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.”
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NELSON: EDWARDS IS FULL OF HIMSELF
Anthony Nelson has branded Charlie Edwards as ‘full of himself’ and vows to punish the over-confident Surrey man when they clash for the WBA Continental Flyweight title at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.
Nelson has previously held the Commonwealth and English Super-Flyweight titles but took two years out of the game in April 2016 after surrendering the Commonwealth crown in an epic battle with Jamie Conlan in London that was awarded Fight of the Year by the British Boxing Board of Control.
‘Babyface’ returned to action in April with a six round win and now wants to get on the road back to winning honours, starting with strap he meets former World title challenger Edwards for on Saturday – a man he believes has talent but not enough to stop his return to the big-stage from being triumphant.
“Charlie is full of himself,” said Nelson. “He’s a good technician and he’s got some skills but he hasn’t been in with me yet. He won’t be able to keep me off, I’ll be too strong for him.
“I’ll let him think otherwise and be over-confident because he’ll be in for a real shock. He’ll have to bring every tool because he has a big job to do.
“The gym is buzzing, especially with title fights on the horizon. It brings everyone else on and inspires them to push on which obviously comes full circle and spurs me on even more.
“It’s a big night for Newcastle, it really feels like big time boxing is back and with Lewis and Josh spearheading that it opens the doors for the fighters who are either just starting out or who are knocking on the door.
“I’m buzzing to be back on the comeback trail. I got back to winning ways recently and we continue to keep things rolling.
“It was six rounds under my belt at the end of April, I dropped him in the first but in all honesty if I had got him out of there right away it wouldn’t have really served it’s purpose.
“I got the ring rust off and now we’re back in to title contention. I’ve served myself on the small hall shows and I’ve got to push on now starting on Saturday.”
Nelson’s clash with Edwards is part of a huge night of action in Newcastle where local star Lewis Ritson can win the British Lightweight title outright against unbeaten Belfast man Paul Hyland Jnr. and Sunderland’s talented Rio Olympian Josh Kelly challenges Commonwealth Welterweight champion Kris George.
Gavin McDonnell defends his WBC International Super-Bantamweight title against Stuart Hall in a must-win clash for both men, Arfan Iqbal defends his English Cruiserweight belt against Simon Vallily and former three-weight World champion Ricky Burns fights for the 50th time as a pro.
Tickets priced £40, £60, £80 and £100 are on sale now from the Metro Arena at http://www.metroradioarena.co.uk, on 0844 493 6666