"The Lion" makes his first outing of the calendar year this Saturday, as he takes on the Swedish London-based Edward Bjorkland on Steve Goodwin’s “Strike Force” York Hall show.
The contest will be Walker’s first six-rounder and will also be the first time the 25-year-old has competed at the super-bantamweight limit, with his previous five outings taking place at featherweight.
After comprehensively beating the experienced three-time Southern Area champion Jamie Speight last November, Walker looks to continue his winning streak and climb up the ladder on the domestic scene.
The 5-0 prospect caught up with BBN's Joseph Siza to discuss his upcoming fight this weekend and his future plans.
How have preparations gone in camp so far for your upcoming fight this weekend?
“It’s gone real good, this has been the best camp so far. I’ve had tough sparring, had a few guys come down for that - I can’t complain about anything. My coach has helped me so much and has pushed me to my limits, so all good so far.”
How do you reflect on your last performance against Jamie Speight at the end of last year?
“Looking back at it, I was proud of my performance, but I still think I could have done better. I feel with that fight it was a good experience because Jamie Speight has been there with the top guys - he’s been Southern Area champion at two different weights, has done a lot in the game and knows how to move around the ring. So fighting someone like that for me has been so helpful and I’ve learned a lot from that - it has only made me a better fighter.”
This is your first outing of the year - what are your plans for 2018 and what level do you want to be competing at by the end of it?
"I’m trying to be as active as possible - my manager is looking after me and keeping me busy, so we’re going to be keeping busy and fighting regular this year. We’re aiming high and we’re going to try and go after the titles. Obviously one step at a time, but we’re going to take the Southern Area, we’re going to take the English title. After we get this fight out the way, I’m going to focus on all that after, but yeah we have some big things planned!"
It’s your first fight at super-bantamweight - how do you feel at the weight and do you feel we will get the best out of you at this limit?
"I feel that’s my natural weight - in my last few fights I’ve had to eat up to make the weight (featherweight) but this fight is at my natural weight so you’ll definitely see the best of me!"
How long do you plan on competing at the weight and is a return to featherweight a possibility for the future?
"I’m looking to clear up the whole weight division. I’m going to clear up my own weight first and then after move up and clear that too. We’re going up or down - wherever the best fight is, that’s where I’m at!"
What do you make of your opponent this Saturday?
"This opponent - I’ve seen him fight Prince Brady and he showed he's a very tough fighter. He can bang, is strong, comes forward and is always going to be in my face, so that’s going to bring out the best in me. I don’t want a guy that runs for the duration - I want a guy that comes to fight so you can all expect a good fight, it’s going to be entertaining."
What was your pathway into boxing like and when did it all start?
“My first amateur fight was at 18 years old. At that age I went down to my local club - I didn’t do any boxing at all before that so I was fresh. I didn’t know how to throw a jab or anything before that - I’ve just been learning gradually as I’ve gone along. I had about 25 fights in the amateurs and after that I turned pro. Now I’ve had five pro fights and we’re coming up to my sixth fight.
Most people start young, when they are kids, and they have those amateur fights - but I never had that so for me, it’s been tough but we’re getting there.”
What do you make of the whole small-hall show set up that many fighters are a part of and what are your own personal experiences of it?
"See with small-hall shows, because there is no TV backing, you have to sell tickets to get onto the shows. It is hard, I’ve definitely had my struggles - in my pro debut I got took off the show because I didn’t sell enough tickets so that’s how deep it is. But now, my fanbase has picked up a lot after a while, it’s grown over time, so we’re getting there. Soon we’re going to be bringing in even bigger numbers and going to even bigger venues."
Are there any names you have in mind that you would consider fighting at this given point in time?
"Me - I’ll fight anyone that’s put in front of me. Whoever is at the top, whoever has the titles - that’s who I want to fight. My manager sets it all out for me, puts it all on the table and I’ll just clear it all. So yeah, anyone they put in front of me, I’ll fight."
How do you feel you have been matched so far in the professional ranks?
"It’s been a test. All these guys are more experienced than me - the last few fights they’ve all been bigger than me. But that’s what I want, no easy fights. Even this next kid that I’m fighting, it’s going to be a test - he comes to fight. It’s not an easy fight, it’s not somebody that comes to just lay down. Soon we’re going to be getting some stoppages because I’ve been training hard for it - I believe in myself and I know that I’m going to go all the way!"