Boxing - Buchanan expects a tough time against McClumpha

Newcastle middleweight Andrew Buchanan (5-1), who recently returned to the ring after an eight year lay off, gets a big test in his next outing when he faces Sunderland’s undefeated prospect Jonson McClumpha (5-0) on Pro Box North East’s ‘Summer Rumble’ show at the Stadium of Light on July 7.

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Boxing - Buchanan expects a tough time against McClumpha
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Andrew Buchanan expects a tough time against unbeaten Jonson McClumpha

After turning pro in 2000, Buchanan racked up a 4-1 ledger before injury problems, managerial disputes and the onset of family-life all coincided to see him drift away from the sport in 2005. But after teaming up with trainer Micky Duncan, the former England international feels rejuvenated.

On his May ring-return at Newcastle’s O2 Academy, Buchanan looked sharp in beating beating Sheffield journeyman Dean Walker (12-37-3), and the 33-year-old was delighted with his performance.

“It was good to get back in and shake off the rust,” said Andrew, who won 100 of 120 amateur bouts. 

“I was disappointed because I hurt my hand in the second round so I couldn’t let my shots go properly, but I was happy with the four rounds and it was a good, positive experience.

“I’ve been working on my fitness and it’s paid off. When I was a pro before I slacked off a bit and just relied on natural ability, but I’m working really hard now and I’m enjoying the sport.  I’ve got the passion back and hopefully that will show when I fight.

“The break has done me the world of good.  I’m at a point in my life where I feel happy, settled, and I love my family and my life.  I work at Nissan so my shifts allow me to train, and I’ve still got my family life.  I was probably a bit naïve when I went into the pro game, but I’ve matured, and the reason I’m back now is because I love the sport.  There’s nothing expected of me, unlike last time.”

Against Jonson McClumpha, 22, also a former star-amateur, Andrew knows he is in for a tough examination. 

“Since I’ve been matched with Jonson I’ve had a look at one of his fights on YouTube and he’s an impressive fighter. He’s young, hungry, and a prospect. He’s a good lad, inside and outside the ring, and has got a good reputation. I’m expecting nothing less than a very tough fight. I think our styles and backgrounds will make for a brilliant fight.

“I can’t wait. This fight is ideal to make a name for myself on the national scene.  I’m confident in my training and my ability, as Jonson is.  We’re both going in to win.  I haven’t got the time, or the will, to build up my record with fights you know you’re going to win before you go in there.  If you want to be a fighter then you should want to fight the best and beat the best – that’s what it’s all about.”

“Andrew has looked impressive since returning to boxing and there’s no doubt that he means business,” said promoter Phil Jeffries.  “Jonson is very talented too and I think this fight could well be the best fight we see in the North East this year.  Neither of these lads wants easy tests and it’s a credit to both of them that they’re prepared to face each other.”

Pro Box North East’s ‘Summer Rumble’ at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light on July 7, will feature fighters from across the region including Kirk Goodings and Lee Mould from Sunderland, South Shields’ Anthony Nelson, Middlesbrough’s Mohammed Waqas, Hartlepool’s Peter Cope, Ben Jackson and Tommy Ward from County Durham and English bantamweight champion Martin Ward. Anthony Hardy and Michael Hadfield will both make their debuts.

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