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Wembley win can be a springboard for Askin

Matty Askin preparing for his title defence in a public workout at York Hall in east London this week
Matty Askin preparing for his title defence in a public workout at York Hall in east London this week

Fighting in front of 80,000 people at Wembley Stadium would be the pinnacle for most boxers, but Blackpool’s Matty Askin insists this is just the start.

The British cruiserweight champion takes on undefeated Lawrence Okolie tonight as he looks to take a huge step forward in his search for world honours.

The bout, on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight clash against Alexander Povetkin, has Okolie’s WBA Continental cruiserweight belt on the line.

While Askin (23-3-1) admits he wants to win the British title outright, which would require another defence, the 29-year-old has his eyes firmly set on the world level.

“Keeping hold of the British title is massive,” he admitted to The Gazette. “But this isn’t enough for me, to go in and beat Okolie and act like this is the pinnacle.

“I want to go past the British belt. If I lose it now all that stops in its tracks, so I need to fight for my life and that’s exactly what I will be doing.

“I’d love to keep the belt now so I need to win it outright. I know I’ve always said it’s not for me, I want to go on and earn as much money as I can, but seeing my son’s face light up when I bring the belt home is amazing.

“He takes it to nursery and all sorts. I’d love to be able to keep it for him.

“Hopefully I’d be able to get in another quick defence and then go on and see what there is to offer at another level, maybe European or world. But I think I’m world level now.”

Fighting at the national stadium is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Askin.

However, he insists he isn’t feeling any nerves and is just concentrating on getting the job done.

“It’s one of those things for me, it’s a fight,” he added.

“I’m not an attention seeker unlike the rest of them. I just like to keep in the shadows and then go out and put on a big display.

“After the victory I’ll have a good look round and absorb it all in. But if I do that too early and start thinking about it then it might throw me off my game.

“I know the way that I am is that all my eyes will be on him, going in and doing a number on him. I’m not going to be satisfied until that’s done.

“It’s just another fight. People are getting a lot more excited about it than me.”