Stephen Simmons readily admits becoming the first Scotsman to win the British cruiserweight title will be extra special if he achieves the feat on English soil on Saturday.
Edinburgh’s Simmons (18-2-KO7) is preparing to take on Matty Askin (22-3-1-KO14) at York Hall and revealed patriotic rivalry is providing extra inspiration ahead of his bid to lift the famous Lonsdale belt.
Simmons said: “Becoming the first Scotsman to win the British cruiserweight crown would be great. The historical aspect means a lot to me.
“Being a Scotsman, there’s nothing better than beating an Englishman and to do so down there in his own back yard is even more special.
“It should be a mad atmosphere. I’ve got lots of people coming down with their flags and put it this way – they’ll be making themselves heard. Matty will also bring a good crowd so it’s going to be pretty noisy in there.
“My sole focus is on this fight. I’ve not being enjoying missing out on family time with my newborn baby so after this, I’ll be looking to spend some time with them.”
In 2016, Simmons was controversially denied a step up to world level when Noel Gevor was awarded a highly-debatable split decision in Germany. Gevor then suffered similar agony himself at the hands of former WBC world champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in Poland.
Reflecting on those frustrations, Simmons added: “I believe I was robbed. So did most of the people in the place that night and all the people I’ve spoken to who saw the fight on TV.
“Perhaps what happened to Gevor when he went to fight in Wlodarczyk’s back yard is a little bit of karma catching up with him because I heard he was unlucky not to get the decision too.
“Once I’ve done what I’m coming to London to do on Saturday and create history, I’ll sit down with my family because I want to live my family life. I’ve not make a decision beyond this fight.”