Lee Mould faces the prospect of producing the fight of his life to bring the English welterweight title back to Wearside.
The Sunderland boxer challenges for the vacant belt in Blackpool tonight against Adam Little, the hometown fighter with the perfect record.
My performance can’t be anything below 100 per centLEE MOULD
Mould starts as the slight outsider at the Hilton Hotel but he knows the task in front of him.
“I need to be at my best if I’m going to be the champion,” he told the Gazette.
“My performance can’t be anything below 100 per cent.
“We have a game-plan and I’m totally focused.
“Training has gone well, everything in fact has gone great, so there can be no excuses.
“I’m just looking forward to getting in there to fight.”
And fight is the key word for the 25-year-old known as “Lightning Lee” and “Mackem Mexican”.
Little is acknowledged as a clever and smooth boxer and Mould will need to knock the Lancashire lad out of his rhythm from round one through to 10.
“Pressure,” was the succinct answer from the Mal Gates-trained fighter.
“Little likes to box and has a good jab and I know I need to put him under pressure.”
Mould can box, though his approach is more scrap than style.
“Mal will tell you I can box, but when I get in the ring I just seem to start fighting,” he smiled.
“But the gameplan is there and I’m going in there to carry it out.”
It looks a potential ‘fight of the year’ between two boxers bang on form.
Both go into the contest as Area champions, Mould winning the Northern version in a derby thriller with Craig Dixon in Gateshead and Little beating Yorkshire’s Ryan Hardy 98-94 at the Hilton Hotel.
They look well matched, Mould unbeaten in eight with seven victories and a draw, while Little has won 12 out of 12.
Little, 24, has two stoppages on his record – the same number as Mould – and has 61 rounds under his belt, 24 more than the South Shields-trained boxer.
A points decision looks probable and Mould has no concerns about being on ‘foreign’ soil.
“It’s just a ring to me,” said the former Hylton Castle ABC star.
“I don’t think being the away fighter makes it harder and I hope the judging is not harsh.”
The pair weighed in well inside the welterweight limit at the seafront hotel.
Mould was 10st 4lbs, with Little just half a pound lighter.