Anthony Nelson’s Commonwealth title rival Jamie Conlan is convinced “the little men will steal the show” in London on Saturday night.
Nelson makes the maiden defence of his super-flyweight championship against his fellow unbeaten fighter at the Copperbox Arena.
The 8st 3lb men prove the chief support to a heavyweight date between Hughie Fury and Fred Kassi.
Conlan, who hopes to become Northern Ireland’s next superstar, expects an explosive battle in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
“I can’t wait for it,” said the 29-year-old, who is just 11 months the junior of the champion. “I think our styles will make for a thrilling fight.
“I’m really excited for it and I think the little men will steal the show.”
I’m really excited for it and I think the little men will steal the show.
Conlan is out to snatch the Commonwealth belt from the champ, but the Gazette reported yesterday how Nelson’s coach Mal Gates said that the challenger will be making a big mistake if he underestimates the South Shields FC-sponsored local hero.
There has been talk, including from both boxers, of a Conlan v Paul Butler world title showdown.
But the WBO inter-continental belt holder says there is no chance of him taking Nelson lightly.
“Anthony is a tough man and has a great engine,” he said. “I’ve studied him and I rate him.
“How good? I’m not sure now but I kind of know within the first 30 seconds or certainly within the first round how good an opponent is.
“I’m certainly looking forward to the fight and trying to win a prestigious belt.”
It is the biggest of his career, as it is for Nelson too.
Conlan’s ambition is to follow in the ringsteps of another Belfast fighter, IBF and WBA world super-bantamweight champion Carl Frampton.
“Of course,” said Conlan. “We were in the same Irish team for many years, have trained together a lot and been friends a long time.
“I’d love to do what Carl has done, that would be brilliant.”