going to go in the direction I want to then I need to do that first”
Craig would like to thank JNG Ltd for helping him on his professional journey, anyone looking to get involved in sponsorship opportunities or tickets to his upcoming fight can contact Craig on his Facebook or twitter @CraigMacIntyre_