Milton Keynes will be a part of British boxing history as heavyweight Matt Legg got the momentous Froch Vs Groves show under way on Saturday night writes Adam Beechers.
Legg, 38, took on the talented and exciting London 2012 Olympic gold Medallist Anthony Joshua in the opening bout of the night.
The fighter who had previously headlined a show at MK’s very own Wonderworld now had a huge opportunity to showcase his talents on the grandest of all stages.
The Wembley Stadium pre fight press were talking of what number Joshua would do to his smaller opposition but nobody expected the explosive pace that would come from the man from Milton Keynes. And those skeptics were certainly left impressed by the way in which the heavyweight handled himself before the knockout.
From the opening bell he was on the front foot as the 6ft 2” fighter took centre of the ring to show the 24 year old Joshua he wasn’t there to make up the numbers. ‘AJ’ was forced to adapt his game plan as the high work rate from the gutsy outsider pinned the taller Olympic champion in the corner and Legg was able to catch him with some excellent jabs and crosses which certainly looked to stun the man from Watford.
It was a momentary lapse in concentration that ended the fight. After coming out fast the Milton Keynes fighter allowed Joshua to work his feints and start to land some effective jabs which certainly had some bite behind them.
A slick uppercut followed by a glancing left hook sent Legg to the canvas and despite being on his feet at the count of 9 referee Steve Gray had seen that the punch had effectively ended the contest after 1 minute 23 seconds of action.
“Obviously I’m gutted,” said a composed but disappointed Legg in his dressing room after the fight.
“I was relaxed in the ring walk and I did execute the plan early on that we had been working on.
“I should’ve carried on my work rate which was one of the things we had worked on. I probably stepped back to admire the work we had done and should of followed it up and tested his chin.
“It was great to walk out and experience the Wembley crowd and I was so relaxed and just disappointed I didn’t follow up the good work early on. I fought a great kid who has a lot of potential and he does hit very hard!”
Legg will be out soon on a Shamrock Promotions card in a few months and with his name now ingrained in the history of the sport and on the journey of a future heavyweight world champion.
There will be renewed interest in his next performance following his bravado at Wembley and the feeling is we will get to see him fighting for a title before the year is out.