Oliver Flodin (4-0) believes he has the necessary attributes to claim a career best win over Abdul Khattab (15-2-1, 4 KOs) when they clash in an eight-round Scandinavian middleweight thriller at the Struer Energi Park on January 19.
Flodin faces a significant step up in class as he takes on Khattab in just his fifth professional contest, but the 22 year-old from Jonkoping, Sweden, says he is pleased with his preparations and is confident of defeating his Danish rival.
“I’m very satisfied with my preparations. I’ve been in a good shape for a long time and I’m feeling strong,” says Flodin. “I’ve sparred a lot of rounds with Sven Fornling and Denis Radovan, and I’m now finishing my training in Karlsruhe.
“Khattab is the toughest opponent I’ve fought as a professional. He has a lot of experience, but I’ve sparred and fought the toughest and most experienced amateurs in my career, and I’ve sparred with other professionals that are more experienced than him, so I don’t think that will be a problem.
“I know he’s going to be a tricky opponent, but I’ve trained hard and I’m confident I can beat him. I have the size, speed and power to win!”
Khattab will have Mikkel Kessler, one of the best boxers to come out of Scandinavia, in his corner on fight night, yet, despite being a fan of the ‘Viking Warrior’, Flodin insists it will not affect his focus.
“I’m a big fan of Kessler. He was a great boxer in his prime, but that doesn’t bother me. I will just be focusing on what I’m doing,” says Flodin, who also has no issue fighting in his opponent’s home country.
“I don’t have a problem with fighting in Denmark either, and I’m expecting to have a good fan base from Sweden coming over to support me as well.”
Dina Thorslund tops the bill in Struer, defending her WBO Female World Super Bantamweight title against Alesia Graf, while former European Champion Dennis Ceylan rematches Jesus Sanchez for the EU Featherweight crown.
Oliver Flodin faces Abdul Khattab in a Scandinavian middleweight thriller, heavyweight hope Kem Ljungquist takes on Dominik Musil, Lolenga Mock continues his World title chase against Mateo Damian Veron, Mikkel Nielsen meets Bulgaria’s Angel Emilov, and Adam Bashanov faces Ivan Nikolov.
Ryan Garner has been inspired by the recent Featherweight thriller between Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton and believes 2019 is his year.
The precocious 21-year-old from Southampton wants some boxing bling to accompany his obvious talent and is adamant that he wants to get into the belt business in 2019.
The Piranha, as he is otherwise known, enters into his ninth professional contest at the Morningside Arena in Leicester on February 23 to kick off a year he strongly suspects will be a defining one for him.
“Why is this year going to be my year?” said the spiteful punching featherweight. “Because this year I am going to be active and busy – and I believe I am going to win a title this year.
“I believe I am going to win something. Anything really, the English, the WBO European or Intercontinental, I just want to win one.”
Garner’s own train of thought is that his apprenticeship has been served and he is ready to participate in some genuine punch-ups against equally willing opponents.
“One hundred per cent, this is the year where I know myself – having been a pro for three years – that this is where I need to step up and face people of a much better level than I have been facing so far.
“So I need to keep my head focused, train my b*lls off and get myself ready.
“I think it will make me look even better and I will enjoy it. These people I have been fighting are half trying just to survive. It makes it harder sometimes.
“I think when people start throwing back that is when I will start stopping people even more because they will leave themselves open.”
Garner concedes that entering into open warfare in the ring is what he enjoys most and it is not something he is prepared to change, bar a little tightening of the defences. He is in the entertainment business and he knows it.
“Definitely, with my style it is always going to be an exciting fight and every fight I’ve had has been that way. It is just the way I am, I am front-foot, aggressive and I won’t change.
Those are my main attributes, my workrate and punch variety, but I need to do little things to not get hit as much so we are tweaking things.
“But my style is what makes me entertaining and you don’t want to take that away from me. It works for me and that is what people want to see on television. Look at the likes of Gatti who everybody wanted to watch.
“When I am fighting I want people to think ‘I’m going to watch that Ryan Garner because he is always in good fights’.
“I want to be in fights like the Warrington-Frampton one,” added the cherubic-looking pugilist, who confirmed that he definitely intends to campaign as a nine-stoner in his bid for honours.
“I am a featherweight, definitely. I was 9st 1lb for my last fight so I was only a bit over. With my nutritionist for my last fight it was the best I have felt going into it. I made the weight and felt totally fresh.”
Tickets for the British super featherweight title clash between Sam Bowen and Ronnie Clark on Feb 23 at the Morningside Arena, featuring Ryan Garner, are available from £40 are on sale NOW via Eventbrite
WITH ALL THE talk doing the rounds concerning the explosive British light heavyweights – namely Anthony Yarde and Joshua Buatsi – there is another who feels it is high time he too was added to the conversation.
Lyndon Arthur has amassed a record of 13-0 (10KOs) without too much fanfare to date and tends to be omitted from speculation regarding potential domestic dust-ups. He now wants in on the big fight gossip.
“I’ve been under the radar and it’s been working well while I’ve been learning my craft as a professional,” accepted ‘King Arthur’, a former Team GB standout amateur.
“It is getting to the stage now where we have to start making a bit of noise and have to start letting people know that I am not just a prospect. I am trying to be someone good in this division.
“My pedigree as an amateur was decent and as a pro I am doing quite well with 13 fights and ten knockouts.
“My name should be up there and it will be soon,” he insisted, adding that he would relish encounters with the likes of Yarde and Buatsi sometime soon, once he is up to ten round status.
“Of course, because when two British fighters get thrown in with a bit of needle it always makes for a great fight, so of course I want my name in there.
“If I keep winning and everyone else does then it is inevitable these fights will happen.
“I believe I am on a par with them and I believe with the right fights and a little bit more experience I will be up there. I need to get in a ten round fight because that is the only thing they have got on me now, being in the ten round camps. That is it.
“When I get to that there is no difference.”