Redditch’s Andrew Robinson insists he’ll show how he’s risen to a level above his opposition when he travels north this week to take part in a 10-round eliminator that’s expected to produce a challenger for the British and Commonwealth middleweight crowns.
Calls for Commonwealth champion Tom Langford to meet him in the ring have gone unheeded, so Robinson now takes on Sam Sheedy.
Their contest takes top billing when it headlines promoter Dennis Hobson Promotions’ show at the Magna Centre in Rotherham on Saturday July 30.
Top-class sparring partners in the lead-up to the bout have included Jamie Cox, 2006 Commonwealth gold medalist and now undefeated pro, and Britain’s only-ever male world amateur titlist Frankie Gavin.
Both, like Sheedy, are formidable southpaws with different approaches, Cox an aggressive bomber while IBF world title contender Gavin is the slippery alternative.
Robinson feels all of the elements are bringing him on leaps and bounds, adding a new dimension to his game as he looks to make the step up.
He said: “You can’t get much better than Jamie and Frankie, people would go abroad and pay money for that standard of sparring and it’s on my doorstep.
“I’ve done over 20 rounds with Frankie and he makes you chase him, so he can draw you in on the back-foot. The angles he punches you at are second to none.
“Jamie, for me, is a world champion in waiting and the one I’ve spent the most time with. He’s really spurred me on.
“You’ve got to be smart to go anywhere near him, so I can’t go in gung ho like I have done in the past. When he hits you, you stay hit.
“Him and John have really got me thinking about what I’m doing. No one wants to fight Jamie and I don’t think anyone wants to spar him either!
“His power is horrendous, I’ve got one of the best chins in the business and I’ve needed it. He’s a knockout artist and just wants to take your head off. He’s over a stone heavier than me, as well.
“Between them and the work with my coaches, I’m a completely different fighter. I’ve realised defence is as important as offence.
“My footwork, balance, guard and how I read a fight has really changed. There’s nothing but southpaws in the gym, so Sheedy won’t have anything I haven’t seen.
“Des has got me into fantastic shape, probably the best of my career. He’s got me punching harder, too, so I think you’ll see more knockouts from me.
“I already considered myself a European level fighter, but now I’m working with world-class opponents every day. I’ll show how I’ve improved.”
Both he and Sheedy have only ever lost once as a pro, with Robinson outpointed by puncher Frank Buglioni after climbing off the canvas in a compelling 12-round war.
‘Speedy’ was pipped to the post by English light-middleweight champ Nav Mansouri on a split decision and is now coming up a weight, while ‘Robbo’ is dropping down having relinquished the Midlands title.
He said: “I can tell you know that getting hit by Jamie, with 16oz gloves on, was far harder than Buglioni ever caught me.
“I throw punches at a high pace and velocity and Sheedy will have to match that. I’ve got full respect for him, but I’m the ‘D’Animal’ and he’s my prey!
“I can hold big shots, I’ve proved it time and again. I’ve also knocked out cruiserweights, so we’ll see if he can take my power.
“I’m away from home and he’s just another opponent, I’m going there to do a job on that kid. I’ll get the win anyway I have to.
“If the stoppage comes great but, if it’s a fight clearly won, they can’t not give me the decision. If that’s the case, he’ll be getting a 10-round beatdown.
“I’m progressive, I get fitter and stronger as it goes on. He can come with a plan, I’ll take it away and draw him into a fight. He’s in front of his own people and the pressure is all on him.”
For tickets call Paul Pj Rowson on 07976 283 157.