Karl Wheeler admits he’s ‘terrified’ going into this weekend’s big fight in London.
The Peterborough cruiserweight meets knockout specialist Ossie Jervier at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on Saturday night (October 29).
The 10-round scrap is a semi-final of the Fight Cup, with the winner going on to meet either Biola Kudus or Ryan Crawford in the final.
Kudus and Crawford also clash on promoter Steve Goodwin’s show on Saturday night.
The winner of the Fight Cup will be the mandatory challenger for the Southern Area title, currently held by Brixton’s Isaac Chamberlain.
This weekend’s fight pits Wheeler against a power puncher – and the 34 year old from Hampton admits his nerves are jangling.
“Every single fight I have, I’m terrified,” said Wheeler. “Boxing is a pretty scary thing to do!
“It’s a hard, hard game.
“There’s so much stress and it’s difficult for my family in the weeks before I fight.
“I’m scared right up until the moment I leave the changing room to go out and fight.
“When I walk to the ring, the nerves go and I realise: ‘This is what I do, this is where I want to be’.
“The key is to get rid of the nerves and go in there and enjoy myself.
“When I’m relaxed, the punches flow and I box at my best.
“I know Ossie is strong, can punch and is hungry, but I haven’t seen him do anything I can’t handle.
“Moses Matovu was a similar build with a similar style and I beat him well enough.
“I’m not worried about what he can do. I feel confident, I believe in myself. I’ve got a good chin, I can box and I can do eight or 10 rounds easily.
“If I do what I can do, anyone is going to struggle against me.
“I genuinely believe I have a talent for boxing – and it’s my job now.
“When I turned professional, I just wanted to earn a few quid and be able to tell people I was a boxer.
“It’s much more than that now.
“I have to win fights for my family now. I have to provide for (fiancée) Lisa (Watton), (children) Onri and Summer.
“I want a better life for them. That’s what I’m fighting for and it’s a massive drive.”
Wheeler, sponsored by Maximum Nutrition, Bore Hole Solutions, Geezer’s Boxing, Fitness Intense Training, Layla’s Lengths and Logic Security, says he has had good sparring with with stablemates Matty Parr and Pharris Jude at manager Steve Whitwell’s gym and added: “Steve is really happy with me.
“He always tells me straight. He tells me off if he thinks I’m slacking and could do more.
“My sparring partners have been pushing me hard in the gym and knowing Steve is happy with me gives me so much confidence.
“Win, lose or draw, there won’t be any excuses from me.
“I feel I’ve done everything right, there are no injuries and I’m going to go in there and give it my all.”
Tickets for the show at the York Hall are available from 07398-750739.