Simon Barclay is determined to make the most of his ‘massive chance’ when he fights for the IBF Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title in Belgium tomorrow night.
The Corby boxer has had little more than a fortnight’s notice of the bout against Bilal Laggoune at the Flanders Sports Arena in Ghent.
But he insists he is ready to go and keen to make it third time lucky when fighting for a belt having previously lost to Stephen Simmons when competing for the IBF East/West Europe Cruiserweight Title and Matty Askin when the English Cruiserweight crown was up for grabs.
“It’s a massive chance for me and definitely an opportunity to get things back on track,” Barclay said.
“I’ve had a hand injury which kept me out and then I lost on a close points decision in my last title fight.
“I’m confident that this could be a very big year for me.
“We’re looking at a lots of things and if I come through this it could open up a lot of doors.
“I think I’m ready for this.
“It was a similar title that I fought for in October (against Simmons) and that perhaps came quicker than expected.
“But I showed what I can do and I’ve had a lot of good feedback from people since then. It put me in a good position.
“Hopefully I can take this chance and go on to get a few titles this year.”
The lack of warning is also no concern for the 28-year-old Barclay.
Laggoune is three years his junior but has more experience having been beaten just once in 25 fights – although the Corby man says he was unaware of this a couple of weeks ago.
“I hadn’t heard of him before to be honest,” Barclay admitted.
“But I don’t look too much at my opponent anyway.
“I’ll watch a bit and see what I think he does well and where he has a weakness but my trainers do the rest.
“In the past I’ve perhaps looked at people more but it doesn’t help that much.
“Until you meet them you never know how hard they are going to hit or how fast they are going to be.
“I like to get the gist of what they can do and let my coaches work out the plans.
“I prefer to concentrate on making sure I do what I can do.
“The fight might have come up at short notice but we were looking for something like this around now anyway.
“I’ve been training for something at this time and preparations have gone really well.
“I’ve done a lot of sparring and I’m feeling in good shape.
“I’m also looking forward to fighting abroad for the first time.
“It’s quite nice that I haven’t to be selling tickets as that adds a bit of stress and I’m looking forward to the challenge of boxing abroad.”