Rachel Ball (6-1) is determined to add her name to the list of women’s world champions.
The former kickboxer has earned her title chance after an upset victory over Shannon Courtenay in week three of Matchroom’s Fight Camp shows back in August.
Ball bagged a narrow points call to record her sixth professional win in seven outings.
The 29-year-old from Walsall is now preparing to take on Australian Ebanie Bridges for the vacant WBA Bantamweight World Title.
Bridges, 34, known as the 'Blonde Bomber', has four wins from four fights and is renowned for her significant social media following.
The duo will do battle on the undercard of Katie Taylor’s lightweight world title defence against mandatory challenger Miriam Gutierrez on November 14.
That card also features Terri Harper’s defence against Katharina Thanderz on a blockbuster night of women’s boxing, which will take place at a venue still to be announced.
Though Ball eventually came in late for strong support, she was a big-priced underdog when the Courtenay clash was first announced.
This time, however, she goes into the fight as an odds-on favourite to get the win. For those placing bets at UK bookies, it’s interesting to know that she’s as short as 4/11 with Bet365.
BBN caught up with her as she prepares to realise her world title dream.
What does it mean to you to get a world title shot?
"It means everything. I was absolutely overjoyed when I heard I’d get the chance.
I’ve been working so hard and have had so much support, and this is just a huge opportunity for me.
The win last time against Shannon was a dream, so this would be on another level. But the key now is to put that out of my mind, forget how big the fight is and just focus on getting the job done."
Were you surprised to get a chance so soon?
"I honestly didn’t know what was next up for me. I just knew it was a big win for me that would put me in line for more big fights with Matchroom.
There was talk of a rematch with Shannon, but I was so excited when the news came through of the world title fight. It was something that I had in my sights and something that I wanted, so to get the opportunity is brilliant for me."
How are preparations going for the Ebanie Bridges fight and how do you see it going?
"Everything is going really well. I don’t think I’ve ever been this far ahead before. I’m stronger and fitter at this stage of my preparation than I ever have been.
I’ve been doing more strength and conditioning sessions and added in some sprint training as well. I’m ready to show people exactly what I’m capable of.
I learned a lot from the last fight and know there is plenty more to come. I’m always learning and thinking of ways to improve my camps, and this time has been no different."
On facing Bridges for world title glory:
"I’ll be ready for whatever she has and am confident in my own ability to get that world title.
I certainly won’t be underestimating her, but I think my fitness and dynamic approach will be the difference. There is also the height difference, which is something she’ll have to contend with too.
She hasn’t had many fights, but I have managed to watch one of them and had a look at how she fights and what I might expect."
You’ve gone from underdog to favourite since your last fight, does that make a difference for you?
"Not at all. Last time I was just glad to prove people wrong. This time I’m glad the bookies have got it right.
Last time all of my friends bet on me to win and had a big payday, which was great. They all still owe me a few drinks from that!
My price is a lot shorter now, but it doesn’t matter if I’m an underdog or favourite, nothing changes about my approach."
How do you feel about being part of such a big night of women’s boxing?
"Women’s boxing is on the up massively and to be a part of this generation of women fighters is an absolute honour. It’s a pleasure to fight alongside them.
It’s a great card that includes three women’s world title fights at the very top. That shows how far the sport has come in a short space of time. To be playing a part is great."
How has life changed after the Shannon Courtenay victory?
"Not a lot has changed for me since. I just keep working, keep training day-to-day.
There has been a bit more interest and plenty of social media followers after winning on the television, but I’m not in it for that. I just want that world title. I was a world champion at kickboxing, and now I want to be a world champion at boxing."