Derry Mathews says the pressure of being the favourite for the Betfair Prizefighter Lightweights II will help him lift the trophy at the Liverpool Olympia tomorrow night live on Sky Sports.
Betfair punters have backed the hometown star at 9-4 to win the 26th edition of Matchroom Sport’s eight-man, one night tournaments, and as one of three British champions gunning for the title, Mathews is thriving on the pressure of leading the betting amongst the top class line-up.
“The pressure is on me as a favourite but I rise to the occasion more when people are expecting from me,” said Mathews at today’s weigh-in. “I would’ve liked to have been longer odds so my mates could win a bit more on me but there you go! I’ve got more experience than anyone else in the tournament, more knockouts, I’m older, I’m wiser, I’ve been here before and the odds don’t lie, I’m a worthy favourite and I know I’m going to get the win.”
The 29 year old kicks off the night in the opening quarter-final against Northampton’s Jamie Spence and the winner of their bout will face either Liam Patrick Walsh or Terry Flannigan in the first semi-final.
Anthony Crolla, who is gunning for revenge over Mathews who ripped his British title away from him in April, takes on another Merseysider in Stephen Jennings in quarter-final three. Crolla could gain double revenge on the night as Gary Sykes, who inflicted defeat on the Manchester man in May 2009, and the Dewsbury stylist faces unbeaten Hull fighter Tommy Coyle in the fourth quarter-final.
To win Betfair Prizefighter Lightweights II – Betfair bet: 9-4 Derry Mathews, 12-5 Anthony Crolla, 7-2 Gary Sykes, 7-1 Tommy Coyle, 10-1 Terry Flannigan, 22-1 Patrick Liam Walsh, 27-1 Stephen Jennings, 64-1 Jamie Spencer
QF 1: Jamie Spence (9st 10lb 10oz) vs. Derry Mathews (9st 10lb 13oz)
QF 2: Patrick Liam Walsh (9st 10lb) vs. Terry Flannigan (9st 10lb 11oz)
QF 3: Anthony Crolla (9st 9lb 10oz) vs. Stephen Jennings (9st 9lb 12oz)
QF 4: Gary Sykes (9st 9lb 14oz) vs. Tommy Coyle (9st 10lb 12oz)
*Liam Patrick Walsh was 11oz over at first weigh.