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Boxing: Connah’s Quay fighter Paul Economides seeking last chance to impress

FIGHTING on the same card as Ricky Hatton’s brother was a major coup and a huge opportunity for Connah’s Quay fighter Paul Economides.

Being drawn on the undercard of Matt Hatton versus Lovemore Ndou last November presented Economides the chance to prove to the boxing world that he was one to watch.

But a swift and brutal defeat at the hands of Scotsman Stephen Russell has left the 23-year-old’s career on the ropes.

Last November’s beating, however, was not all it seemed as Economides was keeping a secret that has now been released into the public domain.

“In sparring the first time I made the weight, I had to stop the sparring after four rounds,” he revealed.

“It was meant to be eight rounds but I felt dead. When I was at 9st 4lbs I was sparring 10 rounds with Rendall Munroe, and I am meaning hard rounds.

“Then I move down to 8st 11lbs and I am knackered. I had to take a number of days off training just to try and recover.

“I didn’t look great because I hadn’t drunk water for two days. I tried to get myself rehydrated but it just wouldn’t work.”

When fight night came, Economides, who trains at Chester Boxing Club in Hoole, was a shell of the fighter who had earned great reviews. In retrospect it was no surprise when the referee was forced to stop the Russell fight.

“Afterwards I was super-duper depressed, I still am,” he said. “I have gone with (trainer) Steve Goodwin full time, he is more experienced, he has worked with legendary trainer Brian Hughes. I have moved up in to super-feather and he has taken me back to basics.

“I only knew one way to fight, come forward and have a scrap. I’m still a come forward fighter, but I have been watching lots of Michael Gomez videos. I just couldn’t believe the things I was doing wrong. Let’s just hope it works out next fight night.”

Despite the changes made to his training schedule, Economides has made it clear that he would retire if he loses his next fight.

“If I lose two fights in a row, that would mentally screw me. I want to win a title, that’s why I am a fighter. If I couldn’t beat someone then what’s the point in carrying on?”

Economides will get the chance to exorcise his demons at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton on March 14 against an opponent yet to be named.