Stephen Simmons has no fear over grudge match

Stephen Simmons, right, squares up to Spanish boxer Wadi Camacho as promoter Eddie Hearn looks on
Stephen Simmons, right, squares up to Spanish boxer Wadi Camacho as promoter Eddie Hearn looks on
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Boxer Stephen Simmons is planning a double celebration this weekend when his grudge fight with London-based Spaniard Wadi Camacho finally comes to the fore at Braehead Arena tonight.

The 29-year-old Capital fighter, and current WBC International Cruiserweight champion, is on the undercard of the ‘He Who Dares’ show, as headliner Ricky Burns tries to get his career back on track after losing his WBO world lightweight title to American Terence Crawford in March.

But much of the show’s focus has honed in on Simmons’ bout with Camacho after their much publicised spat on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook at the turn of the year; Simmons enraged by his opponent’s use of explicit images and verbal attacks on his family.

The pair’s contest was originally scheduled for March 1 but a broken rib sustained by Simmons during a sparring session just three weeks before forced the call-off.

Since then, Simmons has not only regained his fitness with some punishing sessions in the gym and training camps abroad, he also tied the knot with fiancée Nicole at The Vu in Bathgate at the beginning of the month; disclosing not a drop of alcohol passed his lips to celebrate their big day, unwilling to jeopardise his preparations.

However, Simmons revealed he has every intention of enjoying an evening with his new wife tomorrow in what will be a double celebration with victory over Camacho.

“I’m not really a big drinker anyway,” Simmons explained. “The only time I’ve had a drink this year was my stag-do in March, but it would have helped when I was doing my speech! Still, we both really had a wonderful day.

“My wife and I have already arranged to go for a meal and have a few glasses of wine or Champagne tomorrow night, so that’s already planned.”

Simmons admits he allowed 28-year-old Camacho to fester under his skin after their first press conference in January threatened to boil over at Glasgow’s City Halls. However, the 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist was much more composed throughout Wednesday’s rerun and says he will allow his boxing do the talking.

“I’m a professional and I’ve had time to settle myself down after having the injury,” he said. “I’ve worked out a great plan with my coach Danny (Vaughan) when we spent six weeks at the MGM in Marbella and had an incredible camp, so I just need to keep the head.

“He doesn’t deserve a shot at this. The only reason he is wanting the fight is because that’s his only option.

“And because of all of the s**** he’s been coming out with on Twitter, that’s the only reason I have agreed to take it. He’s at the bottom of the tree for me.

“I could see it on Wednesday on his face at the press conference. He obviously had a plan on what he was going to say but that went out the window. He was getting angry, like I was at the last one, but I stayed calm this time round.

“He couldn’t even look at me and was trying to make himself look super-confident by saying he’ll put his purse on winning. When I looked in his eyes at the stare-off, he was trying to talk to me but his bottom lip was trembling and I could see the fear.

“There’s no chance this will go ten rounds. My punching power has increased over the last year and I am much fitter than he is. My last fight was a hard one but you must train as though every fight you are preparing for is going to be your hardest fight and that’s exactly what I’ve done.”

Simmons also believes his profile has boosted as result of the feud.

He added: “The publicity and media attention has caught the eye and it’s going to boost my career, so there are pluses. There’s already talk of a show in October, but I’ve got a job to do tonight first – so my focus is entirely on that.”