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Derry - why I deserve a world title shot.

Byline: PHIL KIRKBRIDE Boxing Reporter philip.kirkbride@liverpool.com PHILKECHO @

DERRY MATHEWS believes his rollercoaster career means he deserves a crack at the world lightweight title.

But Mathews knows he must first deal with Adam Dingsdale at the ECHO Arena this weekend if he is to get his wish.

The lightweights clash for the WBA Continental belt on Saturday night and victory should catapult Mathews into the governing body's top 15.

Mathews, 31, has been a professional since 2002 and fought for versions of the world crown at featherweight and lightweight.

But the former two-time British champion is eyeing a shot at the WBA belt - one of the four recognised world titles.

"I am going to be knocking on the door for the WBA title if I win on Saturday," Mathews said. "With the experience I've got and the pedigree I've got then someone might pick me for a voluntary defence.

"Paul Smith was picked as a voluntary defence because he's got a good record and has been round boxing circles a long time.

"It is about taking your opportunity. I have been pro since 2002 and have been in some of the best fights domestically and I am just short of fighting for a major world title now."

And Mathews is confident that his promoter Frank Warren can bring his world title chance to Liverpool.

"Frank's told me that if I get a world title shot then he'll make it in Liverpool," he added. "He doesn't send fighters away for these fights. He doesn't send fighters into the Lion's Den.

"He will make it happen in Liverpool. I'm delighted with that and things are looking good but I have just got to win on have just got to win on Saturday." Saturday."

Mathews continued: "I fell short against "I fell short against " Gavin Rees and he " Gavin Rees and he went on and fought went on and fought Adrien Broner. Adrien Broner.

"I fell short against Emiliano Marsili and he went on to win the he went on to win the European title and is European title and is knocking on the door of knocking on the door of a major world title fight a major world title fight himself. himself.

"I am above British level and I am operating around European ing around European level and also knocking level and also knocking on the door of world level. I'm not going to say 'I'm the best in the world' but believe I deserve a world title fight."

But Mathews insists he is not about to be brought crashing down by complacency despite facing a comparatively inexperienced opponent this weekend. "I do put myself under that pressure. I say to myself: 'if I lose this fight who will want to go near me?'. None of the up and coming kids will because I can punch. I've got to win this fight.

"I am like a man possessed and I know that winning at the ECHO Arena for the first time is going to lead to something exciting."

Mathews (35-9-2) added: "I've always said I'll get to 50 fights and walk away but someone asked me the other day: 'what do you do if you are world champion at 50 fights? Do you walk away?'. The o answer is 'no' because the money would be too good. I am going to retire one day but not just yet."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 22, 2014
Words:572
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