Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Vallily's in Shape and Ready to Win

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Vallily's in Shape and Ready to Win

Article excerpt

Byline: ADAM STEEL adam.steel@trinitymirror.com @adamsteelgaz

SIMON Vallily is confident he will overcome a significant experience and rankings gap and shock Mairis Briedis when he bids to gatecrash the world boxing scene tomorrow night.

WBC No 1 contender Briedis has got almost twice as many knockout wins on his record as former amateur star Vallily has had fights.

But the Middlesbrough boxer insists he will cause an upset which would propel him onto the world stage in his clash of unbeaten cruiserweights against the WBC mandatory challenger from Latvia.

The fight goes ahead just after 6pm on the Sky Sports 3 portion of the televised Echo Arena card in Liverpool promoted by Matchroom, and headlined by WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew's first title defence against BJ Flores.

"The man is a world class fighter, but I'm going to beat a world class fighter," said Vallily. "What I might lack in experience I definitely make up for in talent and ability.

"Even though it's fight week I've got a nice, relaxed feeling because I know I've put the work in. I'm looking forward to it.

"I'm in the best condition of my life physically and mentally - I'm sharp, I'm fit and I'm ready for every scenario.

"When I win it will open the doors that I want to be open."

Vallily won an ABA title and Commonwealth Games and GB Championship gold medals in the amateurs, but the Briedis bout represents a quantum leap in levels in the professional code.

The 31-year-old is ranked outside the WBC top 40 and has only navigated nine bouts against the usual moderate opposition that prospects face early in their careers since turning pro in 2013.

But he has been angling to prove himself in a big fight and has got chiselled into shape sparring world champion Bellew and burly heavyweight Dave Allen, while doing extensive power training with Teesside's Rio Olympian sprinter Richard Kilty.

"This is what I'm in boxing for, fights like this. It's what every boxer wants," Vallily said.

"I want to be the best, and to do that you've got to beat the best.

"I was getting frustrated with fights falling through and a lack of opportunities, and I feel like I've been avoided domestically. …

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