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Page last updated at 17:22 GMT, Thursday, 12 November 2009

Mathews fighting for his future

Derry Mathews
Scouser Derry Mathews is the former WBU world featherweight champion

Liverpool super-featherweight Derry Mathews will be aiming to prove his critics wrong with victory over Scott Lawton in Stoke on Friday night.

Mathews, 26, goes into the fight on the back of a near-disastrous 18 months, which have seen him lose three of his last four fights by stoppage.

But he told BBC Radio Merseyside: "I know the game inside out and when it's time to get out I'll know.

"I'm here for a few more years yet and I'm just thinking about winning."

Mathews had been linked with a possible WBO World Title shot before his first professional defeat in April 2008 at the hands of Choi Tseveenpurev in Bolton.

Shortly afterwards he switched from Frank Warren Promotions to David Haye's Hayemaker Promotions.

But his first fight under the Hayemaker banner saw him stopped by Irishman Martin Lindsay in a British title eliminator.

At the time of the ninth-round stoppage Mathews had appeared to be cruising to victory. And his shock defeat was then followed by a third at the hands of serial title challenger Harry Ramogoadi in March.

The last 12 months have been the worst of my life. I wouldn't wish it on any other boxer

Derry Mathews

The fight against Lawton is the first for Mathews, the British Boxing Writers' Young Boxer of the Year for 2007, under Ricky Hatton's promotional outfit.

And Mathews admits that he is just looking for a fresh start at the Fenton Manor sports complex.

"The last 12 months have been the worst of my life," he said. "I wouldn't wish it on any other boxer but I'm a man and I've got to get on with it.

"I've lost three fights out of my last four. Everyone knows that. But it's how I deal with it.

"I've dealt with it and, come Friday night, people are going to get a shock. They're going to see the best of me."

The former WBU world featherweight champion will be facing former lightweight Lawton at super-featherweight.

But, given his recent run, Mathews is adamant that he has to face a fighter of Lawton's quality rather than taking the 'journeyman' option.

"I want to fight the best and, if I beat Scott Lawton, I'm back at the top of the mix.

"I could have boxed a journeyman but where would I have been from there? It's obviously another win but I need big fights."