KEY WORKER Brad Foster has put the Lockdown night shifts at Tesco behind him and is looking forward to what he predicts will be a “massive event” when he faces James Beech Jr on Friday night, live only on BT Sport.
Lichfield’s Foster (12-0-2, 5 KO’s) defends his British and Commonwealth Super-Bantam titles against fellow Midlander Beech Jr. (12-0, 2 KO’s) in the main event of British boxing’s first show back in 118 days.
Foster also has the unique honour of having headlined Queensberry Promotions last show before lockdown, stopping Lucien Reid after six rounds at York Hall on February 22nd, and admits he feels “blessed” to be British boxing's last man out and first man back.
Speaking on ‘Head 2 Head’, the first of Queensberry’s digital press conferences for the upcoming Summer fight series, Foster said: “I’m blessed to be in this situation and I’m going to make the most of it.”
Listening on was his undefeated opponent James Beech Jr, who shared Foster’s excitement at being part of British boxing history.
Speaking about receiving the call to fight for the British and Commonwealth titles, Beech admitted: “I was running up and down my living room, I was buzzing to be honest.”
“It’s a massive opportunity for me and I can change my life if I get the win on Friday,” he added.
Both men are aware of the extra importance of fighting on boxing’s first show back, with Foster believing the excitement for the sports return will rival that which greeted football when it came back last month.
“It’s going to be a massive, massive event. People haven’t been able to watch the sport. It’s like the football, people were going mad that the football was coming back and it’s going to be the same with boxing.
“I’m sure me and Beech will put a great fight on for fans watching at home.”
Preparation for the huge main event has been unorthodox, though, with neither man able to get in the gym over the UK’s lockdown period.
Community-minded Foster has also been putting in some extra work at Tesco throughout Lockdown, helping to fill online shopping orders for housebound Midlanders, but insists he’ll be as ready as ever come fight night.
“I’ve been working nights, so going to Tesco at night, getting the hours in then coming home and sleeping and from then on it’s just training really” said Foster, “It’ll be an exciting fight and I just can’t wait for it.”
In response, Beech Jr was adamant that the extra time he has been able to dedicate to his cardiovascular training whilst at home has put him in good stead.
“I’ve put in more work for this fight than I have for any other fight. I’ll be the fittest i’ve ever been.”
Unsurprisingly, the two Midlanders are no strangers to one another, with Beech Jr revealing that the pair had been sparring partners ahead of Foster’s victory over Lucien Reid at York Hall on February 22nd.
Champ Foster accepts that Beech put in some “good rounds” and admits they got along well, but says that on fight night all that will go to the back of the mind.
“He’s going to try and punch my head in, so I'm going to try and punch his head in,” laughed Foster.
“We’re there to do a job at the end of the day, so for 36 minutes you’ve got to put whatever aside and try and punch each other’s heads in” replied Beech, “It’s as simple as that.”
Asked for a prediction on how the fight might go, both men were confident of victory under the lights of the BT Sport Studio.
Man-of-few-words Foster said just “I’ll be the winner outright” whilst lesser known Beech Jr said that his desire to “prove” himself will see him crowned as the new British and Commonwealth Super-Bantam king.
“I want to be in 50-50 fights, I want to be in proper fights and prove to people how good I am. Further down the stretch my strength and better fighting technique will come out and take over.”
A smiling Foster was unphased by his opponents confidence, however, and simply added “we will see.”
And see we will, live at 7pm on Friday night only on BT Sport 1.