Gym 01's Ollie Southern confident his year-long absence will pay dividends at Shock N Awe 30
Ollie Southern reckons he’ll reap the rewards of his year-long absence and deliver a maiden professional victory at Shock N Awe 30.
The flyweight returns to the cage when he faces Aaron Lalaye on Saturday.
Southern, who trains at Fratton’s Gym 01, suffered a first-round loss to Benoit Poittevin on his bow in the paid ranks last November.
Following that defeat, the University of Portsmouth graduate opted to step away from competing and instead hone his skill set.
And Southern feels he’s improved all aspects of his game – and will deliver at success in front of a jam-packed Portsmouth Guildhall crowd.
He said: ‘I’ve had a year out since my last fight. I’ve still been in the gym the whole time and it’s made me really hungry going into this one.
‘I wanted to change the mental approach to my game, while I wanted a bit of time off because in 2018 I trained through load of injures.
‘It meant I was training for the fun of it and it was nice to be able to get better for a while.
‘I definitely feel more technical and it’s made me realise I can’t waste opportunities.
‘Going into my pro debut, I didn’t fully appreciate I have five minutes in a round to work but that’s something you’ll see on Saturday.’
Laleye fell to second-round submission loss to Southern’s Gym 01 team-mate, Elliott Hoye, last month.
The 25-year-old has watched that fight to get an idea of what challenges he’ll face.
And Southern is expecting the same outcome.
He added: ‘I’m happy to be fighting Aaron because I know what he’s about.
‘After the year’s training, I’m confident wherever we end up in the right.
‘I’m excited to see what Aaron’s to do and I’ll have an answer.
‘I’ve watched his fight with Elliott a bunch of times and it’s similar to see how I see it going myself.
‘We’ll both have our moments but I think I'll start to slowly edge away, land more damage when on top and find more and more little opportunities.’