Kyle Williams has vowed he’ll go to the ends of the earth to dethrone British bantamweight champion Ukashir Farooq.
Williams’ step up after winning the English title will take him north of the border, to the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow, on Thursday (April 25).
The mandated opportunity will not come and go without television coverage, too, as the clash will be screened on the new BBC Scotland channel.
Pakistan-born Scot Farooq makes his second defence of the crown he won in 73 seconds last September against Jamie Wilson, who was dropped three times.
The previous June, Williams showed his mettle by climbing off the floor in the first round to outpoint Thomas Essomba on a split decision, claiming his national honours.
Farooq, aged 24 has since defeated Iain Butcher in an over-the-distance unanimous success, so will be one result away from a Lonsdale belt if he can get another victory.
Williams, from Wolverhampton, stands in his way and insists he’ll be going nowhere. Unbeaten in his 10 contests, the 27-year-old has 10 wins and three TKOs to his credit.
The Midlands Area strap came his way the last he got the job done early, swarming over Jordan Turner until he retired at the end of round seven.
A compelling tussle with Cameroonian gatekeeper Essomba immediately followed, with a six-round points whitewash over Elvis Guillen keeping him busy since.
Williams reckons he cuts more of an imposing figure than Farooq’s previous adversaries, and reckons stamping his authority on proceedings might be the only chance he’ll have.
He said: “I’ve studied him and I know how awkward he’ll be. He likes to come forward and he dips in low when he attacks, but there are other things he does that I’ll look to exploit.
“I think I’ll have the physical edge, when we first met for a press conference I was only 4lb off the weight and I was noticeably bigger than he was.
“I prefer to box on the back-foot, so I’ve got to get the upper hand doing that, start to press and bully him whenever I can. I’ll do whatever it takes.
“I’m under no illusions about what’s in front of me, I need to go to Scotland and rip that belt off him, no one is going to give me anything.
“I’ve got respect for him, I’m sure he can fight as well as he can box and I’ll go to war with him if I have to. I genuinely believe I can adapt to whatever he tries to do.
“There will come a time when I do catch him and, when that happens, I’ve got to make that count. I don’t think people have seen the power that I have.
“I can’t let this opportunity pass me by, ever since I came into boxing I’ve told everyone that it’s my goal to become a British champion. I’m determined to make that dream come true.”
Williams’ transition to boxing has, so far, been a success and he’s sampled glory under the stewardship of Errol Johnson and Paul Mann, joining the BCB Promotions stable.
His former calling was in kickboxing, where he went to the top table by claiming the ICU featherweight title. He also challenged for the ISKA European crown.
He still works at the place where he first learned combat sports as a child, teaching both boxing and kickboxing as an instructor.
Fran Zuccala became his mentor at the Eclipse Kickboxing & Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy, where he reached second dan black belt status.
He took up the sweet science from scratch, with no formal experience, and now shares a training ring with the likes of WBA world super flyweight champion Kal Yafai.
Williams said: “Camp has been good, I’ve put my body through a lot of hard work to get to where I need to be and I’m ready for what’s ahead.
“I’ve had some good sparring against quality opponents, I’m very aware that I’m still learning on the job and it’s been good for my experience.
“I’ve sparred with Kal, pretty much, since I’ve started out in boxing and I must be doing something right, because I keep getting invited back!
“To have a world champion on your doorstep (Yafai is from Birmingham) who you can train with like that is great for me, to be in that company is a boost.
“There have been times when I’ve had some good rounds in the spars, too, and points when I’ve had to grit my teeth. The main thing is that I’ve stayed switched on.
“I may not have started out in boxing, but I feel I’ve adapted to it well. I wouldn’t tell anyone kickboxing is any easier or harder, they are two different sports and it’s about adapting.
“I won a world title in kickboxing, then I couldn’t get a fight for the last two years before I switched over. It was a big decision, to leave something I’d been doing since I was six.
“I was a kicker, but I started to become more of a hitter when I was about 16. That made me think more about boxing, as it was something I’d always loved to watch.
“It was Richard Ghent who taught me a lot of the basics, but he had a family and was opening his gym. He wasn’t ready to coach me full-time, at that point.
“I went with Tyler Shakespeare, but he’s no longer involved in pro boxing. He was a good trainer, but I had to move on.
“I’m with BCB Promotions now and have been for a couple of years. I love working with them and am proud to be a part of the stable. Paul (Mann – Head Trainer) and Errol (Johnson Head of Boxing) will be in my corner and we’ve never lost a fight yet. I’m expecting that to continue.”