Ryan Moore readied himself for his big-fight showdown with Callum Smith and was told: He’s beatable.
Moore walks out at the O2 Arena tonight knowing he can propel himself into the boxing big leagues against the hyped Liverpool prospect.
A contract with promoters Matchroom Sports is at stake if the 24-year-old can pull off a shock against the former amateur star.
The odds are stacked in Smith’s favour after Moore took the super-middleweight contest at short notice.
But his trainer, Michael Ballingall, has backed the Waterlooville puncher to rise to the challenge of taking on Smith on the undercard of the Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler super fight.
Ballingall has been busy working on a game plan to overturn the 5-0 man in London.
And he feels there are gaps in Smith’s armoury to exploit.
‘We know how big the task is – but Callum Smith is beatable,’ said Ballingall.
‘We don’t listen to the hype but look at what is in front of us.
‘We’ve studied Callum Smith and he is a dangerous fighter.
‘But he’s human and there are things we can take advantage of.
‘If Ryan can put it together on the night anything can happen.
‘He’s definitely got the tools to do it.
‘Ryan is an unknown at the moment, but if he beats him he will get a contract with Matchroom.
‘This can really make things happen for him.
‘Ryan has been a pro for just 18 months, so this has come early for him. But if he can go out and do this then he will make a breakthrough.
‘Ryan isn’t a dreamer – he wants this to become a reality.
‘He’s a quiet lad who is polite. But taking this fight in these circumstances shows he’s a warrior.
‘One thing’s for sure, he’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
‘It’s going to be over six or eight rounds so Ryan is going to get a chance to mix it.
‘We’re planning on making a quiet entrance – and a loud exit.’
Moore will be undertaking his fourth professional contest in vastly-different circumstances to his previous bouts.
After appearing on local shows, he will be moving into the big time in the capital.
The O2 Arena is a 20,000 sell-out, with the sporting world’s eyes on the Froch-Kessler showdown.
Moore’s meeting with Smith is one of the main features of the undercard, with the contest expected to be given decent exposure.
Ballingall expects his charge to take all the hype in his stride.
He said: ‘Ryan isn’t the type to get too carried away.
‘He’ll just shrug his shoulders and get on with it.
‘He knows what to expect with the lights and cameras
‘There will be some big names around, too, but Ryan won’t be starstruck.
‘It’s the biggest moment for anyone from our gym.
‘But Ryan has the right attitude and will be focused on taking his chance. We 100-per-cent believe he can do it.’