Corby professional boxer Simon Barclay will be stepping in the ring with world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in April.
Just over a month after leaving the amateur ranks, Barclay was given the news by manager Jason McClory that he will be heading to Klitschko’s training camp in Austria for a number of sparring sessions with the Ukrainian superstar.
The move has been made as Klitschko prepares to defend his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles against Australian Alex Leapai in Oberhausen, Germany on April 26.
And Barclay, who is also expecting to make his professional debut in April after signing with renowned promoter Frank Warren last month, admitted he was stunned when told about the plans.
“I really couldn’t believe what I was hearing when I had the call,” the former double ABA champion said.
“My manager called me up and asked if I would be okay to go out to Austria and then he paused before saying that I would be sparring with Wladimir Klitschko.
“It is going to be a brilliant experience for me and I just can’t wait to get out there.
“The training camp is state of the art and it will be great to see that in use.
“I am going out for the last week of his preparations.
“I think I was wanted out there for longer but I am hoping to make my debut as well so I am going out in the middle of April.
“His opponent is 6ft 1in and I am just a bit taller and it will be mainly speed work that goes on, it won’t be heavy sparring.”
Barclay is certainly enjoying life as a professional and he is already looking forward to his debut, the date of which should be officially confirmed soon.
He added: “It’s been great so far.
“We are currently in that place where things are being finalised but I am looking forward to getting into full training and getting ready for my debut. It is an exciting time.”
Klitschko’s bout with Samoa-born Leapai, who beat Denis Boytsov in November to become the WBO’s mandatory challenger, will be his 25th world championship fight.”