English middleweight champion Linus Udofia plans to take full advantage of the television spotlight when he defends his crown against John Harding Jr. at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes on October 4.
Udofia (15-0, 7 KOs) knows a spot on the undercard of the Joshua Buatsi vs Marko Calic headliner, live on Sky Sports, presents the perfect opportunity to illustrate his potential to a wider audience.
The Steve Goodwin-managed fighter, who is trained by Terry Steward at the J.E.T Boxing and Fitness Centre in Epping, believes his class will be evident against Brixton’s Harding (8-1-1, 2 KOs), who is guided by heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte.
“This is a fight where I get to showcase how good I am and why I’m a champion at this weight,” said Udofia. “I’ll show what level I’m at and then move on to bigger and better things. Right now, I’ve got to defend this title first, and this is a massive opportunity for me. You can’t get a bigger platform than this and I’m going to grab it with both hands.
“I don’t feel any pressure. I’ve won this belt, I’ve got to defend it, and I’ve got to show everyone why I won this belt. John competed for the belt before and he wasn’t successful. All of the pressure is on him to come and get it the second time. I’m all good, I’m the champion, and I’ve got to show everyone why I’m the champion.
“I understand that everyone has got to hype themselves up in a certain way. It’s always good to see ‘Pester Superstar’ [Harding] pop up and say something crazy. I look at it, have a laugh with my mates and get back to focusing on me. It’s good to see that he’s watching me all of the time.
“We had a couple of spars; he was with Leon McKenzie and I don’t really even remember what happened. He can have 2-0 in sparring if he wants, I’ll take the win in the actual fight. He can have sparring, I don’t care. By beating him I just want to show that he’s not on the same level as me. I’m a champion and he isn’t. I want to show that and move on from there.”
Main image: Linus Udofia (right) is ready to make a statement this weekend. Photo: Matchroom Boxing.