Charlie Edwards has opened up on the uncompromising training regime he’s been following in the Ukraine ahead of facing Anthony Nelson.
Super-flyweight Edwards (12-1-KO5) can claim a top 15 WBA ranking with victory over Nelson in Newcastle on Saturday – live on Sky Sports – and has been preparing alongside brother Sunny and reigning world champion Artem Dalakian.
Edwards said: “It was hard at first to take ourselves away and strip back every home comfort. It’s a bit like a prison training camp there but we’re boxers and we need a brutal mentality.
“We’re doing the same things and eating the same meals as Vasyl Lomachenko, Oleksandr Usyk and Dalakian. How they do things is eye-opening and all about work ethic.
“Sometimes in the UK, people get fooled by Instagram hype. I’ve learned what’s real and what’s not. Washing your own clothes and having little comfort out there is humbling.
“I’ve learned that you don’t need any fancy stuff to be the best. You just need the work ethic and the Ukrainians have that in abundance.”
Looking forward to facing Nelson (12-1-KO2), whose only defeat came in a thrilling Commonwealth title clash with Jamie Conlan in April 2016, Edwards is predicting an enthralling spectacle.
Edwards added: “I’ve never sparred Anthony but I’ve seen him out on the circuit a lot. He’s a tough fighter. He’s very game and very fit.
“Our styles are going to gel really well. I believe we’ll steal the show because he’ll come and get close, put it on my chest and try and make it tough.
“We saw him fight Jamie Conlan and it was fight of the year but I believe his style is made for me. I’m really going to shine on Saturday.”
Simon Vallily is ready to put all his troubles behind him and kick off an avalanche of cruiserweight titles on Saturday night.
The talented Middlesbrough man (13-1-KO4) has only ever lost to former world champion Mairis Breidis but admits personal problems have thus far prevented him realising his full potential.
Equipped with renewed focus and heading for Newcastle’s Metro Arena with a solid training camp under his belt, Vallily is relishing his English title clash with the unbeaten Arfan Iqbal – live on Sky Sports.
Vallily said: “I’m really looking forward to winning my first title as a professional. There are some good fighters who started off with this title.
“I’ve been flying under the radar. I know what I’ve got in my locker and it’s just about bringing it out. I haven’t really been switched on for the last two years so it’s time to pull my finger out.
“There have been a lot of reasons. The way I applied myself before was like the end of my amateur career but I’ve started being more professional now and you’ll see that on Saturday.
“I’m a lot hungrier now than I ever have been. It goes back to the back end of my amateur career. I didn’t do myself any justice. For most of my professional career I haven’t applied myself correctly. Now I’m really hungry and focused.”
Matt Sen and Josh Burke will renew their rivalry in a Black Country battle for the eight-round British Challenge Cruiserweight Title.
Sen has been paired with Burke for a title fight which will take place at the Venue, Dudley, on Saturday, 7th July.
Unbeaten Sen will also put his ‘0’ on the line against Burke, who has unsuccessfully challenged for the title once. He was stopped in four rounds by Dilly Singh last year.
Burke, aged 32, has additionally been beaten by Russell Henshaw and Courtney Richards on points as a pro, but has beaten Lee Jones and Rolandas Cesna over-the-distance.
Sen - full name Matthew Sennett - is, like Burke, from Wolverhampton. He’s originally from Heath Town, but now lives in Oldbury
The 30-year-old has recorded three points wins since turning over against Dmitrij Kalinovskij, Henshaw and Kevin Williams.
Six undercard bouts have been scheduled to support the main event featuring Danny Ball, Josh Miller, Connor Lee Jones, Aaron Lovell, Kirstie Bavington and debutant Daryl Pearce.
Kingswinford’s Ball will be looking a record a sixth success from six outings, in the super welterweight division where older brother Jamie is a former Midlands champion.
Dudley’s Miller is back in action after a two year absence from light heavyweight activity. ‘The Jackal,’ 24, had impressed in points results over Iain Jackson and Mark Till.
Jones, also from Dudley, will be boxing again less than a month after his pro debut. The 22-year-old lightweight outpointed Liam Richards last Saturday night.
The Lions Boxing Club graduate impressed with a whitewash four-rounds points verdict and has pedigree, having represented England as an amateur.
Brummie Lovell, from Erdington, has built up a hat-trick of points wins over Kristian Laight, Richards and Dylan Draper as a super lightweight.
Wolverhampton’s Bavington is looking to bounce back after battling to a draw on her paid bow. The 25-year-old could not be parted from the experienced Borislava Goronova.
Pearce, from Rednal in Birmingham, will end over a year of frustration with his introduction to pro boxing at welterweight.