Leigh Wood is confident that his recent move to Ben Davison’s camp will be key to him getting the better of Reece Mould and becoming British featherweight champion on February 13, as boxing returns to these shores after its most recent enforced break.
The 32-year-old Gedling man becomes the latest to join forces with Davison, whose reputation has grown steadily over the past couple of years, and Wood is happy with his new set-up since he moved away from Ian Grant.
Wood (23-2, 13 KOs) will be looking to bounce back from defeat last time out against Jazza Dickens, who got the better of him last February at York Hall. He believes a win over Mould will get him back on track and on the verge of securing fights with bigger prizes on the line.
Wood told Boxing Social: “It’s been a hard camp and a new set-up, but it’s clicked in and I feel ready to go. Ben has been brilliant for me. The way he thinks and explains things is great and just works. It’s interesting to see how he breaks it all down and gets you to try it out in spars. Although if it doesn’t work, you can guarantee that you’ll be drilling it a 1,000 times the next day!
“I had to move on, as Ian didn’t have his own gym and he told me that he couldn’t give me what I needed for this fight, which is fair enough. I obviously couldn’t do it myself and a good friend of mine in Leo D’Erlanger said ‘have a word with Ben’ and I came for a trial which lasted a week.
“I was a bit skeptical at first, but I trust Leo and after a week I knew it was right for me. I was relieved as well because you never know how it will go when you move camps. I [was] with the Ingles for years, which is different to anywhere and my style was very set when I was with Ian, but things are changing and I’m growing as a fighter under Ben which is great for my confidence.
“The week before my fight he will be in Dubai with Lee McGregor so I’ll be ticking over with Barry Smith, but I’ve loved being back in the gym with other fighters. When it was me and Ian, it was always just us two unless we were sparring. Now I’m surrounded by good fighters, who push me every day. I can’t wait for February 13.”
As for his opponent, Mould (13-0, 6 KOs) was very vocal in a recent interview with Matchroom who will promote the fight on Sky Sports. The undefeated Doncaster prospect went as far as to claim that Wood wasn’t showing him any respect in the build up to their clash for the vacant Lonsdale Belt.
‘Leigh-Thal’ remains unmoved by Mould’s claims and believes that his opponent is becoming too emotionally involved, a factor he has personally fallen foul of in the past and one that he will not allow himself to be caught out by again.
He is also confident that his experience will be another telling factor, having been in the position of fighting for the British title before, albeit a defeat for the super-bantamweight crown at the hands of Gavin McDonnell back in 2014.
Wood explained: “I’ve seen the press release and I honestly can’t see where I’ve shown him any disrespect. He’s taking it all to heart and getting emotionally involved, which is never a good thing. I’ve learned the hard way and that’ll be where we differ. He’s young and is overthinking it all, whereas I don’t care and I’m simply coming to win.
“I know his strengths and his weaknesses. Experience will be key, as he hasn’t gone deep into a fight with someone giving it him back. He’s also very big for the weight and has only actually made it properly once, so that will be something he has to overcome, even before we get in the ring.
“I’m excited to show the transition that I’ve made under Ben and prove that I’m above British level, which I do believe that I am. He’ll take confidence from my last fight, but I know what went wrong there. I’m also not going to make excuses, as Jazza was the better man on the night and he deserved the win.
“Reece is the one making the step-up in levels here and I’m going to ask some big questions of him, ones that I have already answered myself during my career. February 13 really can’t come soon enough and I’m ready to prove my level and push on with my career once again.”
Feature Images: (L) Mark Robinson/Matchroom (R) PA Images