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Boxing: Limond determined to make experience count

By any measure, Willie Limond's encounter with Eddie Doyle at the St Andrew's Sporting Club tomorrow night is significant.

The two Glaswegians will be fighting for the vacant Commonwealth light-welterweight belt, which is a prestigious enough title, but this will be the 40th fight of Limond's career as well as the 40th anniversary of the St Andrew's Club itself. "I'm not going to lie," Limond said, "it doesn't get any easier."

He started boxing when he was six and has been a professional for 14 years, but there is no sign of his commitment waning. At 33, and with a career littered with promise and satisfaction, as well as the occasional high-profile defeat at the elite level, Limond has no need to seek redemption. What drives him on is the absence of disillusionment.

Doyle is six years younger, but has fought only 12 times and has not faced an opponent of Limond's calibre. He should be more sprightly, since Limond's years in the sport have been bruising, but experience is likely to be the deciding factor. Limond has faced Amir Khan in London, as well as Erik Morales in Mexico, so this occasion should hold little apprehension.

"It does get harder as you get older," Limond said. "But I've always trained at a good intensity. I've fought at the top level. I've not won them all, but I've been in there with the best and I've got a lot of experience. There are not really any big names on Eddie's card, except maybe Gary McArthur, so this is going to be a major step up for him. He is undefeated, so that's got me motivated. I want to bounce back from my last title fight defeat. To beat Eddie to the Commonwealth title would be the perfect answer to that."

Limond lost his British lightweight title challenge to Anthony Crolla at Ravenscraig in November 2011, but has since defeated William Warburton having stepped up in weight. The defeat to Crolla did not affect their long-standing friendship, and the Englishman even sparred with Limond during his preparations for the Doyle fight.

Under the tutelage of Peter Harrison, Limond believes he remains in good enough condition to challenge for domestic titles, and there are no thoughts of impending retirement. Boxing has become a way of life, and Limond is not yet ready to relinquish it, whatever the outcome of his contest with Doyle.

"I know every fight can be your last, I've know that from day one," Limond said. "But the only time I ever came close to thinking about chucking the fight game was when I wasn't getting any fights. I used to think, 'what am I doing this for, what's the point?'

"But I believe you're always learning, in every single fight you still pick something up. I won't take anything for granted just because I've got a lot more experience. I've trained hard, I'm fit, I feel as though I'm punching a lot faster. I feel strong. I'm looking forward to it."

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