By Adrian Warren
Australian underdog Jarrod Fletcher is convinced the stars have aligned for him as he strives to deliver on a boxing world title dream he's had for two decades.
The 30-year-old Queenslander will fight American Danny Jacobs in Brooklyn, New York later tonight for the vacant WBA 'regular' middleweight title.
Fletcher (18-1, 10 KOs) was originally mandated to challenge IBO/WBA 'super' champion Gennady Golovkin.
But the fearsome Kazakhstan puncher was upgraded to 'super champion' and fought another Aussie, Daniel Geale, stopping the former world champion in three rounds in New York two weeks ago.
Instead, Fletcher now fights another heavy puncher in New Yorker and cancer survivor Jacobs (27-1, 24 KOs), who might not be as formidable a proposition as Golovkin, but is hardly a soft or easy option.
"I think my stars have aligned," Fletcher told AAP this week.
"Golovkin is an absolute animal. I look forward to one day fighting him.
"But at the moment I've got Jacobs in front of me, so I've got to get through him and then challenge Golovkin from there.
"Everything has worked out well. I've had a great preparation. I've got no excuse."
Fletcher said Jacobs, who weighed in marginally heavier than him, was a good boxer with good speed and he expected a tough fight.
"It's his home town so he's going to have a lot of support and there's going to be a lot of pressure on him, so that's good for me," Fletcher said.
"I like going into a fight as an underdog.
"I think his style suits me.
"He is a big puncher, he's got a high knockout rate but I'm not planning on standing there and trading with him too much.
"He might be a bit of a harder puncher, but I've probably got him on the speed level."
Jacobs 27, will enjoy height and reach advantages, but the American expects Fletcher to live up to his nickname of 'left jab'.
"The key thing that he does well is use his jab and he moves pretty good with his combinations," Jacobs said.
"I know he plans on boxing and moving and using the combinations and going the full 12 rounds.
"I've had over 150 amateur fights and I fought all different types of styles from the national to international level, so I don't think that there's going to be anything in there that he could project that I haven't seen."