SHEFFIELD puncher Adam Etches is taking the Eastern European route to his first title.
The Birley Bomber, 21, takes on Belarusian Andrei Abramenka for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) youth title at Ponds Forge on April 13.
Etches has a 100 per cent win ratio on his record, after beating fighters from Estonia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Hungary and the Urkaine.
His latest contest represents his biggest risk. Abramenka has won 18 of 22 fights and has gone the full 12 round distance with former European welterweight champion Matthew Hatton. He was also one of Ricky Hatton’s main sparring partners in the run up to The Hitman’s comeback fight with Vyacheslav Senchenko.
“It’s a massive step up for me, but this the sort of fight I want,” Etches said.
“He’s won a lot more fights than I have, he’s never been stopped and he’s proven how tough he is.”
Etches had wanted to face Chris Eubank Jnr. However, with the Brighton man seemingly unwilling, Etches is not prepared to wait. “I can’t hang around for him when a chance like this has come up,“ he stated. “Him turning it down has been a blessing in disguise because I’ve got a title fight now. I’ve always had good support from Sheffield people and I hope they’ll get behind me again.”
Abramenka, 25, said: “I have no fears of Etches. I have moved up in weight for this fight. I’m confident of winning. I’ve faced better people in sparring, like Hatton, than Etches has fought so I don’t have anything to worry about.”
The bill also sees fast-rising lightweight Scott Jenkins in a six round bout against international opposition.