Chris Bourke believes he is the number one super-bantamweight in the country and is confident he will be crowned British champion tonight.
The unbeaten Streatham boxer has sold more than 200 tickets for his clash with Marc Leach at Bethnal Green’s York Hall.
And Bourke admits that his Salford-raised opponent, whose only defeat on an 18-fight record came on his debut in 2014, has the kind of style which has made him an avoided man in the 55kg division.
The South Londoner, who has six stoppages in 10 professional bouts, has not ducked the challenge as the southpaws meet for the vacant domestic crown.
“It’s the biggest fight because it is the next fight,” Bourke told the South London Press. “But it’s also the biggest title I have fought for and another step up in opposition.
“He is technically very good, awkward and a switch-hitter. He frustrates a lot of the boys that he boxes. His boxing IQ is his best attribute.
“He has won two eliminators [to challenge for the British title]. He has definitely been avoided. But this is for the British title, you’d fight anyone for that. You’re never going to get an easy one.
“The main thing I’m focused on is getting the win, however it comes.”
Bourke, 27, has claimed in the lead up that he is the most powerful puncher at super-bantam.
“That plays a part in the fights,” he said. “Because you can watch tapes of people – but they aren’t fighting you. It means you can’t read too much into it.
“When James Beech Jnr boxed Brad Foster it was a tear-up and he was on the front foot, but when I boxed him he was trying to box on the back foot.
“Leach likes to keep it at distance and at his pace.”
Other boxers to have held the belt that Bourke goes for this weekend include Kid Galahad, who went on to win the IBF featherweight title, as well as Scott Quigg, who held the WBA Regular title at super-bantam between 2013 and 2016.
“It will be huge to win it,” said Bourke, who represented Great Britain as an amateur and entered the paid ranks at the end of 2018. “It has got a lot of history.
“I feel like it is also a big door-opener to some really big fights in the future.
“I’d like to fight another two or three times this year and be busy. That’s the goal.”
Bourke is unsure whether he will vacate the WBC International belt, which he defended with a unanimous decision against Beech Jnr after claiming it with an impressive second-round stoppage of Michael Ramabeletsa.
“Because I didn’t box a lot last year it was good to get 10 rounds in,” he said. “Whenever you do 10 rounds you gain experience because you’re under the lights. That environment is always beneficial.”
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