NAVID MANSOURI - chasing a £32,000 winner’s purse in TV’s Prizefighter tournament this weekend - might be secretly relieved he is getting into the ring with any boxer who is NOT Kell Brook.
The unbeaten Rotherham light middleweight had his nose broken by an upper cut while sparring the Sheffielder recently.
The punch - similar to one that Brook floored Hector Saldivia last month - meant he had to pull out of his scheduled next fight. But the 26-year-old is now ready to battle out the quarter final on Saturday.
Mansouri is a tasty bet at 7-1 to win at Bethnal Green. While some favour Craig McEwan or Larry Ekundayo, there are others who feel ‘Nav’ is capable of an upset.
Handler Dave Coldwell said: “Nav is seen as one of the dark horses. There are a lot of backing for people in the trade for him. Nav is very fast and sharp and has a higher punch rate than most.
“He likes a tear-up and has a good background after sparring in the past with the likes of Paulie Malignaggi, Ryan Rhodes and Matthew Mallin.
“In a three rounds fight it is about establishing a rhythm as quickly as possible and if he does that you will see his punches in bunches.”
Mansouri (won 8 (KO 3) + lost 0 + drawn 1) can be reckless at times, concedes Coldwell.
“While he is laid-back outside the ring, he gets very excited in it. He is prepared to take a punch to give one.
“At his best his style reminds me a little of Carl Froch. He wants to nail you even if that sometimes leaves him wide open.”