Gwyn Barry has insisted he won’t be losing his unbeaten record at Shock N Awe 29.
The University of Portsmouth graduate faces Eloge Bofale Imbula at Portsmouth Guildhall tomorrow night.
Both middleweights are undefeated and one of their copybooks will be blotted.
Barry, who trains at Fratton’s Gym 01, has won all three of his fights via first-round submission since moving to the professional ranks last year.
But the Welshman faces a significant step-up in competition against Imbula, who’s been successful in both his bouts.
Barry is straining at the leash to get back inside the cage, having not fought since December.
And the 26-year-old aims to entertain the Guildhall crowd with a knockout finish.
Barry said: ‘He’s going to lose his unbeaten record.
‘I’m really excited for this fight. No disrespect to any of my previous opponents but it’s nice to take it up a level.
‘Even with this guy being undefeated, I’ve not been training to fight him but people way above.
‘This is a stepping stone and it’s part of the process. It will further cement my belonging in this division.
‘The tougher the fight the better. I’m aiming for the top so I’ll take anyone out who will get me there.
‘I understand there’s a process and I’ve got to work my way up, get my name out and validate not only to myself but everyone else that I’m a serious contender.
‘I’m always trying to improve and a lot of that has been my stand-up and boxing – I think a lot of people are sleeping on that.
‘This fight won’t go the distance. I think I’ll wear him out in the first round and then TKO him in the second round.’
Barry steps down from light heavyweight to middleweight for the first time.
Although it’s a weight cut of 20lbs, he’s been using a new strength & conditioning coach and nutritionist which has made the process fairly comfortable.
Barry added: ‘I’ve got a new strength & conditioning programme and a nutritionist and it’s all coming into play.
‘This fight is going to be my first at middleweight – where I’ve needed to be for a while – so it’ll be nice to get down there and cement my place in what I hope will be my division.
‘I’m working strength & conditioning with someone called Henry Pike – he’s an absolute wizard.
‘He’s tearing away from the old fashioned lift heavy and do as much as possible. Everything is calculated and he lives and breathes it.
‘The weight cut has been gradual and the last few bits have come off so much easier.
‘A guy called James Nichols is doing my nutrition and he’s an expert as well. He looks at everything from sodium to the amount of fibre in your diet and it’s taken all the stress out of it during the weight cut.’