Chester boxers Chris Goodwin and Paul Economides say they are ready to put on a show in front of a home crowd this weekend.
Goodwin, 25, is fighting for the WBF lightweight title against Georgian Kakhaber Avetisian, while Economides, 27, is stepping in to the ring with George Gachechiladze, also from Georgia, to contest the WBF international super bantamweight title at the Northgate Arena on Saturday night.
With Goodwin, from Great Barrow, fighting for a world title and Economides, who lives in Vicars Cross, one win away from the same, both fighters are hoping home advantage can help spur them on to glory.
“Training has been going really well and we both feel like we are pretty much in the shape of our lives,” said Goodwin.
“It’s always great to fight in front of a home crowd. Chester’s not a big boxing city but we’re trying to change that and I think that we’re succeeding.”
Knowing that he is just one fight away from claiming a world title, Goodwin, who boxes out of Chester Boxers in Hoole with stable-mate Economides, is not underestimating his opponent Avetisian.
The 24-year-old Georgian has won 35 of his 59 fights – including 17 knockouts – but has favoured fighting on home soil, only appearing on UK shores three times previously.
“You don’t get to fight for a world title and be a mug and we have left no stone unturned,” said Goodwin.
“He has got an aggressive style and has got a few knockouts on his record. His style is a bit similar to Oisin Fagan (who Goodwin defeated in his last appearance at the Northgate Arena back in April).
“I just want to go out there, box the way I know I can and give the crowd something to cheer.”
For Economides, his thrilling ‘make or break’ second-round stoppage of David Kanalas on the same April card has given him renewed vigour, with the ‘Spartan’ now aiming to secure his shot at a world title with victory over Gachechiladze.
“The Kanalas fight was a big one for me as I didn’t know where I would have gone if I had lost it,” he said.
“But I think I’ve turned a corner over the past year or so and people are saying to me ‘Paul, you’re like a fine wine and you’re maturing with age’.
But Economides, who says he ‘can’t wait’ to step in to the ring in front of a home crowd, knows he will have to box clever against the attacking style of Gachechiladze, who has registered six knockout victories in his last eight fights and boasts a record of 15 wins and 11 losses.
“He has a winning record and his last eight wins have all come from knockouts, so he is a fighter who likes to come forward,” said Economides.
“That is very much my style so I don’t want to be coming out and trying to fight fire with fire, I need to be smart and follow the plan we have worked on and not get drawn in to a brawl.
“He is coming here to win and he’s an explosive fighter. It’s up to me to make sure I stop him.
“I’m feeling amazing at the moment and I know how close I am to a world title shot and I don’t want to let that opportunity pass me by.”