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Lambe hopes for ‘fresh look’ at Fairmont

Big ambitions: Lambe returns to the ring this weekend as he prepares for the Arnold USA Invitational Championships in Ohio next month Story (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Andre Lambe turned down a rematch with Gilbert Vargas as he wants a fresh challenge before the Arnold USA Invitational Championships next month.

Lambe looked superb in his first-round stoppage against Vargas at the Berkeley Institute in December and will be hoping to head to Columbus, Ohio with another win under his belt.

He faces Jason Canamaso at the Fairmont Southampton this weekend — his third successive opponent from the Baltimore Boxing Club, having also vanquished Dorian Bostic by a unanimous points decision at Snorkel Park in September.

Vargas will instead face Tyler Christopher, Lambe’s stablemate at Forty Rego’s Gym who lost to Canamaso on points at the previous fight night.

“Same gym, different guy,” Lambe said. “They were trying to make me fight Vargas again, but I’m hoping to go professional soon and I want different looks.

“Taking nothing away from Vargas, but it was a two-minute fight, although that’s not my reason for deciding against it. I’ve got a limited amount of amateur fights left and I’m just trying to make the most of them.

“I’m sure Jake Smith [the Baltimore coach] has been training this guy extra hard, but I’ve been training hard too and I know we’ll be ready.”

The 21-year-old has moved up from welterweight to junior middleweight to meet Canamaso, but insists the extra poundage will not diminish his speed.

“I’m perfectly fine and comfortable with the extra weight,” the southpaw said.

“All of my technique and speed is still there and I’ve just got more weight and power behind me.

“This is a one-off. It’s just because he weighed in at 152lb in his last fight, so we’re coming in at the same weight. Eventually, when I turn professional I’ll drop back down to 141 at junior welterweight.”

Lambe, who has an amateur record of three wins and three defeats, leaves for the Arnold Invitational next Wednesday to compete in the Novice welterweight division.

It is the same competition where Nikki Bascome won silver in 2009 and gold in 2010, with Lambe keen to emulate his mentor, who faces Iwan “Pure Gold” Azore in a six-round professional welterweight contest this weekend.

“My objective is definitely to try and win my division,” Lambe said. “I don’t want to let anyone down and hope to live up to what Nikki has done.

“I know there will be multiple fights in one day and I’ll be preparing for all kinds of different fighters.

“This is a good gateway tournament and hopefully I’ll then be able to go to Platinum Gloves and Golden Gloves tournaments.”

Christopher will also make his overseas debut at the Arnold Invitational in the Novice junior middleweight class.

“I expect to put on a dominant performance [against Vargas],” said the southpaw, who has won five and lost one of his bouts.

“I’m going to try and be more of the aggressor this time and not let my opponent dictate the pace.”

The 20-year-old recently left Controversy Gym but insists it was an amicable split from his former coach Leo Richardson.

“I’ve got a lot of new moves that I’ve learnt and I’m just trying to better my career,” he said. “Leo is cool and he’s a good fella. I’ve nothing but love for Leo and he did a lot for me.”