Chris Bourke insists that he is ready to take control of the British bantamweight scene.
The heavy-handed 29 year old from Streatham in South London dismantled Tanzanian puncher, Adam Mbega, last weekend, notching up another stoppage and positioning himself for a crack at a meaningful title.
It is almost 18 months since Bourke (13-1, 8 KO’s) lost a unanimous decision to Marc Leach for the British super bantamweight title, suffering a badly damaged hand in the process. Bourke had a year out of the ring, during which time he decided to drop down to bantamweight. Since then, he has reeled off three consecutive victories and is now happy and confident that he will be a champion at 118lbs.
“I was hoping to have a title fight on this show but it didn’t happen,” Bourke told BoxingScene.com. “It was still a good experience and I got to show everybody that I still have power at this lower weight and that I’m still exciting to watch. It was another opportunity to get to the weight and convince myself that it’s the right weight for me.
“The two fights before have been quite short notice. Going below the super bantam limit is quite hard to do on four weeks notice. The fight before last I felt flat and I felt like it showed in my performance. This time I’ve got a new nutritionist on board, I had time to do the weight properly and I felt good.”
All Bourke can do is beat whoever is put in front of him and wait for an opportunity to present itself.
Current British and Commonwealth bantamweight champion, Sean McGoldrick (13-1, 3 KO’s), won the vacant belts in February by beating Scott Allan but the Welshman hasn’t been in the ring since. Thomas Essomba (12-8-1, 4 KO’s) travelled to Italy in May and beat Alessio Lorusso for the European title but he is yet to make a defence of his title either. Having spent time out of the ring himself, Bourke is aware that delays are part and parcel of the sport but he is eager to get moving and take a wide open division by the scruff of its neck.
“It’s a weight I can make and a division that is there for the taking. I just need to get these opportunities. I’m calling out both of these lads and nobody is even replying. They aren’t biting at all.
“It’s frustrating. I just don’t understand it. The McGoldrick fight is the one that makes the most sense next. There are two Welsh fighters already on the card [on December 2nd, Liam Williams fights Hamzah Sheeraz and Gavin Gwynne boxes Emilio Marsili for the European lightweight title]. It’s a fight that definitely could have been made but I just think he doesn’t want it. He’s got eight weeks to get in shape. That’s enough time.
“There was talks of the Essomba fight happening. I thought it was going to happen, Martin [Bowers, his trainer and manager] thought it was going to happen. For reasons I don’t know, it didn’t and he’s fighting his mandatory instead. The Essomba fight will become easier to make if I have some titles. There’s more on the line for him then. I just think they’re struggling to match me with these boys who have the titles already.”