By Jonny Stapleton
ANTHONY Fitzgerald revealed holding his own in the sparring ring against light heavyweight world title challenger Tony Bellew was as frustrating as it was satisfying.
The Irish super middleweight champion, who now campaigns at middleweight, claims his daily sessions with the bigger man have given him a further confidence boost.
Fitzgerald displays against the light heavyweight contender and the feed back he received have re-confirmed his belief he can operate at the top end of the middleweight ladder.
However, the pleasure of positive feedback makes the pain of not being able to secure a big fight even worse. The EBA middleweight champion doesn’t want to just impress in the training gym he wants to bring that form into packed stadiums and wow on fight cards.
The inner City Dub feels ready to move to the next level and is desperate for big name fights, but despite feeling at his peak the 26 year old is suffering an enforced ring sabbatical.
“Standing with someone that big and doing so well does give you a big boost. Bellew is a talented fighter and I held my own with him and gave him a tough work out. He is a light heavyweight and I impressed against him. It gives you confidence in all aspects of your game. If I can do it against a world title challenging light heavy why wouldn’t I be able to do it against the best middleweights in the world,” Fitzgerald explained
The WBA world number 10 also took time to reveal his frustration at lack of paid action.
‘Fitzy’, who ironically was award Irish Champion of the Year status for 2010 because of his willingness to put his Irish title on the line, revealed he has been banging on doors but nobody seems to want to answer never mind grant him passage to the big time.
“It does piss you off knowing you can do it, but can’t get the fights. We have been knocking on doors all over the world but can’t get an answer. Bellew’s team said they would get me on a show in Liverpool in six weeks, which is good. It will be great to fight again and hopefully things will start to pick up.”
A lack action certainly doesn’t translate into a lack of ambition. Fitzgerald is still targeting the big middleweight names and reiterated his desire to fight Andy Lee.
“I would love to fight Andy Lee. I want fights with all the big names. I would fight Macklin, Chavez anyone. I am in this game to fight.”