Heavyweight Shawndell Winters has told Alen Babic in no uncertain terms that he’s bitten off more than he can chew for just his fourth pro fight this evening, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Winters arrived from Chicago to meet the Dillian Whyte managed Babic at the final installment of Matchroom Fight Camp, and their eight round Heavyweight battle has become one of the most talked about fights on the card following a spicy press conference on Thursday.
Babic has yet to hit the third round in his three fights to date, but Winters represents a huge step up in class, as the American enters the bout on the back of tackling former World Champion Joseph Parker in Texas in February, and as the 39-year-old enters his 17th pro bout, he believes experience will be key.
“He ain't the first person in the gym or on the streets to say he's gonna knock me out,” said Winters. “I'm still alive! Am I mad? No, he's supposed to say that. They made a mistake bringing me over here because it will propel me. When I beat him, when I show him how to fight, he will understand. I was 3-0 with three KOs once. I'm 13-3 now. I was where he was, I understand. I'm known for bringing the smoke! He has fought three cab drivers and has never been hit by a punch.
“The integrity, the moral compass I have? If I say to a man 'I will knock him out' then when I see him, that's my energy. He plans on coming forwards. That's what I love. He's a kickboxer, an MMA fighter. All he can do is come forwards. He doesn't know anything about establishing a jab.
“I found out about the fight a while ago, but I knew it was a possibility and the reality is I’ve been in the gym. I don’t have a 9-to-5 job, this is my job, so I’ve been training all the time, so you are never going to pop up and catch me off guard, that’s never going to happen.
“I expect him to come forward and try to do what he said, he wants to KO me, so I expect him to come forward with pressure and throw a lot of punches, and try to break me down. He can expect me to bring my speed, fast hands, it’s different to be fast and quick, and strong. That’s what he’s getting from me.
“I feel that this is destiny for me. I’ve had three losses in my career and I’ve come back stronger from each one. The purpose for me fighting and winning and moving on is far greater than just beating my opponent. What I can do with winning these fights on these platforms is change where I am from.
“I don’t know where a win takes me because I don’t know what people feel about this fight, but I will fight anybody, it doesn’t matter. Winning cures all, if you lose bad but come back with a better win, people forget the loss and just say ‘he just knocked him out!’ The loss is gone.
“I will fight King Kong or Godzilla. The Joseph Parker fight? I wasn't 100 per cent. Babic will get a rude awakening. The reality is that I like to fight - that's what I'm known for in Chicago. I was an 180lbs amateur beating up World Champions in the gym in Chicago. I've got more knockouts than Babic has had fights! It will definitely be about the experience. My skills are certified. He thinks he will beat me but that ain't gonna happen.”
Babic vs. Winters lands on a huge night of action that sees Dillian Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) defend his Interim WBC Heavyweight World Title against Russia's Alexander Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs), Irish legend Katie Taylor (15-0, 6 KOs) puts her WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight crowns on the line against Belgium's Delfine Persoon (44-2, 18 KOs) in the biggest rematch in women’s boxing, Luther Clay (13-1, 5 KOs) defends his WBO Global Welterweight Title against Chris Kongo (11-0, 6 KOs), Super-Middleweights Jack Cullen (18-2, 9 KOs) Super-Middleweights Jack Cullen (18-2, 9 KOs) and Zak Chelli (7-1, 3 KOs) meet over eight rounds.