Lolenga Mock has been a prospect, a high-class sparring partner, an occasional journeyman and now finds himself on the brink of a world title shot at the age of 46.
The Denmark-based Congolese takes on Avni Yildirim in a WBC super-middleweight title eliminator in Ludwigshafen on Saturday night and is adamant there’s no chance of him spurning his belated chance at ‘the big time.’
Mock (42-14-1-KO13) said: “Throughout my career I’ve had to spar everybody. Younger generations. Older generations. Everybody. Now, it’s my time.
“I have to show it in the ring and I will. I have to show people who the real Lolenga Mock is. Yildirim is young but that is no problem. We’ll see who is the more hungry on the night. Half the fight is about who is more hungry.
“My team have studied Yildirim very well. He’s young and strong and doesn’t go backwards but I believe we can outbox him on the back foot. We’ve been focused on sharpness and tactics.”
A key part of Mock’s preparations for his crucial night has been sparring sessions with young MTK Global light-heavyweight Dan Azeez, who travelled over to camp from south London.
Mock said: “Dan is very talented and clearly has a big future in the game. He is fast with lots of power and fights in a similar way to Yildirim.
“The sparring between us was very good and it was nice to have him in Denmark. He’s a wonderful kid and like I said, very talented.
“Dan comes forward but he can box as well. He has the skill. He has long reach and he uses that and his height with the jab. The head movement is good too. Sparring him has been good preparation for Yildirim.”