Blackpool’s British champion Matty Askin believes this weekend’s Wembley showdown with Lawrence Okolie is his chance to prove he can mix it at the highest level.
The cruiserweight is preparing to defend his British title against the unbeaten Okolie in front of 80,000 spectators on Saturday night.
The fight will form part of the undercard for Anthony Joshua’s pay-per-view clash with Russia’s Alexander Povetkin.
Despite winning his last five fights, Askin has yet to receive the widespread recognition he deserves, something that could change were he to beat former Olympian Okolie.
The biggest name on Askin’s resume is Polish cruiserweight Krzysztof Glowacki, who he lost to in 2012, but the Blackpool man believes he’s not far away from cracking the big time.
“It’s the biggest opportunity for me to showcase what I can do,” the 29-year-old said.
“As a British champion people still don’t know that much about me. I’ve gone the long, hard route but now it’s time to prove that I mix at the highest level.
“I’ve already been in with some top company and this is another chance to take a prospect’s unbeaten record which I’ve done before.
“I shouldn’t have taken the Glowacki fight on two weeks’ notice, it’s something I’ve learned from. I came straight back off holiday and it was an uphill task going over to Poland but you learn a lot in defeat and I’ve put it down to experience and built from it.
“Until I got caught with the bodyshot, I was boxing relatively easily. But you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth.”
Askin (23-3-1) has taken himself away from Blackpool for his big fight, opting to live in his dad’s caravan at the Charity Farm campsite, near Coppull.
Despite being away from his partner Samantha Conway and their son, Lincoln, it gives him the chance to be closer to his gym, where he trains under former world title challenger Mike Jennings.
Askin added: “I’ve locked myself away in a caravan for the second camp. I like to keep my self to myself when training. I like the solitude and to read books in there.
“The reasoning behind it is mainly the driving. Everything is based around the gym and caravan.
“I don’t have to go back to Blackpool every day so it’s just perfect.
“It pains me to stay away from my partner and little lad, but it’s the right thing to do in terms of focus.”