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Page last updated at 11:31 GMT, Friday, 3 October 2008 12:31 UK

Thaxton & Hide head Norwich bill

Juan Carlos Diaz Melero and Jon Thaxton
Melero and Thaxton have both previously lost European title shots

Jon Thaxton heads promoter Mick Hennessy's 'Let's Be Having You' bill at the Royal Norfolk Showground.

He fights Juan Carlos Diaz Melero for the vacant European lightweight title on Saturday, but is likely to be sharing the limelight with Herbie Hide.

The controversial 37-year-old takes on Latvian Aleksejs Kosobokovs on the undercard of the televised bill.

The two-time former world heavyweight champion, nicknamed The Dancing Destroyer, now fights at cruiserweight.

Thaxton's opponent, the durable Melero, enters the fight with a formidable record having lost just once in 37 fights, against Yuri Romanov for the European title in 2006.

But the fact that he has only ever fought in Spain or France leaves Thaxton firmly in the belief that home advantage will count for a lot.

"He's coming into my office, he's going to play by my rules in that boxing ring.

"I've got the people behind me who are really going to push me on, give me that extra 10, 20, 30%, whatever I need to cross that line and become European champion," he said.

Herbie Hide
Hide is keen to put his troubles behind him

Hide's fight against the Latvian may not be about to set the boxing world alight, but his return to fight in Norwich is significant.

It is 10 years since his 1998 WBO title defence against Willie Fischer, his last fight in his hometown, and he still owns a home within earshot of Saturday's venue.

He says fighting in the cruiserweight division is natural to him, and he has high hopes.

"I was always a cruiserweight, it just happens that I can punch like a heavyweight, I was never truly a heavyweight.

"It's like a goal, if I can win the cruiserweight championship of the world I'll have won belts at two different weights," he said.

The other highlight of Saturday's bill sees something of an East Anglian derby.

Norwich's Danny McIntosh takes on Steve Spartacus from Ipswich for the vacant English light heavyweight title.

see also
Thaxton confident of Euro glory
02 Oct 08 |  Boxing
Sexton takes Prizefighter title
13 Sep 08 |  Boxing
Thaxton angles for shot at Khan
11 Sep 08 |  Boxing


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