Greg Bridet has been challenged to show his Olympic class as he gears up for his moment of truth.
Bridet steps out in the final of the ABA Championships tomorrow on the brink of national glory.
South Durham’s Declan Fusco stands between the Heart of Portsmouth powerhouse and heavyweight success in Sunderland.
Bridet will be out to go one better than last year’s national final defeat, when he was controversially outpointed by Corby’s Simon Barclay.
The 22-year-old is out to prove he has the quality that has seen him earmarked as an Olympic hopeful for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Bridet has been elevated to the Great Britain Development squad, which hones talent at the top level of the noble art.
And his coach Q Shillingford is confident he will show why that’s the case when he takes on a big challenge in Fusco.
He said: ‘It’s going to be a tough one but we’re excited to go in there and do the job we need to.
‘Greg’s opponent has boxed for England and been on GB Development before, so he’ll be out to prove a point.
‘But do you know what? We wouldn’t have it any other way.
‘This is going to be a proper national final – and we want a hard contest to prove we’re number one.
‘We’ve had hard contests all the way through the competition and we want the final to be the same.
‘Greg has proved his worth and we’re looking to show why he’s on GB Development for 2016.
‘We’re determined to rubber-stamp that status and come out as champion.
‘To get this title for Portsmouth would be an amazing achievement.
‘We want to show why this city is a hot bed for amateur boxing and bring the title home.’
Bridet has undertaken an intense period of training to get him ready for what he knows is a tough assignment.
That has meant some sparring partners of the highest order to sharpen him for an opponent of the calibre of Fusco.
The Royal Navy have sent in some of their top talent to help Bridet, while Guildford City’s Olympic prospects Felix Cash and Jake Ball have also helped out.
Woking’s super-heavyweight ABA finalist Nicholas Webb has also helped condition the HOP man with his heavy hitting.
Shillingford said: ‘Myself and our coach Colin Williams have been really pleased with Greg’s preparations.
‘Sparring of the level he has received is essential.
‘He has been working with GB boys, navy boxers and Woking’s ABA finalist, who is the size of a fridge and bangs.
‘We’ve had great support from local clubs, too, and their backing is appreciated.
‘Greg is armed and dangerous – he’s ready.’