CHRIS BOURKE ENTERS into his first title encounter at the BT Studio on July 25 against the also unbeaten Ramez Mahmood, but is also happy to set his sights a little higher and contemplate a challenge to British and Commonwealth super bantamweight king Brad Foster.
Bourke, 25, gets his maiden title opportunity on the second of Frank Warren’s summer series of specials from the home of BT when he will battle for the vacant Southern Area super bantamweight belt against the 26-year-old Mahmood, who goes by the stage name of ‘The Mathemagician’.
If it is Bourke (7-0) rather than Mahmood (11-0) who gets his sums right on the night then the prospect of a mouth-watering shot at Brad the Blade could well be a realistic option.
First and foremost, however, Streatham man Bourke knows he has got a job to do against a good fighter. The term ‘trade fight’ is being bandied around, which essentially means boxing people in the know believe it will be a cracker.
“Yeah it is a fight that was going to be made for the o2 bill before it got postponed, so it was always in the pipeline and it is a good fight,” reasoned Bourke, who trains out of the Peacock Gym in Canning Town. “He is a good fighter, he has won the title before (at featherweight) so he knows what he’s doing.”
Bourke has witnessed in person what he will be up against.
“I don’t really watch tapes of the people I am fighting, but I have seen him live when he boxed Brett Fidoe because he was boxing on the same show as one of my teammates, Sean Phillips. So I saw him there.
“He does the basics really well, nothing amazing, but nothing bad either.
“I was watching the fight knowing it was a possibility I would fight him. You see weaknesses and things they don’t do well, but every fight is different when you are actually in the ring. You can’t really read too much into it.”
For the former Team GB graduate his big night at BT will represent his first experience of fighting close to the top of bill and to sample of a few of the trimmings that come with the distinction. Next time though, he will remember to vet the images of him before they go to print.
“Yeah it was good to have a poster, even though it was not a great picture of me! I had a word about that straight away. At the moment I think it is co-main event and it is live on BT so it is good for me.
“I get butterflies for every fight and I won’t treat this one differently because you go into every one to win,” he added before confirming he was glued to the first studio show on July 10 so he could see what to expect when it comes to his turn.
“It was a bit strange with the ring walks and that, while you could hear every shot. It was different and BT did it well.”
Of course, top of the bill last time out was British champ Foster winning his belt outright by defeating James Beech jr on points. While Bourke was suitably impressed, it would not deter him from attempting to part Foster from his belts.
“I thought he boxed well. I’d never seen Beech box before and he did quite well. Brad Foster started really strong and looked quite solid before fading a bit in the middle rounds and then finishing really strong.
“Definitely, if it got offered I would take it now, but it is down to my team to decide. For me personally, if it was there, I would take it.
“I see him as like, no disrespect, like a worse version of Louie Lynn. Louie is relentless constantly, whereas Brad Foster is relentless then he’ll faze off and then pick it back up again.
“He does switch well and he’s got a nice variation of shots to the head and body. I think he is a good fighter.
“You are in boxing to win titles and I won’t avoid anyone. Maybe my power would make him back off a bit more and it would be an interesting and good fight.”
Chris Bourke and Ramez Mahmood collide for the vacant southern area super bantamweight championship on Saturday 25th July live on BT Sport. The show is headlined by the return of 10-0 heavyweight juggernaut Joe Joyce as he takes on Germany’s Michael Wallisch (20-3).