Dillian Whyte is teaching Ellis Machin how to be a heavyweight contender.
Whyte meets Oscar Rivas at the O2 Arena on Saturday, July 20 – and six days later, Machin is back in action.
The 27 year old from Huthwaite is set to be matched on manager Carl Greaves’s show at the Britannia Hotel in Nottingham.
To prepare, Machin has been sparring Whyte – and taking confidence from their sessions.
“Dillian and (coach) Mark Tibbs tell me I’m good to work with because I’m strong and I keep coming,” he said. “I put the pressure on and make him work.
“For me, it’s great experience.
“Everyone knows how strong Dillian is, but he’s technical as well. I’m learning from him how to slow things down and set things up. I get good feedback from Dillian and he keeps inviting me back, so I have to take confidence from that.”
For Machin, next month’s fight will be his first since tough-as-old-boots journeyman Josh Sandland held him to a draw over six rounds in March.
Machin had started his pro career with two wins and said: “I underperformed. I wasn’t feeling 100 per cent and if I had brought my ‘A’ game, I believe I would have stopped him,
“But fair play to him, he fought a good fight.
“I want a rematch at some stage to put the record straight. I’m a fighter and would jump in with anyone tomorrow, but I leave who I fight and when up to Carl. He knows what he’s doing.”
Machin says to give himself the best chance of fulfilling his potential he’s ignoring his mates.
“I always get people ringing me to see if I want to go out,” he said, “but you have to stay disciplined. I want to achieve things, not sit down the pub. There’s nothing worse than seeing someone waste their talent – and I’m not going to do that. Boxing is tough and lonely, but I want to prove myself.”