Hawkesbury's Joel Brunker will fight Welshman Lee Selby (19-1) in London on October 11.
Joel spoke to Matt Jones about what is shaping as the toughest and biggest night of his professional boxing life.
Tell us about Selby.
He’s going to be the best fighter I’ve ever fought, but if you want to be the best you’ve got to beat the best.
He had a loss very early but since then he’s taken off. He’s won a Commonwealth title and he’s number-one-ranked in the WBC.
He’s a very good fighter and will be a very hard task. He’ll be harder than the champion but that’s who we’ve got to go through to get a shot at the title. He’s very big. For his weight, he’s a monster. He’s got longer arms than his height and he’s what you’d call an awkward sort of fighter.
He’s a bit of a lair and full of himself.
You’ve sparred him a few years ago. How will that change your approach?
I did some rounds with him in America about three years ago and he was a typical Welsh fighter. He comes to fight, doesn’t back down and was very tough.
We’ve both changed a lot. He’s gone to more of a boxing style and thinks he’s a Mayweather and tries to box a bit more. I’ve cleaned my game up since then.
We went to war that day. At Mayweather’s gym they all stopped and watched us, saying ‘look at these two white fellas bashing each other’.
What’s the plan against Selby?
I’ll just fight my normal fight, put pressure on him and try and break him down. It’s the same thing I do every other fight.
It will be 14 months since your last fight when you step into the ring in London. How will that affect you?
It’s not good, but I had to change things to get these sort of fights. My management wasn’t getting this happening so we had to change management and get the ball rolling and it just took a little while to kick things off.
It’s not that good to be out of the ring for that long, but it was good for me to have a rest. I went back to being normal for a bit.
I’ve been training most of the time though and keeping in shape so hopefully it won’t cost me too much.
You’re 28 now, so you must want to make sure you’re fighting the best as you enter the prime of your career and not leave things too late?
That’s why I changed manager because I don’t want to hang around forever, just plodding along and not finding out exactly what I’ve got.
I want to take these big fights against the big names to find out what I’ve got and where I need to improve. I’ll have a crack at it over the next few years and if I can’t do it, I can’t do it. If I can, I can.
If you win this fight you’ll fight for a world title, this will shape your career in a big way?
Most definitely it will. It’s the biggest fight I’ve ever had.
I’m fighting in London in front of 30,000 people. Obviously, it’s not the ideal thing because we have to travel to his backyard, but it’s the only way to do it.
They’ll do everything in their power to try and break me before the fight, but if I can get a shot at the title and win that, then I can get them to come to us.