THE headline fight between Phil Williams and Jose Mantinan is set to ensure Swindon Fightclub’s first anniversary is celebrated in style.
The fourth Fightclub show will take place at Swindon MECA on February 23, with the headline fight being Ultimate Non-Professional Boxing (BNPB) champion Williams defending his title against Mantinan, known as El Diablo.
Sean Harper, one of the men behind Fightclub, has promised fireworks from the fight, and believes the two boxers are perfectly matched.
“We have brought back Phil who has boxed on every show and is the Fightclub champion, but the one guy everyone has always wanted fighting on a show is the big man Jose,” he said.
“He boxed for Penhill and then gave it up for a bit, and he plays rugby now for Supermarine. He has always kept his hand in the mix and has done a fair bit of training.
“He has not fought for a little while but has always had a reputation for being a hard hitting heavyweight around the town, and he is a really popular guy too.
“Jose is the one name locally which is still hanging over Phil I think, as they haven’t fought yet, so it should be a great fight.
“It’s the main event and the title is on the line again, so we can expect some fireworks.”
The anniversary show will be the first time the Fightclub middleweight title will be on the line, with Craig Leadbetter taking on Portsmouth’s Terry West.
“Craig Leadbetter was really unlucky in his last fight, but has to get credit for still wanting to box even though his opponent was way too heavy and totally missed the weight,” Harper said.
“He still wanted to take the fight and probably deserved a draw to his credit.
“Now he is fighting West who is a top boy from Portsmouth, and he is a champion down that way and a great fighter.
“The new middleweight title is on the line in this, and it is great we have been able to attract people from outside Swindon to fight on our shows.”
But it’s not just the show’s two headline fights which Harper believes will capture the attention of Swindon’s boxing fans, with the bout between Paul Goddard and Leon Tuitt-Smith heading a list of fighters which also includes Fightclub favourite Lee ‘Hollywood’ Hedges.
“There are other great fights on the show too, like Paul Goddard against Leon Tuitt-Smith,” Harper said.
“Paul is donating all his money to charity from the fight, and he is a familiar face around town who everyone recognises because he has tattoos all over his face and works on the doors.
“He is not what you think and he is a gentle man, which goes to show you can’t judge a book by its cover.”
Former world amateur champion Frankie Gavin will be the show’s special guest, while leading snooker player Stephen Lee is also set to be in the crowd.