Headline act Michael Conlan never once considered avoiding a step up in class for his homecoming fight – insisting the Belfast fans demand it.
Former world amateur champion Conlan (7-0-KO5) faces the dangerous Adeilson Dos Santos (19-4-KO15) as the main event of a staggering card at The SSE Arena on Saturday.
Conlan said: “It’s a considerable step up for me, certainly.
“I know Belfast is a hugely knowledgeable boxing crowd and there was no way I wanted an easy option. I’d have been hounded for it.
“I need this fight anyway because there’s no point in fighting lower-level opposition any more. It’s all part of a learning curve and a journey to the top. Dos Santos is significant.
“If I’m honest, I don’t watch much footage of my opponents. I let my coach Adam Booth go over the tactics, tell me what we need to do and I go and put the plan into action.
“I trust Adam completely. We struck up a bond quickly and our work together so far has been great. I have real faith in him knowing what he’s doing and that’s where the trust comes from.
“I hear Dos Santos is big, aggressive and will come forward. It’s clear he can punch and he’s been in with some high-class opposition. He comes to win but I’ve worked too hard to let him.”
Conlan v Dos Santos headlines a huge bill that also includes Jack Catterall v Tyrone McKenna, Jono Carroll v Declan Geraghty, Johnny Coyle v Lewis Benson, Tyrone McCullagh v Joe Ham and more.