Having paid his dues since turning professional eight years ago, Paul Economides is on the brink of seeing his hard work pay off after being included on the bill for next month’s Tony Bellew/Ilunga Makabu fight at Goodison Park.
Economides, from Chester, is set to feature on the hotly-anticipated bill at the home of Everton Football Club in front of a 30,000 crowd in Liverpool on May 29, subject to confirmation by the British Boxing Board of Control.
Economides had been scheduled to appear on the Ant Crolla world title fight undercard at Manchester Arena on May 7 but will now step through the ropes at the end of May, possibly in front of Oscar-winning actor Sylvester Stallone, star of the Rocky films.
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Stallone, an Everton fan, is set to be in attendance at Goodison Park to watch Bellew, who played ‘Pretty’ Ricky Conlan in the latest instalment of the Rocky films, ‘Creed’.
For Economides, who signed with promoter Dave Coldwell, who trains Bellew, last month, it is a scenario that is light years away from fighting in front of small crowds at halls up and down the country.
“I’ve paid my dues over the years and never really got the shots that I thought I deserved, but things have turned round in a big way for me recently,” said Economides, whose opponent is yet to be confirmed.
“It’s going to be a history-making night, the biggest night of boxing that Liverpool has ever seen. There will be 30,000 fans there, it’ll be live on Sky Sports and the atmosphere will be electric.
“I fought in small halls around the country against nobodys and I’ve had some really tough times, but I’ve always believed in myself and I’m on the verge of something really good.
“I want title fights by the end of the year if all goes to plan.”
And what of fighting in front of Stallone? His portrayal of Rocky Balboa on the big screen can probably be credited with sowing the seeds of future success in many a boxing star, with Economides no exception.
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“I used to watch the Rocky films over and over again, that’s why I got into boxing,” said, who trains at Chester Boxers in Hoole.
“I used to do my sit ups and my work outs in front of the TV and play Rocky to get me motivated. To now have the chance to fight in front of Sylvester Stallone is just unreal, it’s the stuff that dreams are made of.
“But I am focused on the task at hand. I’m in the best shape of my life, I’m feeling fantastic and I’ve got a permanent grin. Things are looking up.”