RICHARD LARTEY BELIEVES he has been the avoided man of the heavyweight division.
The 14-1 Ghanaian with 11 KOs to his name has fought just once outside of his native Accra when he travelled to Berne and suffered an injury-enforced defeat to the unbeaten Ergun Mersin in December 2014.
He will now embark on a long-awaited second away voyage to take on the 10-0 heavyweight star in the making Daniel Dubois at the SSE Arena, Wembley on April 27, live on BT Sport.
For Lartey, a big-punching trade-off with Dubois represents an opportunity to really announce himself in the heavyweight division and make a statement to his fellow ranked contenders who have chosen to bypass him.
“Heavyweights have been avoiding me for a long time now, when I knock out Daniel Dubois then I cannot be avoided any longer!” said Lartey with intent. “My goal is to become the world heavyweight champion!
“This is about my dream to become the first world heavyweight champion from Africa. When I beat someone with a big reputation like Dubois, I will get the opportunities and climb up the rankings.”
Lartey’s school of thought is that the clutch of highly-rated young heavyweights in world boxing are nothing but pretenders who always enjoy home comforts against easy touches.
“People talk too much about young heavyweights who have achieved nothing and beaten nobody. I am happy to do it the hard way and beat these people in front of their own fans.
“I will make a big statement against Dubois then no-one can deny me what I deserve.”
Daniel Dubois v Richard Lartey tops the bill at the SSE Arena, Wembley on April 27 on a card that also includes the Commonwealth super middleweight title fight between Lerrone Richards and Tommy Langford, as well as the Southern Area super middleweight title clash between Zak Chelli and Jimmy Smith. WBO European super flyweight champion Sunny Edwards and WBO European super featherweight champion Archie Sharp also feature.
Chorley-boxer Jack Catterall will be in action as he edges ever-closer to a world title challenge. Rangy Super Welterweight talent Hamzah Sheeraz will be back out after his impressive win over Rod Douglas Jnr. Hard hitting middleweight and Peacock gym product Denzel Bentley (9-0) and Belfast amateur middleweight star Caoimhin Agyarko will also return to action. There is a Queensberry debut for Sheffield middleweight Shakiel Thompson (2-0) – with Thompson being tipped by sparring partner Billy Joe Saunders as a star for the future. Ilford Super Middleweight Umar Sadiq (4-1) also returns as he looks to rebuild after his first career loss. Tunde Ajayi trained lightweight Bilal Ali (1-0) will have his second professional fight after making a successful start to his pro career, with Hoddesdon super lightweight Alfie Price set for his fifth.