Carruthers to face Gray on Friday - and could again in September
Terry Carruthers has been told the opponent he boxes on Friday could also be the man he faces for a title next season.
The blood-and-thunder Second City light-middleweight was set to fight for the vacant Midlands Area light-middleweight strap on Tommy Owens' good-looking bill at the Paragon Hotel, Birmingham, on Friday evening [June 21] - only for his scheduled foe to suffer a last-minute stoppage defeat.
Ingle-trained switch-hitter Tyan Booth took a late-notice eight-rounder with unbeaten Chris Eubank Jr on a Channel 5-televised card earlier in the month, but the gamble to earn two pay-days in quick succession back-fired when the Nottingham stylist, who usually gives his better-prepared opponents a run for their money, was halted with only 29 seconds left on the clock.
Slapped with a 28-day suspension and the third inside-the-distance defeat on his 23-bout professional ledger, Booth's intriguing-looking West vs East Midlands, stylist vs scrapper title showdown was off - and it's not likely to be re-arranged either.
So instead of a Area title scrap over ten, Terry, 27 and with a misleading-looking 13-15-6  paid tab that has seen him face several premier prospects with little notice, will now swap leather with Telford's Kieron Gray - a bullet-domed, durable ex-Area title challenger who's been in with top-class prospects like Ryan Aston and Anthony Ogogo - over eight.
Though far from ideal after preparing for a tall, gangly stylist, Carruthers will just be happy to step inside a ring again - having only had one outing [a points defeat in Denmark in the Spring] since battling to reach the final of Prizefighter at the tail-end of last year.
"If it catches fire and is a good, competitive scrap, i'll look at doing it again for the Area title [vacated by recently-retired Jamie Ball] in September," said the ex-British Masters champion's trainer Jon Pegg, who masterminded his charge's purple patch [several away wins, including one over former English welterweight boss Adnan Amar] and who also acts as matchmaker for promoter and former pro cruiserweight Owens.