JASON Welborn has warned Scott Haywood he will be facing a fighter in the shape of his life tomorrow night.
The Rowley Regis puncher makes the second defence of his Midland welterweight crown against Derby-based Haywood at Wolverhampton Civic Hall.
Welborn showed his strength to snatch the belt off Sean McKervey inside three rounds last November and then further impressed with a fifth round stoppage of James Flinn in March.
But the 26-year-old believes he is even fitter this time around.
He said: “I have really sharpened up my game. I’ve had absolutely no trouble getting down to the weight, I’m not sure if its a mental or physical thing but I feel a lot fitter and a lot stronger.
“I’ve had good sparring with quality fighters like Marcus Portman and Liam Smith, everything has gone right.
“It’s just up to me to do the business now.”
Welborn believes Haywood will not be able to cope with the same high tempo, pressuring tactics which proved too much for Flinn.
But he insists there is no way he will under-estimate an opponent who previously held the English crown at light-welter, after beating Welborn’s stable-mate Dean Harrison.
He accepts there is plenty on the line, knowing a victory could put him in line for his own English title shot later this year.
Welborn said: “I don’t want to defend the Midland title again after this, I’ll be looking to move up.
“If I win I expect to be sitting down in the summer and discussing a shot at an English title or maybe even looking at the British.
“Beating someone like Haywood would only inspire me more.
“He is certainly no mug and has held titles of his own in the past, he knows his way around the ring.”
Former Commonwealth title challenger Haywood is also confident, believing his big fight know-how will decide the bout.
He said: “I’ve been around and he hasn’t boxed at my level before.
“He thinks he can walk me down but he will be taking some solid shots himself. I will stick my jab in his face all night and then we will see if he keeps on coming.”
Welborn’s bout now tops a card which has undergone several changes in recent weeks thanks to pull-outs and injuries.
The show was originally to be screened on Frank Warren’s subscription channel BoxNation but will now instead be live on Ricky Hatton’s Hatton Promotions website.
The packed undercard also includes some top prospects including Thomas Costello and Nathan Reeve.
Tickets are available from the box office on 0870 3207000, promoter PJ Rowson on 07976 283157 or on the door.