26-year-old Ryan Walker (8-0) takes on Michael Ramabeletsa (16-17) for the vacant English super-bantamweight belt on November 17 at the iconic York Hall.
The fight will act as chief support on Steve Goodwin’s show, headlined by Wadi Camacho and Arfan Iqbal as they clash for the vacant Commonwealth cruiserweight championship.
'The Lion’ will be taking part in his first ten-rounder in the paid ranks in what will be his fourth outing of 2018 - a busy year for Walker.
The 8-0 prospect caught up with BBN’s Joseph Siza to discuss his upcoming English title tilt:
Have there been any differences in preparations for this training camp compared to previous ones?
"Preparation has still been the same really but this time it has been more scheduled. I have included more strength and conditioning work for this camp. I’ve been training much harder for this fight, been more dedicated and much more focussed."
How do you reflect on your last performance in September?
"I was happy with my last performance because I dominated every round and did what I had to do. I stuck to the job, stuck to the gameplan and I felt it was an easy fight because nothing really bothered me. It was still a little test and I overcame it. It was another six-rounder under my belt and I got through it easily – so now I’m doing 10-rounders, I shouldn’t have a problem with it."
What do you know of your opponent?
"I know that he is very experienced, has had a lot of fights and is coming to win. It’s going to be a nice little step up. I’m much younger than him, he has 10 years on me so I’ve got the youth on my side. He’s knocked out seven people and I’ve only had eight fights so he will definitely be a test."
Despite having a short amateur career and only 8 pro fights under your belt, do you feel that you are ready to be challenging for an English title?
"Yeah, this is what I need! So far, I’ve breezed through all of my fights so I need a test to see where I’m actually at. I’m either ready for it or I’m not so this is where I’m going to find out."
What will winning the English title mean for you?
"It will mean a lot because this has always been a dream for me, it has always been what I’ve wanted from when I started boxing. I just want to get straight to the big title fights but I understand it’s a process – you can’t just jump right into it. I feel that I have done my learning fights so now it is time for a test."
Although you have your attention on your English title challenge next week, what are your realistic goals in the future for after this fight?
"After I win this fight, I’m planning to motivate people coming up. I’ve got a big following and have a lot of kids following me so I want to show them that it’s possible. From where I come from, a lot of people think that it’s not possible to reach your full potential and make it in boxing – but I’m proof that it is doable. Boxing wise though, after this fight I want to defend the title a few times and then step up to challenge for bigger titles and just keep progressing."
You made the step back down to super-bantamweight earlier this year, how have you been handling the weight in recent times?
"Super-bantamweight is my natural weight – my last few fights have been at 130 or 134 and I’ve had to eat up to make the weight. So yeah, this is the right weight for me and where I should be at. I could still go up or down because I still felt strong at those higher weights."
What are your predictions for fight night?
"All I know is that I’m going to win – that’s all that matters to me. I’m young and hungry and I’m sure I’m going to get that title!"
You secured your first stoppage win in the paid ranks last May – do you feel your power is improving over time?
"Yeah I feel that I’m getting much stronger and gaining much more experience. From that I know how to pick my shots a lot more and I’m training hard for it. I wouldn’t say it is necessarily getting easier, but I am making it easier."
Do you feel you have made improvements over the last 12 months?
"I feel like I am learning every day – I’m in the gym usually six days a week for sometimes twice a day. As time goes on, I feel like I am picking up new stuff from sparring and training in general."
Walker added: "Everyone that wants to get down to my fight, head over to www.teamphyz.com or contact me on Instagram @Teamphyz"