Birtley boxing club are hosting a club show tonight (Friday October 25) at the Lancastrian Suite in Dunston, Gateshead (NE11 9JR). The Birtley squad, with GB and England boxers, will take on a team from Monkstown in Ireland. The doors open at 7pm, first bout at 8pm. GB boxer Thomas Hodgson will be in action, boxing for his home club. He spoke to Boxing News.

Looking forward to boxing on your club show?
Ireland have got a team coming over… I can’t really wait. They’re always electric. With all my friends and family coming, the turn out’s big. I’m boxing three weeks later as well in a tournament in Belarus so it’s all good prep for that really. It’ll be good to fight in front of friends and family who haven’t see us box locally since I don’t know when.

What kind of countries do you expect to be at the tournament in Belarus?
With the run up to Tokyo next year I’m thinking the best of the best really. Obviously the home country’s going to be there, Ukraine I think could be there. I’m not sure. I’m just doing my thing, being me. I’m just training, making sure I’m ready and focused on myself. I’m just making sure I’m 100% for when I go so I know I’ve got nothing to worry about.
Hopefully bring a nice gold back and then I’m boxing in December in the GB championships.

You’ve boxed in the GBs before?
I boxed Micky McDonagh and I lost on a 3-2 split. It was one of them ones that could have gone either way. Of course [I’d be happy to do a rematch]. His hands are really fast, he’s sharp, he’s very sharp.
I had a slow first round. The second and third I thought I picked it up a bit.

You lost to Masood Abdullah in the quarter-final of the England Boxing Elite championships earlier this year, what happened?
It was the weight issue. I shouldn’t have been at 60kgs. I was planning on going to 64kgs… I had to crash back down to 60kgs. I messed the weight up to be fair, on any other day I’d beat him. It’s one of them things.
It was rushed the ABAs, proper rushed [but] I would never turn down a fight.
GB know what I can do, they see me spar every week down there. I wasn’t worried after I get. They’ve seen me spar the likes of Luke [McCormack], Calum [French], Micky McDonagh and how I get on with that.

Did you think you’d have had to move up in weight eventually?
Definitely. When you’re down in Sheffield, you doing S&Cs but you’re lifting heavy aren’t you? And I feel like I’m getting stronger with the S&C. I still think I’m developing.

How have you found the move up in weight (from 60 to 63kgs)?
I was walking around at about 65ish anyway so it didn’t really bother us in a way. I couldn’t have gone down to 57kgs, I couldn’t have made 57kgs, no way.
It affected me and it affected a few lads on the GB team. It is what it is, you’ve just got to keep on going on.
When you think about it it’s only an extra three kilos. I’m feeling a lot stronger, I can eat a bit more. So nothing’s really changed. Everyone’s got two arms, two legs, haven’t they?

It’s a shame you, Luke McCormack and Calum French will all have to compete for the same spot?
All from Birtley as well, all at the same weight [on GB]. It’s mad. It’s boxing.
I’ve been sparring with them every week [for five years, but] everyone gets on well at Birtley. It doesn’t affect anything.