Anthony Nelson is not going into his world title eliminator fight with Charlie Edwards ‘just to make the numbers up’, says coach Mal Gates.
The Horsley Hill boxer steps into the ring on Saturday night at the Metro Radio Arena for one of the biggest bouts of his career, just two months after ending his long exile from the sport.
Nella will come face to face with the highly-rated Edwards for the WBA Continental Flyweight title
Nelson will be a huge underdog for the fight, but coach and manager Gates says that doesn’t faze their camp, and he has warned Edwards to prepare for a real battle.
“Edwards thinks he just has to turn up and win,” said Gates. “He’s a talent, there’s no doubt about that, but by the end he will know he’s been in a fight.
“We know how to beat him, we know the tactics we want to use, it’s just a case of hopefully putting everything into place on the night.
“Nella’s the underdog, but we don’t mind that. Edwards is the Matchroom fighter, the golden boy, the one they’ve invested so much in, while we’re the sacrificial lambs – but it doesn’t always work like that.
“We’re not there to just make the numbers up and he’ll realise that on Saturday night.
“I’ve got total respect for Charlie Edwards. It’s a hard fight, but you wouldn’t expect nothing less at this level – and equally, it’s going to be a hard fight for him too.”
Nelson is hoping to climb his way back to the top of the boxing tree after taking two years out of the ring after losing his Commonwealth title to Jamie Conlan at the Copperbox Arena, in the Olympic Park.
The Harton and Westoe Gym-based fighter made his comeback in April, beating Simas Volosinas on points over six rounds.
It was a performance, however, that left Nelson far from happy as he showed ring rust after so long away from the gym.
Gates, though, says his charge is looking in great shape now ahead of the contest.
“We’ve had a great camp and done probably the most sparring that we’ve ever done,” he added.
“Nella’s in great shape, full of confidence and really fancies it.”
Nelson v Edwards is part of the undercard as Newcastle’s Lewis Ritson and Sunderland’s Josh Kelly jointly top the bill.