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By Dominic Hadi (Instagram – @domhadi)

On Saturday night Siesta Boxing returns to Bracknell with what is set to be another scintillating fight card. Once again headlined by local fighter Luther ‘Black Panther’ Clay taking on the experienced Meriton Karaxha in what may be a defining fight the twenty three year old Clay.

I caught up with Luther to discuss this week’s events and the opportunities victory will lead to.

Luther on his opponent

This is going to be a test for sure. Karaxha hasn’t lost in his last seven and has won a couple of titles in those fights so he will be looking to come out and get the win in opposition territory. I know I will have to showcase my full skills on Saturday and I’m looking forward to doing so.

Luther on his amateur career

I didn’t have many fights in all honesty. I fought 12 amateur bouts winning 9 of them. The losses were always against top opponents, one of which was in the ABA’s, the other in the semi-finals of the Haringey cup. They were tough losses, but I was always in those fights and with a couple of changes I could’ve got those wins. I then took two years off from boxing as I was unable to get to training and I didn’t get back into it until I started university and even then it was just to keep fit. I considered white collar or returning to amateur, but I just knew that I wanted more and I haven’t looked back on my decision.

Luther on Siesta Boxing

It’s nothing but respect for Siesta Boxing. Al and the team have always been good to me and I enjoy working with them. Al is a straight talker and will tell me when I’ve done something wrong. You need that honesty in a business relationship as I’m going to make mistakes and as long I know my team will be there to lay the truth out to me then I know I’m with the right people and I repay that back to Siesta by putting on the best show I can.

Luther on hometown advantage

I love being able to fight in Bracknell because the other semi-local places I can fight would be in London such as York hall, which don’t get me wrong is a historic venue, but I like that I can fight in my own backyard in front of my friends and family. Karaxha is coming and fighting his first fight in the UK on Saturday having only ever fought in Belgium. Respect to him for that and while my main focus is always the fight itself, he will know that he is coming in to enemy territory so to speak and I’m going to make sure the crowd see me get my hand raised at the end of this fight.

Luther on rivalries in the sport

People say boxing is the gentleman’s sport and I believe there is and there needs to be respect between opponents as anyone who steps in that ring deserves to be respected for doing so, but at the end of the day we are all humans and you’re not always going to see eye to eye with certain people. If I didn’t like you before the fight then that means I still won’t like you after and that’s fine. You will have my respect for standing toe to toe with another man and boxing for victory, but I’m a man of principles and I will always stick by them.

Luther on Titles

In all honesty, titles have not been the major focus so far in my career. Because I had such a short amateur career, Al and I agreed we wanted to challenge myself with good fights before we look to titles. I have had fights in my 12 professional bouts that were there to ramp up my techniques and game plans. These early fights will define me more than a title would, but right now we are in discussions for potentially fighting for a title later this year should I properly showcase my skills on Saturday against Karaxha. My birthday is in October so I would love to get myself that belt as an early birthday present and then we keep going, climbing the ladder onto bigger and better fights.

Siesta Boxing Presents Summer Ball on Saturday 29th June at the Bracknell Leisure Centre – Fight Card



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