Luton boxer Michael Devine is determined to prove he is far from finished when he steps into the ring against Ben Day for the vacant Southern Area lightweight title at York Hall on Saturday.
The 27-year-old opted to move away from his family, friends and three-year-old daughter for his pre-fight training camp in Manchester, a decision he feels shows just how serious he is taking this bout.
People might think I’m finished because I slipped up a couple of times, but this fight means everything to me.Michael Devine
Devine said: “I’ve been away from my family now for nine weeks, I’ve been staying with my cousin up in Manchester and have been locked away and just been giving it everything in the camp.
“People might think I’m finished because I slipped up a couple of times, but this fight means everything to me.
“That’s why I’ve come back to really do a proper camp and not muck about.
“I’ve never done this before, never been away from my family, never really been away from Luton.
“It’s totally new to me and really been emotional being away. It’s been probably the toughest camp I’ve ever been through.
“I’ve been getting top sparring, top training, top nutrition, cooked by proper chefs, so all the food’s getting done.
“What my trainer’s asked from me I’ve delivered, he’s very happy as well, I can’t wait for Saturday night.”
On just how the camp has improved him, Devine said: “Its not just benefited the shape I’m in but my boxing has really improved.
“It was the little simple things I had to change and instead of using my heart, use my head and get back to boxing really.
“I know 100 per cent I’ve come on as a fighter and even through I’m fighting a mate, I know I’m going to be too much for him.
“Don’t be surprised if I get him out of there too.”
Devine will be up against Day, 11 years his senior at 38, who has won eight, drawn one and lost one, his only defeat against Floyd Moore for the same belt in March.
The Lutonian continued: “We were in camp together when I trained in Essex, but we didn’t actually spar, so everything happens for a reason.
“He used to come in when I was finishing training, so he’d watch me spar, sometimes I’d watch him spar.
“But I’m very confident in my ability and what I’ve put myself through in this camp to get that win and bring that title back.
“I was there when he lost the Southern Area title and I thought he could have nicked that if he was just a little bit busier as he was schooling Floyd at times.”
Devine already has plans for what could happen if his arm is raised in victory at the end of Saturday’s bout.
He continued: “They’re using me as an opponent, thinking I might be washed up, but they’re 100 per cent wrong.
“It’s a Southern Area belt, so straight away this puts me right back in the mix for an English title.
“I’m already in line for the Irish title, I’m ranked number four in Ireland, so I can fight for that and that puts me high in the European rankings, so I’ve got options.
“As long as I win on Saturday, I’d like to move on to the English straight away, if there’s a quick defence in the Southern area I’ll do that.
“But I’m not messing about now as I’m 27, it’s time to push on and I’ll be coming back up here (Manchester) for camp.
It will be Devine’s first bout in England since June, when he was beaten by Ismail Anwar on points and he is glad to be back in familiar territory once more.
He added: “I’ve boxed at the 02 Arena, but York Hall for me every day of the week.
“It’s pure boxing history and that floats my boat.
“I’ve got a massive, massive crowd going up as usual, I want to thank them as well.
“They’ve stood by me no matter what, they always get behind me and they’ve still bought their tickets with their hard earned money.”