Sefer Seferi is banking on Tyson Fury being affected by his long absence as the Albanian prepares to be the guinea pig for the ex-unified champion’s comeback.
The 39 year-old cruiserweight heads to Manchester next month to trade blows with Fury after agreeing terms with Frank Warren to appear on BT Sport in the UK.
Seferi, who has one heavyweight fight to his name (a defeat to Manuel Charr), believes he can upset the considerable odds and defeat Fury on his own turf.
A respectful Seferi put Fury, 27, in the highest bracket of fighters this century when outlining his plans to derail another run to a world title shot.
“This is going to be a hard fight for Fury,” said Seferi. “I’m very disciplined and always ready to take on everyone and anyone.
“This will not be an easy night for him. I’m coming to Manchester to beat one of the boxing legends of the 21st century.
“He is tall and strong but he won’t be ready for the pressure that I will bring on June 9.
“Two-and-a-half years out of the ring is a long time and nobody knows if he is still the same fighter that dethroned Wladimir Klitschko.
“I am going to seize this opportunity with both hands,” he added.
Not many fans are convinced by the choice of Seferi, who is widely regarded as a stop-gap opponent for Fury to shake off the cobwebs of 31 months away.
Fury can’t be expected to jump straight in at the top of the pile though, as the one-time ruler bids to build towards a possible fight with UK rival Anthony Joshua or US puncher Deontay Wilder.
A win against Seferi should lead to a further step-up in class before a possible Top 15 contender by the end of the year.