Gavin McDonnell says his career is on the line when he faces Gamal Yafai in Sheffield on Saturday.
The all-British bout is seen as a gateway for both men to enter world level.
But with McDonnell already having fought for a world title last year and the unbeaten Yafai yet to move beyond British level, the Dunscroft fighter believes defeat would be a bitter blow to his career.
“There’s a few nerves there because I know what’s riding on it,” he told The Star.
“My career is on the line. It is in a lot of fights but this one especially because Gamal is not proven.
“You can swallow it if you get beat by a world champion.
“But if you get beat by someone at domestic level, not even proven, I don’t know how I would cope.
“So my career is on the line here and that’s while I’ll do everything and anything to win.”
McDonnell says he has been surprised how long it has taken for a big fight to be made after impressing in defeat to Rey Vargas for the WBC super bantamweight title a year ago.
And he says he cannot imagine how long it would take again should be lose at the weekend.
He said: “It’s took me a long time from the world title and I thought I did well in that and deserved a fight like this straight after.
“It didn’t get made and it was pushed down and pushed down.
“It’s finally been made and it sets up a big 2018.”