Maryland super-middleweight Demond Nicholson finds himself as one of the most active 168 pounders around as he prepares for one of his toughest tests to date.
The 26 year-old, who is 26-3-1 as a pro, battles the hard-hitting Ernest Amuzu on May 11 at the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax.
Ahead of the fight, WBN caught up with Demond to get his views on the challenge ahead, his aspirations for the future and old foe Steve Rolls.
Asked firstly about his busy schedule as he approaches his tenth bout in three years, Nicholson said it’s all in preparation for a title chance to come.
“It feels great to be active,” Nicholson exclusively told World Boxing News. “I’m steadily learning new things, especially with the new trainers added to my team.
“Of course, it gives me the confidence I need to take on the big fights ahead.
“My next opponent Ernest Amuzu is a very hard hitter. He has 25 wins and 22 KO’s. This is not an easy thing to do so this will be a good challenge for me.”
On what kind of contest he’s expecting, Nicholson added: “Other than his power I see a vet in the ring. He’s learned to survive even though he was stopped in his last fight.
“In his whole career, there wasn’t one time when he was out on his feet.”
The bustling weight class Nicholson finds himself in has opened up considerably over the years following the retirements of Andre Ward and Carl Froch.
Belts have found their way back to United States soil and Nicholson would love to be part on an all-US title fight in the near future.
“I would like a title shot by the end of 2019. I think I’m ready and will prove it against Amuzu. Of course, then I’ll be targeting every champion in the division. No specific one.
“Whatever belt comes up first whether it’s Andre Dirrell, Caleb Plant, Canelo, or for the vacant WBO. I want them all so it’s no rush and I’m just waiting on my time.
“I pay a lot of attention to fashion and I believe the champions are all fly dudes. David Benavidez is definitely a classy dude outside of the ring. Caleb Plant reminds me a lot of myself, fashion-wise.
“As for Anthony Dirrell, he’s an OG type dude. And Peter Quillin too, he’s a real humbled man so I have a lot of respect for him outside of the ring.
“Boxing-wise though, they all can fight no question about it. I just have the key to unlock all of these guy’s talents and skills.
“Soon, I will show the world. I may have left out a few names, but I just keyed in on the stars.”
Former opponent Steve Rolls gets his major chance in June against Gennady Golovkin. It could so easily have been Nicholson, though.
The pair fought out a wafer-thin eight round split decision in July 2017 which really could have gone either way.
Giving his thoughts on Golovkin v Rolls, Nicholson said people are probably correct to write off the underdog.
“In boxing, everyone has a chance. But my honest opinion is I don’t think Steve Rolls has the best chance. Being that it’s Triple G, and of course the amount of money that’s behind him, the only way he wins is by KO. And I don’t see that happening at all.
“My best wishes to him. It’s not quite often us fighters get to have a chance like this to showcase our talents and shine.
“I do not think it’s too early for Steve as he’s 35 and he isn’t getting any younger. Go out and shock the world Steve! It’s his time now or it will never happen.”
With victory, Golovkin is hoping to land a trilogy with Canelo this year. Concluding with his thoughts on the first two fights, Nicholson said: “Triple G won the first fight hands down. Second fight was the draw to me.”
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay