Title-chasing Cello convinced he can become the greatest

Cello Renda (right) in action.
Cello Renda (right) in action.
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Cello Renda is convinced he will become Peterborough’s greatest ever professional boxer on Saturday night (September 9).

That’s when the 32 year-old gunslinger from Paston shoots for the vacant Southern Area super-middleweight title at York Hall, Bethnal Green.

In the opposite corner is Leon McKenzie, a former professional footballer who starred for Posh from 2000 to 2003. He’s now 39.

And Renda is in no doubt what the outcome will be.

“There’s only going to be one winner. It’s a Cello win and it’s a knockout win - no question about it,” he stated boldly.

“And when I win that will make me a champion at three different weights - a Masters title at middleweight and light-heavyweight and a Southern Area title at super-middleweight.

“That will be a massive achievement and surely will make me the best fighter ever to come out of Peterborough.

“I know Gary De Roux won a British title but that was one title at one weight.

“Winning two titles was more than I ever thought I’d achieve when I first started boxing 14 years ago.”

Since that first pro bout - a second round stoppage win over Mark Ellwood in Hull in September 2004 - Renda has clocked up 42 contests, winning 28 of them with 12 by knockout.

And he believes that wealth of experience will stand him in excellent stead against McKenzie.

He said: “I’ve been in with some real tough guys in my time and beaten some top fighters. McKenzie is still learning. I’ll know too much for him.”

McKenzie, son of former British and European champion Clinton McKenzie, has had just 10 fights since swapping football boots for boxing gloves in 2013, but he’s only lost once - last time out in November when fighting for the English super-middleweight title against Jahmaine Smyle.

Has Renda watched any of those fights?

“I don’t do tapes and videos, it’s not my style. Studying the way people box can often confuse you. I just take it as it comes,” he said.

“I have actually caught a glimpse of McKenzie in a couple of clips and I’ve a rough idea what to expect. He’ll be athletic, that’s for sure, and I know he’s stopped four opponents. But he’s not renowned as a big hitter.

“He is of course a southpaw and I’ve been sparring with some southpaw cruiserweights.

“Whatever he does I’ll handle it. If he wants to box, I’ll box. If he wants to fight, I’ll fight. If he wants to get rough, I’ll get rough. I’ll have all the answers.”

Renda took the fight at four weeks notice when original opponent Alan Higgins dropped out but that doesn’t pose a problem.

“I’m always in the gym ticking over. I stay in shape just in case the phone rings offering you a fight,” he added.

“Four weeks is fine. I’ve just had to sharpen up a bit and my training has gone really well.

“I haven’t fought since last December so I’m hungry for some action - and the one thing you’re guaranteed when I’m in the ring is action. I fight hard and there’s never a dull moment.”

Higgins was actually Renda’s last opponent and that was also a Southern Area super-middleweight title challenge. Renda lost narrowly on points and is determined to make the most of his second bite at the cherry.

“No mistakes this time. It’s my title. It’s probaly the last chance I’ll get so I’ve got to take it,” he said.