Marsellos Wilder has the weight of his surname on his shoulders but the man himself says he more excited than nervous about his pro debut.
The 29 year-old, the younger brother of WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, faces Jalyn Anthony at Tuscaloosa Rivermarket on Friday night in his first foray into the paid ranks.
With countless hours sparring one of the best fighters in the world, Marsellos is confident he can translate his gym experience into the real thing.
“Training has gone great. I’ve been consistently grinding and sacrificing a lot to put myself in the best position to win,” Wilder exclusively told World Boxing News.
“In my position, there’s always going to be a little pressure thrown at me because fans want to see me knock people out like my brother does. But I don’t allow pressure to bother me much. I’m kind of use to it now. I’m going to just do me.
“There’s no nerves really, more of excitement to actually live out this moment and be able to be a professional boxer. It’s a vision I saw three years ago and here it is.
“If a life-changing opportunity presents itself you have to take serious attention to the pros and cons of the situation and be smart bout it.
“It’s now about getting more fights and more experience. They are definitely my first steps. I really don’t have a reason to rush my career.”
On the current crop of cruiserweights lighting up the division, Wilder believes by the time he makes it to the top it could be wide open if the winner of the World Boxing Super Series moves up in weight.
“I feel the cruiserweight division is definitely heating up because soon one man will have all the belts. It’s a wide-open division, though. I feel the division needs that dominant superstar.
“It’s been a magical sight for me being with my brother Deontay along this journey to my debut.
“Having the access to see how a champion handles himself. It’s super inspirational to see it up close and at the same time it’s my brother.
“This is a big push for me turning pro,” he added.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay