Simon Vallily says his new-found dedication to the sport will be rewarded in this weekend’s English cruiserweight title fight.
The Middlesbrough man challenges English champion Arfan Iqbal on the undercard as Lewis Ritson and Josh Kelly return to action in Newcastle on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
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A Commonwealth Games gold medallist in 2010, the 32-year-old Vallily admits he is yet to fulfil his potential in the professional ranks, but is determined to kick-start his career.
“I’m really looking forward to winning my first title as a professional,” he said. “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.”
Charlie Edwards also features on the bill in a super-flyweight clash with local man Anthony Nelson, whose sole defeat came in a thrilling battle with Jamie Conlan in 2016.
“I’ve never sparred Anthony but I’ve seen him out on the circuit a lot,” said Edwards. “He’s a tough fighter. He’s very game and very fit.
“Our styles are going to gel really well. I believe we’ll steal the show because he’ll come and get close, put it on my chest, and try and make it tough.
“We saw him fight Jamie Conlan and it was fight of the year, but I believe his style is made for me. I’m really going to shine on Saturday.”
Lewis Ritson against Paul Hyland Jr and Josh Kelly versus Kris George is on Sky Sports Action from 7pm on Saturday night.