|‘The Romford Bull’ army were out in full force today as Johnny Fisher vowed to give them something to celebrate in just over two weeks time.
The popular Heavyweight prospect (9-0, 8 KOs) will bid for his first professional title at The O2 in London on the undercard for Anthony Joshua vs. Dillian Whyte 2 – live on DAZN PPV in the UK and Ireland – when he fights ‘Dirty’ Harry Armstrong (5-1-1) for the Southern Area title.
The 24-year-old favourite had a huge following in attendance today as he showcased his skills under the watchful eye of trainer Mark Tibbs and promoter Eddie Hearn at The Origin Gym in Rainham.
Fresh from his devastating first-round stoppage win over Emilio Salas at the OVO Arena Wembley in May, Fisher is confident he will have his hands raised in victory in a fortnight.
“It was good to see all of the media here and a lot of my friends, family and supporters as well”, said Fisher, speaking to Matchroom Boxing. “I did a few sharp rounds on the pads which was perfect as I’ve got a bit of sparring tomorrow. It was a good experience.
“It’s a massive event but I don’t see it any different. I’ve just got to keep doing the job I’ve got at hand. I was finishing my GCSEs and starting my A-Levels when Joshua and Whyte had their first fight. It’s just another fight, another fight that I’ve got to train hard for and win. That’s all it is.
“It’s the right time to step things up. The appetite is there. Life is all about moving forwards and building momentum – I’ve got to keep progressing. I could have probably got to 15 or 20 fights without fighting anyone of note, I know Harry Armstrong isn’t a world-beater but he’s very solid and he’s strong and tough. Harry is a good boxer with fast hands. I’ve sparred him before. He’ll give me a good test and that’s what I need. You’ll see the best out of me when I’m tested.
“That’s the pinnacle for me – fighting on a big PPV show on the undercard of two of the idols I used to watch growing up – Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua. I’ve got so much respect for them guys. To be on their undercard and be a small part of a big boxing journey for those guys is special. It’s a good box ticked for me.”
Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn was impressed with Fisher and believes he has bigger domestic fights on the horizon should he come through a tough test with Armstrong.
He said: “He looks great. Now it’s the serious stuff. Harry Armstrong, who’s been slung in at the deep end a few times at short notice. He’s a very good fighter and this is actually a very tough fight. It’s time for Johnny. He wanted this fight. We told him he could do another little eight-rounder but he said, ‘no, it’s time now – I want a real test and I want ten rounds’.
“There’s a huge amount of pressure doing it at The O2 in front of an 18,000 sell-out crowd on a massive AJ night as well. The place is going to erupt. He’s just got to stay calm, but he’s had those moments now where he’s walked out on big shows and had those big experiences. I think he’s ready. If he comes through this fight I believe he will start headlining shows and filling arenas himself.
“This route that he is taking is such a beautiful traditional route. You always talk about British, Commonwealth, European – this is deeper than that. This is Southern Area, English , British, Commonwealth and European. That’s the route over the next 6, 7, 8 fights for Johnny Fisher. It’s a big fight for Johnny and for Essex as well.”
Fisher vs. Armstrong is part of a huge night of action in London; two-time unified Heavyweight World Champion Anthony Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) and former World Title challenger Dillian Whyte (29-3, 19 KOs) lock horns again nearly eight years on from their wild British and Commonwealth Title clash in Greenwich, IBF Mandatory World Title challenger Filip Hrgovic (15-0, 12 KOs) clashes with Australia’s undefeated contender Demsey McKean (22-0, 14 KO), Hyde Super-Lightweight Campbell Hatton (12-0, 5 KOs) takes on Hitchen’s Tom Ansell (10-4, 2 KOs) over eight rounds and there’s action for Billericay Middleweight George Liddard (3-0, 3 KOs) and Eltham Super-Flyweight Maiseyrose Courtney (3-0), with more fights announced soon.