British and Commonwealth flyweight champion Kevin Satchell (12-0, 2KO’s) takes the biggest step of his short pro career next Saturday night, when he faces current European champion Valery Yanchy (23-3-2, 7KO’s) at Liverpool’s Echo Arena.
After just twelve fights, Satchell 26, has already accomplished more in his short career than most boxers do throughout a lifetime. Capturing the Commonwealth and British titles in just his eighth and ninth fights respectively is no mean feat, but with a lack of domestic opponents available, the reigning British king is looking ahead to the bigger fights at European level and beyond.
“My manager and trainer had to make the decision of defending the British one more time [and capturing the Lonsdale belt outright] or step up, and they said ‘lets step up’. They don’t want me hanging around at domestic level too long so it was an opportunity we had to take to get us that extra step towards a world title.”
Pressed on being just short of capturing the Lonsdale belt outright, he said, “Obviously I’m not thinking about the British and Commonwealth titles, I’m thinking about this fight next week and winning the European title. Most people would say it would be stupid to go back down to British level and defend that, but we will see. Next week I will win the title, maybe vacate the British and then look to move up the rankings towards a world title.”
The flyweight champion is coming off one of the longest inactive stretches of his career with his last fight a full seven months ago whilst defending his Commonwealth title against tough Ghanaian Isaac Quaye.
Speaking on the layoff it transpires the break was actually caused by an injury to his ankle, “I was sparring one of the lads in the gym Ryan Farrag and as I took a step back my ankle just went from underneath me and I couldn’t walk on it. I thought it was broke but after scans it turned out to be ligament damage. I rested and it’s been absolutely great throughout camp ever since.”
Since being back in training, Satchell has had to focus all his attention upon the awkward southpaw style of his 37 year old opponent, “I’ve been sparring before this camp even started. I’ve seen all different types of southpaws, we’ve had Jazza Dickens who is a great southpaw, Ant Smith and Jason Cunningham have come down as well as sparring with some amateurs from our gym. I’ve had plenty of southpaws to spar with to get used to them and I’ve also been doing a lot of strength and conditioning work along with cross-fit training.”
Commenting on his opponent Yanchy he said, “I’ve seen bits of him, my trainer has seen a lot of him and even went over to Italy to watch him win the title. I think the problems I can cause him are that I’m much younger, I’m taller, stronger and just bigger at the weight. I know I’ll be fitter than him but more importantly I’ll be hungrier for that title – I think I’ve got quite a bit of advantages over him now.”
Part of his pre-fight training camps have always consisted of a grueling running regime which ensures he is at the peak of fitness come fight night; speaking on things this time around he said, “I think I’m up to 286 miles, I’ve got my last 10 miler tonight and then when I’ve finished it should work out at 312 miles all together for this fight.”
With a victory next Saturday night, “Satch” knows he could then feasibly be looking at moving on to the world title scene, “I know the WBA champion [Juan Carlos] Reveco doesn’t want to fight in his hometown. I wanted a fight with him before I got the European title shot.
“He was saying he didn’t want to fight there [in his hometown] and he wanted to come over here and fight me, maybe he needed the money, I don’t know. If I can put on a good performance next week then hopefully Frank [Warren] will back me and get that fight made, if it’s a case of going abroad to fight then I’m more than happy to do that.”
According to the independent boxing rankings website Boxrec, Satchell currently sits at #27 in the world but that’s something the Liverpool fighter takes very little notice of at this moment in time, “I don’t really look at rankings that much. Hopefully after this fight I will get a good position in a few of the governing bodies. It doesn’t bother me that much at the moment. Once I win this title I will then be pushing for my rankings to be better and then move up on to the world scene and hopefully be part of some massive fights.”
Summing up his career to date and the bounds he has made since turning professional, the “Ice Man” remained candid, “I didn’t ever picture this far ahead, outside of boxing I’ve never really followed it that much, I didn’t take any notice.
“It’s a shock to me now that next week I’ll be fighting for the European title. I’d say if anything I’m ahead of schedule because its only four years ago next week that I actually made my pro debut – it’s been quick and I’m loving every minute of it.”
Follow Kevin Satchell on Twitter:@Kev_Satch & Instagram:@KevSatch88