Boxing: Aberdeen’s Traynor to fight ex-European champ in Barcelona tomorrow

Darren Traynor
Darren Traynor

Aberdeen super featherweight Darren Traynor today vowed to reign in Spain to rocket up the rankings in search of another major title shot.

The 31-year-old will face former European champion Juli Gilner in Barcelona in a non-title clash tomorrow.

Traynor accepts facing the highly-rated Spaniard on his home turf will be one of the toughest fights of his career.

However, “Trayn-Wreck” is confident of securing a victory that he hopes can elevate him up the standings to open up a potential route to belt glory.

Traynor said: “I need big fights like this to get my rankings up.

“If I can get my rankings up to the top again hopefully the big title fights can come at European, Commonwealth or British title level.

“That is the level I want to be at and I want the belts.

“I want to be used to going out of my comfort zone and taking on big fights overseas.

“This is what I train for, those big fights.”

Traynor can expect a belligerent reception at the Palau Olímpic Vall d’Hebron venue when facing the former Spanish champion.

It will not faze the Aberdonian.

He said: “The crowd will be hostile but that is always the case no matter where you go when facing a home fighter.

“Ultimately it is only Gilner and myself in the ring so I just have to keep myself in the zone and be focused.

“Gilner has more to lose and I have everything to gain.”

Gilner has lost just three professional bouts with the most recent defeat a sixth round stoppage to Martin Joseph Ward in a European title fight last December. The Spaniard bounced back with a unanimous victory over Lesther Cantillano in May.

Traynor said: “I have watched a wee bit of footage of Gilner although I don’t really like watching opponents too much.

“Gilner likes to come in and swing a lot but I just have to retain my composure, establish my jab and use my boxing.

“I have learnt a lot and am now more relaxed instead of going in and trying to rip my opponent’s head off.

“Now I am more composed and it is just a case of keeping myself focused and in the zone.”

Traynor will face Gilner on the back of a title win having secured the Scottish super lightweight belt with a stoppage of Eddie Doyle in February.

In one of the best domestic fights of the year Traynor triumphed with a seventh round stoppage of the defending champion. Both suffered bad cuts through head-knocks.

Traynor has a scar above his right eye, a permanent reminder of that brutal fight.

He said: “It is another one to add to the collection.

“The pro game is rough and it is spot on what the referee’s say to ‘protect yourself at all times’.

“Hopefully in this fight I don’t give Gilner the opportunity to get in close to me and I will keep him at reach.

“I stepped up two weights to fight Doyle but respect to him as he put up a good fight.

“Boxing is a tough sport and I respect anyone who steps into the ring.

“No one is invincible and everyone is beatable.

“It is just about keeping your mind strong.

“It can be really tough in there and you also have to put so much hard work in before the fight. But when you get a win all that becomes worth it.”

Traynor will face Gilner on the under-card of the European Super bantamweight title fight between Abigail Medina and Anthony Settoul.

As part of his preparation for tomorrow’s fight Traynor travelled to Belfast for a training camp with Paul Hyland jr who was training for a British title shot.

Hyland jr lost his Lonsdale belt bid by stoppage to Lewis Kitson last week, his first pro defeat in 19 fights.

Traynor said: “My time in Belfast was great I got a few eight rounds in with Hyland jr at a good pace.

“Andrejs Podusovs (IBA Intercontinental lightweight champion) came over for sparring and he is a bit like Gilner as he likes to come in and throw a lot of shots.

“I am just looking forward to doing the job in Spain.”