Archie ‘Sharpshooter’ Sharp is out to steal the show at the Copper Box when he fights on the undercard of a world-title double-header on Saturday night.
While James DeGale and Lee Selby are the headline acts, with both men defending their IBF world titles, 22-year-old super-featherweight Sharp (10-0, 6KOs) is keen to impress this weekend on the Frank Warren-promoted bill.
Aiming for his fifth stoppage win on the spin against veteran journeyman Rafael Castillo, ‘Sharpshooter’ reckons he will shoot the lights out in London.
“I’m looking forward to the fight. I’ve been training hard and I’m buzzing to get in there now. It’s a very good card – James DeGale, Lee Selby and Daniel Bubois are all big names, so I’m glad to be on the show,” said Sharp.
“It’s a big card, big names on there and, if I can, I’ll definitely be out to steal the limelight with a big performance. I want to make sure people are aware of me, so that means I need to put on a performance for everyone because I have a lot of people coming to support me and I’ll be keen to put on a show.”
Castillo carries a 14-37-3 record, but the Barcelona-based Nicaraguan has taken a number of British prospects the distance and Sharp hopes to get a few rounds in the bag before attempting to force a stoppage.
“He’s not got the best record, but he’s a tough opponent and he’s taken a few good fighters the distance, so it’ll be good for me,” said Sharp. It’ll be a big statement if I stop him, but it’ll be good to get a few rounds in and I want to do that to be honest. I need to get a few rounds in before the new year, so he’s a good durable opponent and a tough enough lad."
A European schoolboy silver medallist as an amateur, the Welling native, who trains out of Body Shots BC in Crayford, believes he is gradually fine-tuning his style to the paid ranks having turned pro two years ago at the age of 22.
“Everything’s going well. I’ve been there [at Body Shots] since I was a kid, so it’s like a second home to me and I’ve done well boxing out of there. It was my amateur club as well, so it’s nice to be around good people,” said Sharp.
“I definitely feel like I’m developing well as a pro. I’m starting to sit down more on my shots, but I’m using my amateur skills as well – being sharp and elusive and having some skill about me, not just being a face-first fighter.
“I’m sitting down on my punches more, but a lot of it is down to getting the weight right. I want to collect as many belts as I can as a super-featherweight. I’m filling out into the weight and I feel nice and strong.”