Seán Turner believes his bout against Arnold Gjergjaj next month in Basel is a “must-win” fight as he aims to replicate David Haye’s knockout success against the Swiss-based heavyweight.
Turner will travel to Switzerland to meet Gjergjaj at Basel’s Grand Casino on December 9 as the Dubliner returns to the ring for the first time since his six-round points win over Cameroonian journeyman Blaise Mendouo last September.
While 33-year-old Gjergjaj (30-1) has far more pro experience than 26-year-old Turner (11-1), the Kosovo-born heavyweight will be best remembered in Ireland and the UK for his second-round stoppage loss to former world champion David Haye last year.
And ‘Big Sexy’ Turner believes he can defeat Gjergjaj in a similar fashion in Basel next month.
“He’s got a good record and he’s going to give it a shot, but I don’t think he has the heart that I have,” said Turner. “David Haye knocked him down with a jab and he was beaten before he got into the ring and I think I can stop him too.”
“Neither of our records have many big names, but I’ve been in with many big names as an amateur. I think that experience will be the difference,” said Turner, who was delighted to hear that the fight has been formally confirmed.
“It’s great to have it sorted,” said the Dubliner. “I thought for a while that the guy [Gjergjaj] was getting cold feet, but it’s all done now.”
“I think he’s underestimating me, to be honest. I think he might have looked at footage of me after there’d be talk of the fight and then he was getting cold feet. He’s finally taken it now, so that’s a good thing for me.”
Turner suffered his first pro loss – a surprise defeat against tough Pole Kamil Sokolowski – last April and while the 26-year-old got back on track against Mendouo two months ago, ‘Big Sexy’ insists that his clash with Gjergjaj will be a breakthrough fight.
“This fight, I think, is going to dictate the future,” said Turner. “This is a must-win fight for me. A big fight and a great one to get up the rankings. I’m only 26, I’m going in to win this fight and by next year who knows what’s going to happen?”
“I need to win this fight because I slipped up [against Sokolowski] even though I still thought I did enough to win that. I probably underestimated him to be honest, but that’s not the fighter I am.”
“I know I need to do it in the ring. I’m 100 per cent ready, I haven’t cut any corners and I’m going in with 100 per cent belief that I’m going to beat this lad and maybe even stop him.”