Boylan and Owen prepare to face-off to become the boxing king of Carshalton

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Back in the ring: Chessington fitness instructor Tony Owen, who is from Carshalton, defends the southern area light welterweight title he won last time out against Danny Connor at the O2 Arena in October 	Picture: Gary Brind Back in the ring: Chessington fitness instructor Tony Owen, who is from Carshalton, defends the southern area light welterweight title he won last time out against Danny Connor at the O2 Arena in October Picture: Gary Brind

Tony Owen and Ricky Boylan will be putting their friendship to one side this weekend when they go head-to-head to be crowned the king of Carshalton.

The boxers, both from Carshalton, have been friends for almost 10 years, sparring and socialising together with the boxing fraternity.

However, with the more experienced Owen defending his Southern Area light welterweight title for the first time, and Boylan looking to take a step up from his British Masters win in the same weight in July, something is going to give at the Excel Centre on Saturday.

Owen, 26, admitted the pair have spoken only once since the fight was announced 10 weeks ago, while Boylan, 25, said all that matters is winning – friend or no friend.

Owen, who had a week’s rest after winning the Southern Area title before the defence was unveiled, said: “Ricky and I have not been mates for 10 weeks.

“We spoke once the fight was announced and said no hard feelings, and that has been it. I’ve been concentrating on my preparations, and he has been doing the same – that is how it should be.

“We’ll be fine afterwards, but he needs the fightt to step up and boost his career, and I want to defend my title and push on from there. We both want this fight.”

Boylan, who is unbeaten in nine professional bouts but who has not been in the ring competitively since the summer, said: “Tony is a friend – I have no bad words to say about him, but we’ll just have to put our friendship to one side come fight night, and do the business.

“I cannot see it being a problem, although I have never boxed a friend before.

“But I have sparred with friends and I will take it in the same way.”

He added: “All that matters to me is doing what I need to do in the ring, and then shake hands afterwards and hopefully we can continue our friendship.”

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Unbeaten: Ricky Boylan has opened his professional career with nine successive wins

Legendary Carshalton boxer Lenny Daws said the bout was too close to call, but he suggested that Owen’s style could give him the edge – a claim that riled Boylan.

“I love Lenny, he is a wicked person, but he has said Tony can out-box me,” he said.

“But I have sparred with Lenny and he should know that I can box as well. I was a bit annoyed by that, I know I have what it takes to win.”

While Boylan was winning in July, Owen was losing a Prizefighter light welterweight quarter-final.

Yet believes the speedily arranged defence of his title is only a good thing.

He added: “I’ve had a really good end to the year in terms of activity and it’s great for me that this fight is so soon on the back of winning the title. It keeps the momentum going and hopefully when I win this week, it will roll on into next year.”

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