Sam Sheedy says he is facing the biggest opportunity of his boxing life on Saturday.
The Sheffield light middleweight fights African Frank Dodze in a Commonwealth title eliminator.
“It is my big break” he says. “I win this and we can order the Commonwealth title champion to fight me within 90 days. That’s such a brilliant opportunity.”
Sheedy, 27, deserves a positive break after a heroic but ultimately losing performance last time out - a controversial points defeat to Rotherham’s Nav Mansouri, at the Magna Centre, where he returns for Saturday’s bout.
“I lost my last fight against Nav but if anything that has raised my stock” he said. “I think I have gained more fans and profile from that. It has not held me back, it has propelled me forward to box this fight which is going to boost my profile even more. One hundred percent - it’s made me a better boxer.
“I am still gutted that I lost but I think what is really good about it is that the fight was on TV so I don’t need to tell everybody I should have won. Every single person I have spoken to thinks I won that fight.”
He said that made it: “the best kind of loss. Now I feel liberated, I feel a weight has gone off my back. I can finally be Sam Sheedy, how I perform in the gym and take that to the ring. Because I only feel like I have been taking 60-70% into the ring with me.”
Sheedy, who has completely recovered from a facial-glassing injury in a Sheffield pub in the Summer, predicts a careful start against Dodze, from Ghana.
“I am going to go out feel him out, have a look at him. I am quite versatile as a fighter, I have always been able
to adapt to my opponent’s style. I feel 10 times more dangerous than I have been before and that’s down to the fact that I have not got an unbeaten record. It has made me a more complete fighter.”
Sheedy interrupted his preparation to criticise some fight-fans who had said they were going to buy tickets for Saturday’s show, but then pulled out.
“It’s to do with a certain group of fans that jumped on the bandwagon for the Nav fight” he said. “And now they have just jumped off it all of a sudden. I understand if you don’t want to come to a fight, if you can’t afford it, but when you are just lying? He claimed that he knew, from monitoring social media, of people who had been lavishing money on drinks and drugs, rather than saving up for the fight they’d said they were interested in.”