Danny Ball is determined to prove that he’s a cut above Anthony Tomlinson in his bid to become the new English welterweight champion.
The two will touch gloves for those honours at the Venue in Dudley, Ball’s home turf, when fight night arrives on Friday March 17, hosted by BCB Promotions.
Sheffield’s Tomlinson, aged 31, has himself held the Central area belt and IBO Continental strap, over his 15 wins with seven stoppages.
Ball has 12 victories, one defeat and a draw, losing to Ekou Essuman for the Lonsdale belt in painful fashion, suffering a double fracture of the jaw, before being counted out in the sixth.
Tomlinson has been beaten once himself, stunned by a right hand to the head by Dante Jardon when defending his IBO standing.
The two will lock horns for the title vacated by Harry Scarff, with Tomlinson being mandated as a contender some months ago.
Ball points to the opposition he has beaten to claim and then retain the WBC crown, which saw him dismantle Mason Cartwright, in three, and outpoint Sam Gilley, as the underdog.
The 26-year-old took to pro boxing quickly after a short amateur career, which saw nine successes out of 12 bouts for Merry Hill Boxing Club, before a spell on the unlicensed circuit.
He’s the young brother of former Midlands light middleweight champion Jamie Ball and now looks to go one better, by making his mark at national level.
Ball said: “It’s on a par with going for the British (title), in how excited I am to get this opportunity. I’m looking to put on a big performance, in front of my home crowd.
“This could open a lot of doors, I’m ranked No 7 in the country and I’ll be the favourite, which will make a change for me! I’ve been written off before and surprised everyone.
“I’ve looked at my opponent’s boxing resume and, to me, he hasn’t really done anything at this level. He’s not as dangerous as some of the lads that I’ve been in with.
“I’ve watched a bit of him and I know that he tries to knock you out, with every punch that he throws, but I don’t think that he’s as dangerous as Mason Cartwright – and I beat him.
“He’s not a better boxer than Sam Gilley, either, who I won against. I should have beaten Kaisee Benjamin, too, but it ended up being a draw.
“I thought that I did well against Ekow (Essuman), but then I got injured and it was stopped. Looking back, I felt a bit too comfortable going into that.
“We had sparred before and I believed that I had all of the answers. I wasn’t nervous, at all, going in there and perhaps I needed to be.
“When I put pressure on myself, it makes me hungry to perform better and I’ll be looking to harness that nervous energy this time. I’m going to show why I deserve to be a champion.
“I’m a title fighter, it suits me to warm into things and then up the pace. As soon as I get behind the jab, I think I’ll take him apart and box his head off!”
Tickets for the Venue bill are available, priced at £40 standard or £75 VIP ringside, directly from the boxers or by visiting myfighttickets.com.