LOCAL boxing battler Gary Fox got to look into the eye of Neil Hepper and he knows what his derby rival can see – defeat.
Fox and Hepper squared up outside the Borough Hall to publicise their Northern Area title confrontation, one of two championship fights at the famous Headland fight venue this Sunday.
“When I looked into his eyes I knew what he was thinking – he knows he’s going to get it,” the Fishburn fighter said.
“I’m fully confident.
“I beat him over six rounds here in March when I wasn’t 100 per cent and I’m going to beat him again over 10 on Sunday.
“I’ve trained like a machine for nine weeks and I’ve got the best team behind me.
“Eddy Ellwood has taken care of my diet, nutrition and strength work and in Neil Fannan I have the best coach in the world.
“He loves training his boxers for the long fights and I know I’m ready to win this title.”
When the arch-rivals met in March, they produced one of the best fights of the day, the former South Durham ABC crowd-pleaser ending Hepper’s unbeaten record with a 58-57 victory.
That toe-to-toe showdown prompted promoter Phil Jeffries to set it up again, this time for a title as the chief support to the Martin Ward v Jason “Too Smooth” Booth clash for the vacant English bantamweight belt.
“It was one of the best fights I’ve ever put on,” said the North-East fight figure. “I think this will be a classic as well.
“There is a lot of local pride at stake – there has been a fair bit of banter going on over the internet and it’s going to be settled on Sunday.”
Hepper told SportMail: “If I had to say who the 10 rounds was going to suit best I’d have to say it’s going to be me.
“He came for me from the first bell last time and we ended up having a bit of a war. But I think he’ll find it difficult to keep that up for 10 rounds.”