Kiwi David Light gets heavy duty in preparation for big time

David Light on his way to stopping Lance Bryant in Auckland in late 2020.

New Zealand cruiserweight boxer David Light has been mixing it with the big boys in preparation for his world title eliminator against American Brandon Glanton in Tampa, Florida.

Light, from Auckland’s North Shore, has sparred heavyweight Kiki Toa Leutele and several Kiwi amateur super heavyweights as he gets ready for the pressure Glanton, who goes by the ring name “Bulletproof”, will bring tomorrow.

It will be the biggest test of Light’s career but he told 1News it’s one he feels supremely ready for.

The 31-year-old, a silver medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, is undefeated after 19 fights as a professional and one more against the undefeated Glanton will put him in line for a world title shot against England’s Lawrence Okolie.

“We know he’s a tough fighter and he likes to come forward and brawl,” Light said of Glanton.

“His boxing’s not that good but he’s a good fighter. He likes to stick to people and land big shots. He’s got 14 knockouts but I don’t think many of them have been of the highest calibre.

“He’s had one big test but he won it on a pretty thin margin [a split decision win against Nigerian Efetobor Apochi in Minneapolis last year]. I think I’ve had more tests.”

Light’s confidence partly stems from the last time he was in Tampa when he knocked out Anthony Martinez in the first round. Martinez entered the ring with a 12-win, one-loss record.

And Light’s heavy work against Leutele and company is another factor; Hawke’s Bay boxer Leutele sparring Light ahead of his own big fight early last month against undefeated Australian heavyweight Justis Huni in Brisbane, which he lost on points.

“He pushed Justis further than anyone has and Justis has fought some pretty good guys so that was a big part of our camp,” Light said.

Of the super heavyweight amateurs he sparred against, Light said: “Some of these guys were 120kg and it was a small ring. I wanted to fight guys who would put a lot of pressure on me – guys who would push me around and get in my face. I got through all that pretty well so I’m definitely feeling ready for this.”

Light, at 1.87m tall, will have a 7cm height advantage over Glanton.

Light’s trainer Isaac Peach said: “I couldn’t be happier with his preparation. He’s sparred heavyweights and [middleweight] Andre [Mikhailovich] and [light heavyweight] Jerome [Pampellone] to sharpen him up as well. We’ve had no shortage of good sparring in this camp.

“Over here they think he’s the favourite, they’re looking past us. It’s a really good fight. We’re ready to go.

David Light, celebrating his win against Lance Bryant, is supremely confident ahead of his world title eliminator.

“Our goal is to win the world title. We’ve never discussed money or anything else. We only want to win the world title and this is the next step in the journey.”

Light, who has been a professional for five years, added of the expectation attached to this fight: “I don’t really feel that different – there’s a lot more media and stuff around for this one, it’s different in that way, but I feel like it deserves it.

“I fought here six months ago at the same place – Florida – and I got a good knockout win then so I’m feeling pretty confident about what I can do.”

Peach’s suspicion that Glanton, ranked 10th by the WBO, is looking past Light, ranked sixth, may have some foundation.

In a recent interview with British Boxing News, Glanton said: “I’ve watched David Light and he has skills.

“He’s No.6 in the world for a reason, but I’m more focused on doing what I do because I know that’s enough to win this fight and put myself in line for a world title opportunity in 2023.”

David Light v Brandon Glanton will be screened on from 3pm tomorrow (Saturday) NZT.


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