Jason Cunningham is convinced his weekend opponent Jordan Gill wanted no part of him – and he is determined to prove the prospect right.
Woodlands fighter Cunningham was offered the chance to face Gill in a British featherweight title eliminator at just four week’s notice.
The 28-year-old and manager Stefy Bull jumped at the chance for the fight in Manchester on Sunday but it took another week for Gill’s team to confirm they were taking the bout.
And Cunningham read that as signs of hesitation from Gill and his advisors.
“I really don’t think he wanted to fight me,” Cunningham told the Free Press.
“I don’t think they thought I’d take the fight at such short notice but I said yes straight away. There was no hesitation from me or Stefy.
“It might have been them playing games but I don’t think it was.
“They were umming and ahhing about facing a southpaw but I don’t think they wanted it in the first place. They didn’t really have many options for the fight though.
“It’s another great opportunity for me and I’m going there to get the job done.”
Cunningham has vastly greater experience than 23-year-old Gill, who is trained in Rotherham by Dave Coldwell.
Gill has won all 18 of his previous fights but has fought only one opponent with a winning record, and a chequered one at that.
With the Cambridgeshire man positioned as one of the top names on this Matchroom NXTGEN show, Cunningham says all the pressure is on his opponent.
He said: “They’re looking at him as a top prospect but he’s proven nothing yet.
“I’ve been in ten and 12 round fights since my ninth fight. I was English champion in my tenth.
“He’s got a long, long way to go to match my experience and it’s going to be a very tough night for him on Saturday.
“I’m convinced I’ve got the better of him and I’ll prove that on Sunday.”
Cunningham suffered the fourth defeat of his 27 fight career last time out when stopped by the hard-hitting Reece Bellotti for the Commonwealth featherweight title, again on Sky Sports.
He said: “I’m pleased to be back on TV with a chance to show what I’m all about.
“Bellotti is a very good kid but I was doing well until I started trading with him. He’s got phenomenal power and that was the first time I’ve been down in my career.
“I’m looking forward to setting the record straight about where I am as a fighter.”