Peterborough middleweight Cello Renda has been handed a big incentive to win next week’s fight in Birmingham.
The 30 year-old gunslinger has been matched with Mike Byles at the Genting Arena a week on Saturday (March 5) after Ben Wilkes pulled out of their English-title eliminator.
The fight will be over eight rounds and Renda said: “Matchroom have promised me a title shot if I perform, so it’s still a big fight for me.
“My opponent has changed, but I’m still boxing on Sky Sports and if I win I get a title shot, so I’m happy.”
Wilkes pulled out of the fight through injury, but Renda said: “I don’t think he wanted the fight. I think he saw at the press conference how big I am and how confident I am and said to himself: ‘I don’t need this.’ It wasn’t a massive surprise to me when he pulled out.”
Byles is a 28 year-old from Warwick who’s won eight of his 11 fights. His latest win came last weekend at Bedworth Civic Hall.
Byles took just 45 seconds to blow away outgunned Aleksejs Kotovs, from Latvia, with a body attack.
Byles turned pro late at 26 after a handful of amateur bouts and Renda said: “I’ve been told that we’ve sparred each other, but I don’t remember it. Jon Pegg, my manager, says he’s strong, tough and will come and have a go.
“He was supposed to box for the Midlands Area title last week (champion Craig Cunningham pulled out with a virus), so he’s been training and will be in tip-top shape.”
Renda expects to be well supported in Birmingham and every fan who buys a ticket off him will get a flag which shows both the Union Jack and the Italian colours.
Renda is proud of his Italian roots. Father Giovanni was a teenager when he left Calabria in Southern Italy in the 1960s and headed to Peterborough looking for work in the brickyards.
He decided to stay in the city after meeting Anna Maria, also of Italian parentage, and together, they have six children.
Renda is the youngest - he has four brothers and a sister - and they will all be in Birmingham next weekend.
Also on the show, Sam Eggington, Renda’s stablemate, defends his British and Commonwealth welterweight titles against Bradley Skeete.
Tickets for the show are available from 07947-106116.