Henney won't be hurried

MURRAY GREIG -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

At age 42, Egerton Emba -- who used to be 1988 Canadian Olympic silver medallist Egerton Marcus -- figures he's ready to move from the old folks home to contender's corner.

And based on the result of his first fight in six years, maybe that's not such a leap of faith.

Emba improved to 17-4 (12 KOs) by notching a lopsided eight-round decision over Detroit's Carl Gathright in front of a capacity crowd at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, B.C. on July 21.

That's the same Gathright who KO'd current Canadian cruiserweight champ Ryan Henney at the Shaw Conference Centre in 2005 and split a pair of fights with Edmonton's James Cermak here last year.

In his first bout since being KO'd by Razor Ruddock in a Canadian heavyweight title fight in 2001, Emba dropped the durable Gathright twice in the opening round. Immediately following the victory, his management team declared their intention to challenge for Henney's title this fall.

The champ, however, is in no hurry. And he's got a message for Emba's crew: "Show me the money."

"I'm not taking anything away from Egerton ... I mean, he was an Olympic medallist, he fought for a world title, he's been around forever," Henney said from his home in Saskatoon yesterday.

"But if he wants a shot at my title, he's going to have to do two things: First, he has to fight his way into a position where he's actually earned it. Second, his promoters have to come up with realistic money.

"There's no way in the world I'm going out to the coast for a $5,000 payday against a guy who hasn't beaten any of the Canadian contenders.

"I know Egerton's people are on a kind of an emotional high because of his win over Gathright, but that doesn't prove anything. Guys like Cermak and (Frank) White and (Kevin) Reynolds have all worked hard and fought who they had to fight in order to get a ranking, so why should Egerton think he can just leapfrog over all of them?

"I worked hard to get this belt, and now things are going good for me. I'm getting offers from the States, and there's some real interesting possibilities unfolding for me. If Egerton Emba thinks I'm gonna jump through hoops to give him a title shot, he's dreaming. Let him earn it, like everyone else."

Henney said he expects to fight on a card headlined by Jelena Mrdjenovich here next month, although no opponent has been signed and he doesn't know if it will be a title defence.

"I just want to stay busy - and keep fighting in Edmonton," he said. "I love Edmonton; it's become a second home for me and the fight fans there are very knowledgeable and supportive. If I can continue to stay active and keep improving, I hope I can repay the Edmonton fans by bringing a world-ranked contender or a Commonwealth title fight to the city."


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