Britain’s Oliver up next for Bascome
Britain's Ryan Oliver has been named as Nikki Bascome's next opponent, with the pair to meet at the Fairmont Southampton on January 18.
Oliver has not fought for almost a year because of a broken hand and will have a tune-up fight against journeyman William Warburton, someone he has already beaten, next month in Altrincham.
Although Oliver has limited amateur experience, he has sparred with top domestic names such as Terry Flanagan, a former WBO lightweight champion, Tyrone Nurse, a former Commonwealth title challenger, and Anthony Fowler, a Commonwealth Games gold medal-winner.
The welterweight was interviewed by British Boxing Television this week and spoke about his “random opportunity”, but did not go as far as naming Bermuda as the location nor Bascome as the opponent. A flyer has since been released announcing the match.
“I don't think I can say it yet,” said Oliver, who has one in defeat in seven bouts. “But I've got a big opportunity in a random place. When I tell people about where I'm boxing in the new year, I think they will be raising their eyebrows like, ‘what, where?' A lot of people don't know where it is, well, they do, but it's definitely not for boxing reasons.”
Despite being inactive for 12 months, Oliver has continued training at Bells Gym in his home town of Altrincham, Greater Manchester, to maintain fitness and sharpen his technique. Before injuring his right hand in sparring, the 25-year-old had chalked up five straight wins.
“I've been given the all-clear, so I can punch properly,” said Oliver, whose trainer Haroon Headley previously worked with Jack Catterall, a former British super lightweight champion.
“I'm just trying to make up for lost time now and get some good rounds in sparring, and cracking on from there.
“My time out of the ring has given me an opportunity to work on the things you might turn a blind eye to when you're fully fit and punching with both hands; things like my feet, head movement and working on my lead hand.
“I think I've improved a hell of a lot. I can hold my own against some kids now that I wouldn't have been able to before I broke my hand.”
Bascome, who has one defeat in ten bouts, dropped down to super lightweight to face Filipino Alvin Lagumbay in Dockyard in July.