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Liam Shinkwin hails impact of trainer Gary Logan ahead of Wembley Arena date with Ryan Taylor
Tomorrow Bushey's own Liam Shinkwin will face the biggest night of his career so far at Wembley Arena as two unbeaten fighters go head-to-head.
Shinkwin, who has five wins and a draw as a professional, will face Ryan Taylor for the Southern Area lightweight title as part of Matchroom Boxing's 'London's Finest' show, which will be aired on Sky Sports.
The 27-year-old accepts this will be the toughest fight of his career so far as Taylor, who has won seven times and drawn once, is a powerful puncher and has knocked Shinkwin down in sparring in the past.
The former Bushey Meads pupil has not been as active as Taylor; with Shinkwin's last fight coming ten months ago compared to Taylor, who fought in December.
However, Shinkwin has a fine amateur pedigree and believes he is reaping the benefits of working with highly-respected trainer Gary Logan.
The former Bushey Boxing Club member "hopes this fight will open a few doors" with it being part of an Eddie Hearn show and believes it is a 50-50 contest.
He said: "I can't wait for the fight. I am a little bit nervous but that is to be expected because I'm only human.
"The weigh in is tomorrow (Friday) and I am looking forward to getting that out of the way as it is the first time I have had a weigh-in 24 hours before a fight and not on the day."
Tomorrow will be the first time Shinkwin has fought in a ten-round bout, whereas Taylor's last contest was the same distance.
However, Shinkwin insists that is not a problem and is confident he would be able to last the distance if needed.
"My last three fights have only been four-round fights so it is a big step up. But I don't see it as an issue at all. Everyone needs to do ten rounds in sparring and I'm looking forward to it.
"I think the ten rounds will suit me because I always stay in good shape."
“I've been really happy with my training camp,” he continued. “I have had some really good sparring and I am happy with how it went."
Shinkwin changed trainers last September but a back injury meant he only started working with Logan full time in November.
Logan, who is a former British and Commonwealth title challenger, received high praise from ex-boxer, promoter and pundit Spencer Fearon this week and Shinkwin also had kind words for his trainer.
Shinkwin said: "I can’t tell you how happy I am that I have crossed paths with Gary. I really love boxing again and am enjoying working with him.
"He has definitely played a big part in my development. I have got to be honest, I used to watch boxing before but I didn’t used to study boxing. Now he’ll say you should watch this fight and I am watching past fights and I am really enjoying it and studying the game."
Logan had initially suggested to Shinkwin that the Bushey man should take an easier fight for their first bout together but Shinkwin was keen to fight for the Southern Area title.
Speaking to the Watford Observer last month, Logan said: "His preparations have been going well. It is a tough fight against somebody that has been more active than he has been lately but it is one Liam can win.
"He also really believes he can win the fight and the main thing is he is confident.
"I offered him a six-rounder to ease his way back in but he said he wanted this fight now."
Taylor is a strong puncher and like Shinkwin, is improving all the time. He is trained by Tony Sims, who coaches some of London’s brightest talents including Darren Barker, who headlines Saturday’s show.
Taylor had around 80 amateur fights but Shinkwin enjoyed a hugely successful amateur career; winning the Junior ABAs and a silver medal in the Junior Olympics.
Logan believes Shinkwin’s amateur background was initially his downfall but has been trying to hone his skills for the pro game.
Logan said: "I have known Liam many years now through friends and from watching his fights.
"I said at the time that he had a very amateur style and that it would not be conducive to the pro game and I wanted him to settle down and tailor himself more to being a professional fighter and he has done that."
He continued:"Ryan may have been more active but he hasn't had the international background that Liam has had and I think international experience can count for a lot if they can carry their style into the professional game."
Logan added that this Saturday’s fight with Taylor will be “a good benchmark to see where Liam is”.
Shinkwin, who is sponsored by Lantern Recovery, concluded: "I would like to think this will be my best performance.
“It has been a long time since I fought and the only downfall getting in the ring will be my inactivity because my last fight was in April.
"But I am sure after the first couple of rounds I will get the ball rolling and I am just looking forward to the fight."
Shinkwin’s cousin Miles is also fighting at Wembley Arena on April 20. Click here to read his latest interview with the Watford Observer.