Mitchell Buckland aims to keep belt in the family
MITCHELL Buckland is aiming to put a smile back on big brother Gary’s face by winning the Celtic lightweight title next month.
Gary Buckland is recovering after a knockout loss to Stephen Smith in Cardiff but he will be ringside at the Newport Centre on September 21 to watch his undefeated brother take on local favourite Craig Woodruff.
And it will be extra special for the Buckland family if Mitchell can repeat his win over Woodruff in July last year and claim the title.
The last holder of the belt was Gary, who won it in 2007 and again in 2009 and went on to become British super-featherweight champion before losing his title last weekend.
“Gary was the last one to win the Celtic title and I’m going to make sure I keep it in the family,” said the 20-year-old St Joseph's fighter.
“I rate Woodruff, he’s a good boxer but he’s got nothing on me. The only way he can win is by knocking me out because he can’t outbox me, he can’t outfight me.
“I don’t look at the last fight,” he added. “It was only my third fight and I know I’ve only had five but we’ve both improved since then so that goes out of the window now.
“I look at that as a sparring session and I’m just focused on the 21st now.”
Having watched his brother fall to the canvas and seen Alway star Woodruff win his last fight by knockout, Buckland knows the dangers for boxers every time they enter the ring but he’s confident in his abilities.
“It was a devastating shot that Gary got caught with but it happens in boxing,” he said. “There’s nothing you can do. Anybody can get caught by a shot like that.
“It makes me think that you have to be 100 per cent focused when you get in that ring because it can happen to anybody.
“Woodruff knocked out Dai Davies last time and I watched it,” he added. “It was a good shot and, fair play, he knocked him out but I’m a clever boxer and I won’t get caught like that.
“I know if I’m not 100 per cent focused I could get knocked out but I’m going to see everything coming.”
Mitchell insists that Gary will be back once the dust settles on the third defeat of his pro career.
“Gary’s alright. He’s gone away for a week or so to clear his mind and think about what he’s going to do next,” he said.
“He’ll be training with me and he’ll be there to cheer me on at the Newport Centre.
“And I’m sure he’ll carry on. He’s still British and European standard and it’s not like he was getting beat up by Smith. He was in the fight but he just got caught by a world class shot.”
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