Darren Barker believes he is ‘the biggest fighter in the country’ - and has vowed to prove it on Friday.
Barker, 27, the current British and Commonwealth middleweight champion, has a chance to add the vacant European belt to his collection at Alexandra Palace in north London.
He fights former French champion Affif Belghecham, 35, knowing a victory would take him closer to a shot at a world title.
“I’ve seen a bit of Belghecham on You Tube and he looks a tough, dangerous opponent,” said Barnet-based Barker, who is undefeated from 21 professional contests.
“But he walks forward so his style suits me down to the ground and I know I’ve got more than enough to beat him. I’m in great shape, the shape of my life, and I’ve got the faster hands, movement and skill.
“Winning the European title can open big doors for you and I would get into the top ten in the world rankings. I will be on the verge of a world title shot should I win this.
“But I’m trying to not look too forward although this is an exciting time and a big opportunity for me. This will prove myself as a worthy British and Commonwealth Champion and prove to everyone that I’m number one in the country.
“This is a massive chance for me and a great opportunity to showcase my skills and what I’m capable of. I truly believe I’m the biggest fighter in the country at the moment.
“To fight at the Alexandra Palace for the European title is a dream come true and I will put on a good show. I live only a couple of stops away from Alexandra Palace so hopefully there will be loads of fans there to cheer me to victory.”
Barker has held the Commonwealth title since November 2007 and secured the British Championship in November when he beat Bristol’s Danny Butler.
The Barker v Belghecham contest is the chief support fight to the main event that sees Audley Harrison and Michael Sprott battle for the vacant European Heavyweight Championship.
Fighting on the undercard are two other former Prizefighter champions as welterweight winner Michael Lomax and light-welterweight champion Gavin Rees are both in action.
Popular light-welterweight Chris Evangelou is also on the bill, as are Tottenham cruiserweight Terry Dunstan, Sunderland heavyweight Danny Hughes, Coventry featherweight Troy James and Merthyr light-welterweight Ryan Evans.
Tickets for the show cost £30 and £60 and are available from www.seetickets.com or 0871 230 7148. All the action is also live on Sky Sports 1 and in HD from 10pm on Friday.