Lytham boxer Scott Cardle, who will defend his British lightweight title in Glasgow on October 7, says he will enter the ring stronger for his clash with Grimsby’s Kevin Hooper - but insists he will need to be.
The match has finally been made and Cardle knows full well he will have to be on his A-game.
Cardle said: “Hooper is a stand-up fighter, who will never give up, so I am expecting a hard fight because this is such a massive opportunity for him and I am sure he will be up for it.
“I have not been over-impressed with myself in my last two performances and since then I have been building up my power and my strength.
“I need to be ready for the best Kevin Hooper.”
The two have shared a ring before - in sparring - and Cardle says: “That was about two years ago and was over a total of 10 rounds.
“I like to think that I had the upper hand on that occasion, but it was a very tough spar.
“We have both probably improved as boxers since then.”
Nothing has come easy for Cardle in his title defences.
Sean Dodd gave him all the trouble he could handle when the pair met for the first time, Cardle pulling it out of the fire in the final round with an explosive stoppage.
When they squared up again, it was ruled a draw, with the Dodd camp screaming foul that their man should have got the verdict.
Since the meeting with Dodd, Cardle had a ticking-over fight, beating Ivan Njegac, of Croatia.
On each occasion when he met Dodd, Cardle found the overwhelming volume of support was for the popular Birkenhead man, and he found himself the ‘villain’ of the piece.
Cardle said: “It will be strange when I next fight because against Dodd, I was the bad guy and the underdog.
“I hope the people of Glasgow will get behind me on the night.
“My home-town is Lytham, but all my family come from Glasgow.”
He added: “I thought I would have this fight in September, so I am two weeks’ ahead of schedule and I don’t want to over-do things at this stage, but I will be right on the night and leave no stone unturned.”
Top of the bill at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on October 7 will be on the undercard of Ricky Burns’ World Boxing Association world super lightweight title fight against Kiryl Relikh.