JEZ WILSON predicts a bright future ahead of opponent Liam Cameron.
Or to be more specific, he predicts a bright future for him...after Saturday night.
Wilson, who celebrates his 33rd birthday today, takes on Cameron - who at 21 has been tipped for big things - for the Central Area title at Don Valley stadium, Sheffield, on Saturday.
He respects Cameron’s previous pedigree in the amateurs, his boxing style, strength, size and energy.
And while he thinks he will blossom under the training programme run by ex world champion Clinton Woods, he is confident Saturday’s ‘city derby’ will one day be viewed as a blip on his rival’s record.
“I have got a lot of time for Liam and Clinton and I am sure Liam has got a top future ahead of him,” said Wilson.
“He is a nice kid and I always looked up to Clinton when he was in training at our gym.
“I certainly would never underestimate Liam or anybody else. It doesn’t matter if Liam or Mike Tyson hits you on the chin with those little gloves, you are going to feel it.”
But Wilson firmly believes he can win the middleweight battle, reasoning: “This is a proper fight not some unbeaten kid trying to improve his record against a journeyman.
“It is a 50-50 fight where a lot of pride is on the line.
“The way I am approaching it is this: I have to go out there and do what I do.
“I am not going to dance around like Sugar Ray Leonard but I will adapt to whatever comes my way and I am completely confident I can win.”
Cameron has told The Star that winning this first title would feel like lifting a world crown and that’s the way Wilson feels too.
“It is really important for me to get this - you just never know in this game how many more fights you are going to have as so many things are out of your control,” said Wilson.
“Liam has got years to compete for titles - but I am sure I will be winning this one, on Saturday.”
Cameron is a full-time boxer who has the luxury of being able to train and rest as much as he wants, or Woods dictates.
There is no such opportunity for Wilson, who is a crew manager for South Yorkshire fire brigade, based in Darnall.
He only finished work on Tuesday - yet says his ‘other life’ will not be a factor.
“If I was to lose I would not be blaming it on work,” he said. “There would be no excuses.
“I have always managed to train twice a day, sometimes three times a day. I am used to it. Maybe it is hard to get up at 6am and go on a run before going to work, but it is my choice to have made these sacrifices.
“If anything it is harder on my wife, who is seven and a half months pregnant. But it will all be worth it when I win on Saturday.”