Luton fighter Linus Udofia believes his fight against Eric Nwankwo at York Hall this weekend will launch him to the next level in boxing.
The 24-year-old goes up against his Nigerian born opponent on the Hayemaker bill for what will be his third fight this year and ninth of his career to date.
After eight wins, four on points and four by knock out, Udofia is readying himself for what should be an exciting clash against his 29-year-old opponent, who has one win and one defeat since making his debut in October 2017.
Udofia said: “He’s really quite strong to be fair, I’ve seen him, he’s quite dominant in his fights, quite forward, so I think it’s going to be a really good test for me.
“This is the breaking point now for me, where I’ve kind of finished my apprenticeship as a boxer, so it’s time to step up now after this.
“I’m not looking past this fight at all though, it’s going to be a step up time for me.”
Udofia believes Nwankwo might well be his toughest test to date after his last bout, against Geraint Goodridge also at York Hall, saw him triumph with a second round stoppage.
He continued: “I think it could be, it all depends on how I make it.
“The last one was meant to be the toughest so far.
“That was good, no disrespect to the guy, I did what my coach told me and it was easier than it was meant to be.
“He was a very hard opponent as I’ve seen him give fighters a really hard time.
“When I fought I thought I was going to get a hard time, but I made it look a lot easier than it should have been.”
Although he is fully focused on the weekend, Udofia did allow himself to consider his goal for the remainder of the year too, saying: “After this September time, I should be going for my first major title.
“Again I don’t want to look too far ahead, I want to see what happens, see what positions people are in, and what positions title holders are in, what’s actually available, and we’ll go from there really.”
The bout also represents the chance of some real exposure for Udofia as it will be on a Hayemaker Promotions show which sees Joe Joyce take on Richard Lartey for the Commonwealth Heavyweight title, while Sam Smith fights Anisha Basheel for the Commonwealth Female Lightweight title.
On the night in store, Udofia added: “This is my third fight on the Hayemaker, the first two were great for me, and hopefully I can win and win emphatically as well, so this is a big platform for me.
“I’ve sold tickets and I really appreciate all the time people take out to come and watch me. A lot of people come up and it’s really good they are following me, as if they didn’t I wouldn’t be able to fight.”
On his final preparations, Udofia added: “Everything’s perfect to be fair, my weight’s on point, sparring’s been good, the whole camp has been really good, I’m just looking forward to the fight now.
“I haven’t really been out of the gym since November, as I fought in February and then fought in March.
“It’s just the waiting game now, the last few shakeouts in the gym, last few little sessions.
“I’m ready to get going now, the camp goes so quick and then the last week goes so slowly, but we’re very ready for everything he’s (Nwankwo) got.”