Tewksbury’s British Challenge and International Challenge Champion, Adam Harper, says he is ready to step out of his comfort zone writes Daniel Briggs.
The unbeaten middleweight fighter, whose day job is as a school teacher, has never fought outside of his home county of Gloucestershire.
But that will all change later this week when ‘The Hurricane’ takes on Russian competitor Andrej Cepur at Walsall Football Club’s Banks’s Stadium on Friday 2nd September. The show – ‘On The Rise’ – is jointly promoted by Hatton Promotions and Black Country Boxing and is sponsored by Grosvenor Casino Walsall.
And Harper admits it will be a worthwhile experience for him to fight somewhere different – and has already thanked his loyal fans for the support he is set to receive.
“It will be a good experience for me to fight away from Gloucester,” admitted Harper. “Even though I’m the home fighter and I’m selling the tickets, it’s still out of my comfort zone. I’m very familiar now with when I box in the local area and I know all the venues.
“I’ve watched boxing at Walsall FC before but it’ll be good to be a part of it this time. It gets you used to different scenery. It’s good to mix it up.
“There should be a good fan base behind me, too. I’m hoping it’ll be around 100 which is massive considering they have to travel 60 miles.
“As a pro boxer you need a big support but mine are extra special. You see some Birmingham lads struggling to sell 50 tickets in their own city and I’m taking 100 lads 60 miles up the motorway.
“It’s madness really and I can’t thank them enough.”
Harper has spent plenty of time in the gym over the last few months in preparation for his fight, and he says he is feeling ready for the challenge of Cepur.
“I’ve been in the gym training three or four times a day,” he said. “I’m a school teacher so I have the summer holidays off so I’ve had a lot of time to train in the gym and I’m feeling good.
“I know Andrej is a Russian lad who was in against Jordan Clayton last time. He’s boxed with Aarron Morgan who’s a big puncher from London. When I watched him against Jordan he looked relatively tough.
“I’m not renowned for being a big puncher as it is so I’m not going to be hoping to knock him or out and say I’m going to knock him out. I’ll see what happens on the night and hope that the work in the gym pays off.”
Harper also admitted that he is excited to be fighting in front of Ricky Hatton, one of Britain’s favourite boxing sons.
“It’s a big opportunity to put your face out there in front of one of the biggest legends,” he added.
“He was definitely my idol when I was growing up. I always used to watch Ricky Hatton stuff and I still do when I’m at the gym and on the cross trainer.
“I’ve got all his DVDs – I’ll watch anything to do with Ricky Hatton. It’s a massive buzz to be part of the night.”
At the top of the bill, Lennox Clarke (12-0) faces a new opponent in the shape of , Bulgarian, Zahari Mutafchiev .
The card also features a trio of Ricky-Hatton trained prospects.
Nantwich’s Nathan Gorman (4-0) warms up for his Central Area Heavyweight Title showdown with David Howe in Stoke on 1st October with an eight round outing against Czech Republic’s Tomas Mrazek.
Market Harborough welterweight, Reuben Arrowsmith (6-0), takes on Poland’s Marcin Cybulski and Irish super middleweight, Chris Blaney (1-0), steps in with Lithuanian’s Kiril Psonko.
Swadlincote super middleweight, Zach Parker (6-0), completes the card against Latvian Raimonds Sniedze.
Standard tickets for On The Rise, priced at £30, are available by calling the boxers. £60 VIP tickets for tables of ten, with two-course meal, are available by calling Walsall FC Box Office on 01922 651 414/416.
The weigh-in and aftershow take place at Grosvenor Casino Walsall, Bentley Mill Way, Walsall WS2 0LE (just off junction 10 of the M6).
The weigh-in takes place at Grosvenor Casino Walsall at 1.00pm this coming Thursday, 1st September at 1.00pm. All boxers will be in attendance.
Grosvenor Casino Walsall will have a presence at the Town Hall on the evening and have linked up with local taxi firm, Yellow Taxi’s, to supply a number of free taxi’s to take guests from the Town Hall to the casino post-fight.
Find out more about Grosvenor Casino Walsall here: http://www.grosvenorcasinos.com/local-casinos/walsall/