The 23 year-old has spent the last two weeks in South Africa completing his training camp, and admits he has enjoyed his time away from home.
“It’s been a great experience to be here in South Africa,” said Nielsen, who has previously fought in Russia, Finland and England, as well as his native Denmark.
“My trips abroad help me to understand the world a little better. I only finished elementary school, and since I was 17, all my focus has been on boxing. It’s a job that requires your full dedication if you want to make it to the top.’’
South Africa, in particular, has made a big impression on the hard-hitting cruiserweight, where he has learnt about the local history and found a kindred spirit with some of the local wildlife.
“It’s been exciting,’’ he says. ‘’Besides the training and sparring, I’ve had time to hear about Nelson Mandela, which I’ve found very inspiring, and I’d like to visit an apartheid museum and one of the townships before I go home. I’ve also been to a wildlife park to see the lions.
“My life is very similar to a lion. A lion sleeps over 16 hours a day, and then spends the night hunting their prey. I’m not sleeping quite as much as that, of course, but training is tough, and you need a lot of rest between sessions.
“It is no secret that I like to sleep a lot, but when I spar or fight, I’m like a wild animal, and that’s what I intend to show against Muller on Saturday night.”
Nielsen aims to make a statement by knocking out his South African opponent and landing a place in the final of the ‘Super 4’ tournament, where he would face the winner of Saturday’s second semi-final bout between Kevin Lerena and Roberto Bolonti.
“All the opponents in this tournament are highly skilled and well ranked fighters, but I’m confident, I can beat them all,’’ he says.
‘’I’m one hundred percent sure that I can win the ‘Super-4’, and when I win, the big names in the division will begin to notice my name.
‘’If the opportunity comes, I will go for the knockouts, as I think that will show that I’m ready to challenge the best fighters in the World. I fight to become the best, and soon I will be ready to challenge for World titles.
“I am not afraid of anything. There’s always a risk when you’re fighting away from home, but you need to take a risk once in a while, if you want to develop as a boxer.’’
Nielsen weighed in at 90.6kg, while his opponent Muller tipped the scales at 88.7kg.