Nikki Bascome keeping fingers crossed his March date comes off
Nikki Bascome remains optimistic that his rescheduled fight against Jamaican Devon Moncriffe will go ahead as planned.
The two super-lightweight fighters are scheduled to lock horns in the ring at the Fairmont Southampton on March 27.
However, the bouit remains shrouded in doubt owing to the recent spike in active Covid-19 cases on the island, which has already forced the shutdown of several sporting events.
“We are looking at fighting end of March and hopefully the pandemic and everything eases down,” Bascome said. “It will be my first fight since Covid came, and I’m just waiting on the confirmation and hoping things are able to get back to normal.”
The rescheduled fight is set to take place a day shy of a year of the postponement of the original match because of the global pandemic.
“I was supposed to fight him [Moncriffe] originally last year but then the pandemic hit,” said Bascome, who has not boxed since defeating Ryan Oliver, of England, in January last year.
“It was a bit discouraging when the pandemic hit at first because I was ready to fight in March right after my fight [against Oliver] in January to keep active.
“Once the pandemic hit, it kind of put things back a little bit, so I took some time off. But now I’m ready to jump back in and do what I got to do.”
Bascome will be looking to improve on his record of nine victories from ten contests against Moncriffe, who has a record of 14 wins, nine losses and one draw.
Moncriffe won the Wray & Nephew Contender middleweight title in Jamaica in 2013 and has considerable experience outside of his homeland, having previously fought twice in the United States and twice in Canada.
Sizing up his opponent, Bascome said: “From what I’ve seen, I would have to say he is an aggressive fighter.
“He’s an aggressive guy but my coach [Anthony Stoneham] and I come with a game plan, so we’ll be ready.”
Stoneham, the former Southampton Rangers footballer, is the son of Bascome’s longtime coach Allan “Forty” Rego, who died in 2018.
“He’s [Stoneham] always been in my corner as my cut man, so he knows me,” Bascome said. “His son [Ascento Russell] knows me as well, so it’s all close-knit.”
Despite the pandemic, the former IBA International Welterweight champion has maintained his fitness.
“I have definitely been sparring in the gym, doing my roadwork and some strength and conditioning,” Bascome said. “I have been doing my boxing. I just haven’t trained for a fight, but more so just to maintain fitness.”
The 30-year-old will step up preparations for his next foray into the ring when he travels to Las Vegas next month to sharpen his tools at the Mayweather Boxing Club under the watchful eye of coach Jeff Mayweather.
Bascome has worked with Mayweather, the uncle of Floyd, the five-times world champion, for several of his bouts since the death of former coach Rego.
“I plan to go back out there to Las Vegas in February to do some training and sparring, and look forward to getting back in the ring in March,” he added.
Bascome defeated Mexican David Martínez on a unanimous decision at the Fairmont Southampton in November 2018 to claim the IBA International Welterweight Championship, which he promptly vacated to allow himself to pursue fights at super-lightweight, which he believes he is more suited to.
On his debut fighting at 140lbs in the summer of 2019, Bascome then beat Filipino Alvin Lagumbay on points at the Victualling Yard in Dockyard.