Jason Cunningham has a simple message for Commonwealth title challenger Reece Bellotti – show me what you’ve got.
Bellotti is one of the up-and-coming stars championed by Matchroom Boxing and has stopped nine of his ten opponents so far.
His rise and strong backing have earned him a shot at Cunningham’s Commonwealth featherweight title in a bout which will headline Matchroom’s latest NXTGen card at York Hall in London on Friday night.
Cunningham is out to show the hype surrounding Bellotti is premature and is determined to hold onto his crown.
“I’m definitely the biggest test of his career so far and we’ll see how he handles that,” the Woodlands fighter told the Free Press.
“He’s never been 12 rounds so he doesn’t have the experience that I do. It’ll be interesting to see how he copes with that.
“I look at this one like the fight I had with Kal Yafai. All the hype was on Yafai and I’d say more deservedly so than Bellotti.
“I went 12 rounds with Yafai and Reece Bellotti is not Kal Yafai, who has proved himself to be world class.
“Bellotti is a big puncher but I took everything Yafai had and stood up to it so it doesn’t worry me.
“And he’s never really been hit himself so no one really knows what he can take.
“I’m confident I can deal with him and make a big impression.
“Let’s see what he’s got.”
Cunningham and Bellotti share a mutual opponent in Jamie Speight.
Bellotti stopped Speight in eight rounds in July while Cunningham picked up a comfortable points triumph over ten rounds in March.
Cunningham said: “Speight is probably his best opponent so far.
“I watched that fight and I thought Speight made him look daft at times.
“Bellotti came forward and was very aggressive but he was missing with a lot.
“I know I can take advantage of that and cause him a lot more problems than he’s ever had to deal with before.”
Cunningham insists he had no hesitation in taking a fight which outsiders will see as set up for Bellotti to triumph.
“They’re talking about this as a springboard for Bellotti to go onto really big things,” the 28-year-old said.
“If I win on Friday, that can all be for me. It’s taken me two years to get back into a big fight after the Yafai fight and I’m not going to let it go.
“I’m a fighter that will fight anyone and take any risks. This is the headline fight on a TV card.
“So why would I turn it down. And as I’ve said, I’m very confident I’ll get the win.”