Thirlwall promising Fireworks in London Derby

Hennessy sports20th May, 2009

Bermondsey's Matthew Thirlwall believes his upcoming middleweight dustup with Canning Town's George Hillyard has all the ingredients to be a mini classic. The two men are set to meet in a 10 round chief support to Darren Barker's defence of his Commonwealth Middleweight title against Darren McDermott at the Watford Colosseum on May 23rd.

The Hennessy Sports event will be live on ITV4's Big Fight Live from 7.30pm and former ABA champion Thirlwall believes viewers could be in for a real treat. "It has all the makings of a great scrap," predicted the Robert McCracken trained crowd pleaser.

"Our styles should mix well and make for a great fight. He's a come forward fighter and I'm the same so I think it should be good to watch for as long as it lasts."

Both men are well acquainted having already shared the ring together in a number of hotly contested sparring sessions. "I know George quite well," revealed Thirlwall. "We've trained alongside each other lots of times and I've sparred him on a few occasions and they were good, tough spars. We get on well but on the night it's just business, there are no hard feelings in there and I'm sure once the fight is over there will be no problems between us."

Despite the mutual respect between the two Thirlwall is in no doubt about the outcome of the fight. "George is good little fighter, he's very tough, he keeps coming and he's quite clever in there but he does like to get hit and I'll have no problems hitting him!

"I've knuckled down for this one and I'm training hard and I've had some good spars with Darren Barker and Darren Sutherland in the gym so I'm ready to go."

By his own admission the 28-year-old Thirlwall has had a slow burning career with injures and cuts stifling his progression but he's hoping that an eye catching win on live TV will get him moving towards title contention.

"Fighting live on TV gives you that extra bit of motivation to impress because you know that it's a chance to get people to sit up and take notice of you. I know that I need to move on and start making real progress now and I believe that this fight can be a launch pad for that."

Leaving aside his own encounter Thirlwall believes that the main event at the   Watford Colosseum between Darren Barker and Darren McDermott also promises to be an exciting affair.

"I've sparred with Barker so I know just how good he is. McDermott's a very tough guy and I think it could be close early on but I think Barker's class will show as the fight goes on and I think he'll win it on a late stoppage but it should be a good one."

Thirlwall V Hillyard features on a big night of Championship boxing at the Watford Colosseum on May 23rd with Darren Barker defending his Commonwealth Middleweight title against Darren McDermott in the main event

The undercard also features unbeaten Heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury in a battle of big prospects as he takes on Scott Belshaw. Bradley Evans, Steve O'Meara and Steve Barnes also featuring alongside the pro debut of Phill Fury (subject to Board approval). Tickets are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via