THOMAS STALKER, now based at the MGM gym in Marbella, is building up to his second fight with new trainer Seamus Macklin. The GB team captain at London 2012 will box Ben Wager on the Tyson Fury-Dereck Chisora undercard in Manchester on July 26.

“He beat Kofi [Yates] in his last fight. He’s tough, strong, comes forward. He’s done quite a lot of sparring with Scott Cardle and Scott said to me he can punch and he’s a strong, good fighter so I’ve got to be on it. I always train hard so I won’t be taking him lightly. I’m going to be treating him with the respect he deserves,” Stalker told Boxing News.

He’s pleased too with how his bond with Seamus Macklin, who’s younger than Stalker, has developed. “Seamus is a brilliant trainer. He’s very knowledgable for a 25-year-old. Take the age out of it, he’s a very good trainer. He’s got my respect in the gym and that’s what matters. We work on stuff every day. I’ve got a good relationship with him in the corner and even outside of boxing we click. It’s nice to have that good relationship,” Thomas said.

“I do a lot more pads here. There’s a lot of sparring here, a lot of technique… A lot of circuits, my endurance has come on. It’s just brilliant… I’ve been sparring Bradley Saunders, I’ve been sparring Peter McDonagh, Declan Geraghty and Anton Fitzgerald. I’ve had a mixture of everything really.”

Although Bradley Saunders is a rising prospect in the same division as Stalker, light-welterweight, the Liverpudlian doesn’t expect to have to compete against his gym-mate.

“There’s that many different ways you can go. He’s probably going to go the WBO route, I’ll probably go the British route. We’ll go separate ways. To have me and him in the same gym, you couldn’t pay for better sparring,” Stalker said. “I think it’s brilliant the way we’ve got each other in the gym. We just work off each other.”

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