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Maidstone boxer Sam Noakes ready for the biggest night of his career when he fights Calvin McCord for the Commonwealth lightweight title at O2 Arena in London

Sam Noakes is just a week away from the biggest night of his boxing career.

Noakes (9-0) faces fellow unbeaten fighter Calvin McCord (12-0) for the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title at London’s 02 Arena next Saturday.

Maidstone boxer Sam Noakes has relinquished his WBC International Silver lightweight title.
Maidstone boxer Sam Noakes has relinquished his WBC International Silver lightweight title.

It’s a huge opportunity for the Maidstone boxer to lift a major title so early in his professional career.

It will be a first fight since March for the 25-year-old, who had to take time out after breaking his thumb in sparring.

He’s fully recovered and can’t wait to get at Scottish opponent McCord in front of thousands of fight fans.

The contest is scheduled to go 12 rounds but with Noakes having won all nine of his fights by stoppage, he’s planning to put on a show.

“Without doubt it’s the biggest fight of my career,” said Noakes.

“It’s the first of the big nights and I’m looking forward to it. They’ll start getting harder now.

“I want to get back in there with a good knockout and have a real good 2023, get a few defences and, who knows, maybe go for the British title.

“I want my picture with the British and Commonwealth belts over my shoulder.

“I think there’ll be over 10,000 there, so it’ll be the biggest crowd I’ve fought in front of.

“Because of the size of the fight, you do think about this one a little bit more.

“It’s a proper title, you go down in the history books if you win this, so it gives you that little bit more of an edge.

“That will only bring out the best in me. I can’t wait.”

As the local fighter, Noakes is set to have the crowd on his side at the 02.

McCord, who has two stoppages on his record, will be out to silence them.

Noakes respects his opponent’s record but intends to bring the belt back to Maidstone.

“He’s 12-0 and he had a good amateur career of 100-odd fights, so he’ll be coming to win,” said Noakes.

“I’d imagine he’ll be training harder than he’s trained for any other fight, but so am I.

Boxing brothers Sean and Sam Noakes. Picture: Queensberry Promotions
Boxing brothers Sean and Sam Noakes. Picture: Queensberry Promotions

“I’ll meet him in the middle of the ring and we’ll go from there. I reckon it’ll be a cracking fight.

“I don’t think he moves as much as me. I wouldn’t say he’s a backfoot fighter but once he gets clumped, he might start moving back. We’ll see.

“I don’t think he’s been in with anyone like me.

“To be going for the Commonwealth title in my 10th fight is brilliant.

“I couldn’t ask for any more but I’m keeping my feet firmly on the ground. I’m not fully developed as a fighter - I’ve got more to learn. I’m not in any rush.”

Noakes is aiming to make it a double for the family after brother Sean’s latest victory last Friday.

The 27-year-old beat Petar Aleksandrov (4-23) on points at York Hall for his third successive win in the pro ranks.

“It’s another shut-out, I still haven’t lost a round since turning pro,” said welterweight Noakes.

“I landed some good shots. I nearly got him out of there a couple of times.

“If I’d thought about what I was doing, I could have stopped him.

“I kind of went a bit gung-ho, got too excited and chased it a little bit. It was a good learning fight at this stage of my career.

“He was throwing looping shots from funny angles.

“He wasn’t particularly strong but he was awkward and tough.”

Noakes, who’s set to fight again early next year, can’t wait to watch his brother in action.

“You’re going to see the best of Sam,” he said. “He’s worked so hard for this one.

“I’m more excited for his fight than I was mine. I get nervous watching him, and he’s the same watching me.”

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