Sam Sheedy says the pressure is off him after being branded the underdog for his ‘derby’ clash with Nav Mansouri on July 4.
The Sheffield light middleweight takes on Rotherham’s reigning English champion at the Magna Centre and is confident he will take his belt off him.
Sheedy, from Wisewood, knows many expect him to lose his unbeaten record but says that simply inspires him to do well.
“When I was an amateur I felt like an underdog and turned professional I thought I’d do well but a lot of people didn’t,” he said.
“I have had 15 fights and won 15 so you could say I am doing alright and boxing for the English title.
“In the last seven or eight fights I have not been thought of as an underdog any more. People thought I was going to do something now.
“I did feel a lot of pressure and recently my trainer Glyn Rhodes called me the underdog, I didn’t think I was.
“But I didn’t take offence; the pressure has just gone. I do thrive under pressure but the fact it’s gone has made it a little bit easier for me.”
Sheedy does not accept the suggestion that Mansouri has a better pedigree. “He has got a few good names on his record.
“But so have I. We both prevailed over Max Maxwell. Nav said Bradley Pryce (Sheedy beat him in November) was past it, I’d just like to say to Nav that once I beat him he can re-build his career by boxing Bradley and see if he thinks he’s past it then!”
Sheedy accepts his rival is a “really strong powerful, explosive operator.” But he said: “He is going to be in for a big shock when he realises how good I actually am. He is going to revert back to his old ways and his old ways are perfect for my ways. I look a lot lesser a calibre of boxer from outside the ring. Everybody I spar with says they didn’t think I was going to be that good.”
Sheedy said to become English champion would be a “absolutely fantastic...then I want to move on to bigger and better things straight away.”
He is taking around 200 fans to the title tilt and is not fazed about campaigning in Mansouri’s home town.
“I won’t be building it up (mentally) and getting anxious or nervous. I’ll take it in my stride. I’ll win the fight and look back and think: That was massive.’”
Asked if he had any doubts he would triumph, Sheedy, 27, replied: “I am too awkward I am too slippy, I am too slick. He’s not as good as me. Simple as that.”