Hill to take a step up

Tony Hill

Tony Hill

First published in Sport Hampshire Chronicle: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Writer

Tony Hill is moving up in weight for his next fight.

The 26-year-old Southampton boxer has so far campaigned as a middleweight and has already fought for the Commonwealth title.

However, after reflecting on his three week sparring session with world champion Mikkel Kessler, Hill has made the decision to move to up to super middleweight.

His trainer, Wayne Batten, has not ruled out a further move to light heavyweight down the line.

He said: “A decision has been made with Tony and he is going to be moving up in weight and we want to get him out as soon as possible.

“It all changed when he went away for the three weeks sparring with Mikkel Kessler and when he came back we had a chat and now we are moving him up in weight.

“I think that he feels going up will be a bit more natural, even though I believe he can make the weight at middleweight.

“He has got the frame to carry the extra weight and I would expect him to move up without any problems.

“We also discussed that a move up might open a few doors and bring a few extra opportunities and I think he’s more than capable of holding his own at a higher weight category.”

Both the middleweight and super middleweight divisions are tough ones to crack, but at least those topping the rankings are looking at world rather than domestic level.

Paul Smith fights Tony Dodson next month for the British super middleweight title and Batten believes that is a realistic level for Hill to be quickly aiming for – once they have got him established at the weight.

“Tony hasn’t boxed since November so we need to get him out pretty soon and find out where we are in the division and then we are going into and put a structure together to get him to the point we want to get him to,” explained Batten.

“Paul Smith is fighting Tony Dodson for the British super middleweight title soon and I would like to go down that route, but I don’t think even light heavyweight would be out of the question for Tony in future.

“Right now though my main concern is keeping him active.

“He’s still only had 13 professional fights so he’s still learning his trade really.

“He’s still at the beginning rather than the end of his career and we need to get him more good quality sparring and fights to move him on.

“I believe he has what it takes to be a champion, no doubt about it.”

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