Floyd Moore has been told to channel the backing of his huge support as he steps out on home soil tonight.
Big-time boxing returns to Moore’s home town for the first time since the 19th century as he headlines at Fareham Leisure Centre.
And the popular lightweight knows he now stands on the brink of a Southern Area title shot and a mouth-watering showdown with Southampton’s unbeaten ace Matty Tew.
But first he has to negotiate Bulgarian tough man Yordan Vasilev in front of a partisan and packed crowd.
Moore will be backed by hundreds of followers as a professional show is staged in Fareham for the first time since 1899.
The 22-year-old’s career is building momentum off the back of his popularity and all-action style.
He will look to improve his 6-2-1 record, with a showdown against Tew a likely outcome if he succeeds.
But Moore knows he can’t look past Vasilev and impressing in front of his army of loyal fans just yet.
His trainer, Michael Ballingall, believes Moore has to make the most of the backing he’ll receive.
That doesn’t mean a reckless approach, however, and he urged his man not to be too eager to please.
Ballingall said: ‘We want a little showdown with Matty Tew towards the middle of the year.
‘That’s what we’re aiming for – but first Floyd knows he has to get past a tough opponent.
‘I know Matty will be in the crowd looking on, so it can be built up moving forward. There has been a huge turnout for Floyd, absolutely hundreds and hundreds are coming out to support him.
‘The Fareham fans have gone to London, Southampton and Portsmouth and paid their money to support him, so we owe it to them to have it in their home town after that backing.
‘Floyd just goes to show that just because you aren’t a successful amateur doesn’t mean you can’t make it as a pro.
‘I’ve seen him develop from a boy to a young man. He’s no trouble, works hard and deserves success.
‘There has been times in the past when Floyd has let the crowd get to him. He’s learnt from that, though, and has to use the backing properly. There’s a game-plan to execute.
‘We’ve got a job to do and we are going out to do a job on this kid.’
Moore tackles an opponent with a win-some, lose-some resume in Vasilev.
He brings a well-travelled 12-28-2 record to the table, but has operated across Europe and been in with the likes of British featherweight champion Paul Appleby and former Commonwealth super-featherweight belt holder Paul Truscott.
Ballingall knows Vasilev could present a dangerous prospect if Moore under-estimates him.
But his trainer feels his charge is ready for 10 hard rounds of action tonight.
‘I’ve seen Vasilev box a few times before,’ said Ballingall.
‘He’s clever. He’ll wait and tuck up then let you throw shots on the inside.
‘But he’ll then come back with big counters and he can punch a little bit.
‘He’s put people down, so we need to show that Floyd has boxing skills as well as coming to fight.
‘If we can do that for 10 rounds we’ll get a good win.
n Fight night reports, pictures and reaction – in The News on Tuesday.