Cardiff’s Kyle King is planning to give Jason Cunningham his first defeat when he returns to the ring on Mick Hennessy’s ‘Undefeated’ show at Rotherham’s Magna Centre on Saturday.
King faces Doncaster’s southpaw Cunningham who is the same age but has the height advantage and boasts an undefeated 8-0 record. Cunningham’s amateur career showed his class, winning an ABA title and beating the highly rated Kid Galahad.
Admittedly, King knows that his own career has stopped and stalled since turning professional in 2009 but he’s finally found stability under the tutelage of retired champion Jamie Arthur at his newly formed gym in Rhydyfelin, near Pontypridd.
King said, “Cunningham’s done very well and fair play to him, whereas it’s not been a smooth ride for me. I think they might be looking at my inactivity and thinking I’m there for the taking but it’s not like that.
“I’m coming to win. I’ve been training hard, we’ve only had two weeks’ notice for the actual opponent but it doesn’t matter who it is because I’m ready to fight anyone. Cunningham’s a tall southpaw and I’ll swarm all over him for the full four rounds, I think they’ll have a big shock on Saturday.”
The 23-year-old from Cardiff last fought in Mach 2012 but he’s kept busy in boxing by coaching white collar fighters while training hard at Arthur’s Gym for the past three months. Prior to his inactivity, King was ranked fifth in Britain by online encyclopaedia BoxRec and he’s keen to regain that ranking.
He said, “I was within a few fights of a title shot and I don’t see why I can’t get there again. We’re going in against a top prospect and apart from my team, nobody expects us to win. That’s fine because I believe in myself and it’s all I need. I just want to be treated fairly and given credit when I win because I’m doing it the hard way.”
Since there aren’t many super-flyweights around in Britain, boxers can climb the ladder to domestic title shots quicker than in other weight divisions and King believes that victory on Saturday will put him on the brink of a challenge for the British title.
He said, “The thing about the smaller divisions is that there aren’t a lot of middlemen or gatekeepers, so you can either fight the journeymen numerous times or fight the other contenders. We have a very short apprenticeship and then we’re basically fighting unofficial eliminators.
“That’s how I see Saturday, if I win this then I’m right back up the rankings and in the picture for a British title. In this division, sooner or later you have to fight the top boys and I want to earn and deserve my title shot – starting on Saturday.”
The clash against Cunningham won’t be the first time King’s been the ‘away opponent’ with everything stacked against him, the harsh reality of professional boxing has seen King defeated twice but the Welshman doesn’t believe it’s a true reflection of his talent.
He said, “I know exactly how it is in the away corner or on the road – you have to go above and beyond to win and that’s what I’m prepared to do. You don’t only have to win, you have to win well and our plan is to give it everything to win every round.”