Nick Blackwell is glad he cancelled his summer holidays after being handed a crack at the European middleweight title.
Blackwell was planning to soak up the sun in Greece – but instead heads to the Ukraine to challenge Max Bursak on Saturday, September 21.
“I had a feeling something was going to come up,” said the 22 year-old former undefeated English champion, “and that’s why I decided not to go on holiday.
“I stayed in the gym, kept myself fit over the summer and I didn’t think twice when this chance came along.”
Blackwell had been nominated to meet Chris Eubank jnr in a final eliminator for the British title, but according to manager PJ Rowson “it became apparent Eubank jnr doesn’t want to step up to this level just yet.”
Prince Arron had previously pulled out of a British-title eliminator against Blackwell – and ‘Bang Bang’ was set to top the bill in home-town Trowbridge on Saturday, September 27 until the call came to challenge Bursak.
The Ukrainian has been beaten just once in his 29-fight career – by Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam for the interim WBO title – and went on to win the European belt, then defend it with a landslide points win over Arron in July.
Blackwell has watched footage of that fight and has been working on a game plan to beat Bursak.
“His style will suit me,” said Blackwell, who sparred “70-80” rounds with Carl Froch before his win over Mikkel Kessler in their rematch in May and plans to spar Gennady Golovkin later this year.
“He will come forward, he’s not going to be on his toes moving in and out.
“He isn’t the best boxer and he isn’t the fastest either. He tries to wear you down, then pick his shots.
“I’m fighting in his backyard, so I might have to stop him.
“We’ve been working on setting a high pace, throwing punches in bunches and picking off the big shots.”