As Sylvester Stallone gets back in the ring, Cello Renda says: “I’m the new Rocky.”
Oscar-winners Stallone and Robert DeNiro star as creaky ring veterans in new film ‘The Grudge’ - and Renda says his exciting ring career was inspired by Hollywood’s best-loved boxer.
He’s written his own ‘Rocky’ story in a career packed with up-and-down scraps that have thrilled fight fans throughout the country.
And the 28 year-old from Newborough is back home to box on the big show at Bushfield Leisure Centre on Saturday night.
“Watching the ‘Rocky’ films got me into boxing,” admitted Renda.
“’I would watch the films then fight my brothers pretending to be ‘Rocky.’ Those films are why I got into so many fights at school. I just wanted to punch people.”
‘Rocky’ captured the public’s hearts with his odds-defying triumphs - and Renda is also a people’s champion.
“Every fight I’ve had has been 50-50 and I never give up,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of exciting fights and I always come back. I think that’s why people support me. They have always stood by me and I really appreciate it.”
Renda hopes beating Mitch Mitchell this weekend will lead to a British title shot later this year.
Paul Smith is currently the British super-middleweight champion - and Renda has shared a ring with the Liverpudlian before.
Smith stopped Renda in six rounds for the vacant English middleweight title in March 2008 - and looking at the rankings, the former teenage tearaway says there’s no reason why they shouldn’t meet again.
“Why not give me a British-title shot?” said Renda. “I’ve served my apprenticeship. I’ve already won a British title eliminator, I’ve won and defended titles and I’ve reached the final of ‘Prizefighter.’
“Nobody above me in the rankings deserves a British title fight more than me.
“I’m ranked number 13 in the country and when I’ve got this fight out off the way, I should be in the top 10.
“I would love another shot at Paul Smith. I was beating him and it was just inexperience that cost me the fight.”
Saturday night’s fight with Mitchell will be Renda’s first in front of his city fans since he was beaten inside a round by Danny Butler in their clash for the English middleweight title last June.
Renda responded to that by moving up to super-middleweight and started to rebuild with a six-round points win over Attila Kiss in October.
Mitchell is sure to give Renda another good work-out in the 35th fight of his professional career.
Renda describes Mitchell as “game, fit and he comes to win” and the 25 year-old from Lincoln did win his last fight, outpointing Leo Roget in London in December.
Renda added: “He will give me problems and that’s what I want. At this point in my career, I don’t want to be just hitting people and watching them fall over.”
The show also features Michael Maguire in a good test against Michael Rambeletsa, along with Jordan Gill, Jake Dyer and Adam Branecki.
Boxing starts at 8pm.