Josh Pritchard: Licensed to punish

Jamie Roberts
25/01/2016 7:07am

The youngest of the Cyclone Promotions stable is ready to punish anyone who stands in his way of glory.

Twenty one-year-old Josh 'The Punisher' Pritchard aims to extend his perfect record when he steps into the ring on 6 February at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel and the featherweight knows just how important the McGuigan set-up is to his progression.

Pritchard said: "In my opinion, I'm with the best team in the country. Success breeds success and the McGuigans' experience will help me out massively on my journey to the top.

"Shane is one hell of a trainer and is now starting to get the recognition he truly deserves. He has brought me on leaps and bounds, helping me become a more all-round boxer. Other top fighters joining the camp proves just how good he really is."

Having looked up to Ricky Hatton as a youngster, the Portsmouth-born pugilist thinks that, like his idol, his body shots are his stand-out attribute and believes increasing to six rounds in his next bout is likely to suit his style. "It is perfect timing for me to make this step up. I'm ready and the new gym work has been going well, so hopefully with a bit more time in the ring everything will come together. The increase in rounds can't come quick enough."

However, the Punisher is keeping his feet firmly on the ground and prepared to be patient in his bid for success. He has his sights set on pushing on and fighting for a minor title by the end of the year, but is aware that there is plenty of hard work required to continue improving yet confident that his team will guide him in the right direction. 

He added: "Like every other up and coming fighter, I aspire to be the best in the world and have those belts wrapped around me, but my job is to train hard, always focus on my next opponent and keep on improving. This year I'd like to be in a position to fight for a small title, but I'll leave that up to my team. 

"The featherweight division is very strong and has some great talent, but I can definitely see myself right up the top in time. I'm not in a rush though and am only a baby in boxing terms, so I'm sure there will be some very exciting times ahead."  

The first of Pritchard's five fights - two of which he has won by knockout - came on the undercard of his stablemate and IBF super-bantamweight world champion Carl Frampton's bout with Chris Avalos in Belfast last year and he believes that being involved in such occasions adds to his hunger and desire to reach the top. 

He said: "You don't get many better venues and occasions to have your pro debut on. I think it's the dream for a lot of fighters to kick-start their career off the back of a show like that. It has given me invaluable experience that money can't buy and I'm sure it will put me in good stead for later on in my career. 

"Training alongside someone of Frampton's calibre, who is at the top of his game right now, is a pleasure and it gives you someone to look up to in the gym and spurs you on to keep training hard so that hopefully one day you are in the same position as him."