Sheldon Purdy targets a world ranking on Leicester’s next big fight night.
Purdy meets Alexis Diaz on promoter Carl Greaves’s show in the King Power Stadium’s Walkers Suite on Saturday, March 14.
The Venezuelan is ranked No 10 by the WBA at minumumweight.
Only world champions Thammangon Niyomtrong and Jose Argumendo have beaten Diaz in his 27-fight career – and he has 17 inside-the-distance wins on his record.
Purdy sees the fight – the biggest held in the city since Chris Pyatt was in world-title action at the Granby Halls more than two decades ago – as a stepping stone to a world-title challenge.
He proved he belongs in such class when, in his first fight for 20 months, he jumped up several levels to outpoint two-time world-title challenger Wicha Phulaikhao over eight rounds at the King Power Stadium last November.
“This is another step up,” said the 34 year old. “He’s a really good fighter.
“My opponents are usually smaller than me and I look to control the distance, but he’s a similar height and reach.
“This is a completely different fight to the ones I’m used to.
“He has a high workrate and I will definitely know I’ve been in a fight afterwards, but he’s beatable.
“I will look to make him think, make him hesitate and then the gaps will appear.
“I know he’s only lost to world champions and I expect to beat him as well.
“I’m going to shock everyone.”
The show looks certain to be a sell out.
Greaves has packed the undercard with local ticket sellers – including unbeaten welterweight Callum Blockley.
Greaves says he will face a step up in class in his seventh professional fight, while Benn Norman and Connor Ireson look to stretch their unbeaten records.
Kyle Haywood returns from his narrow Midlands-title defeat to CJ Challenger last March, Joe Ducker will be matched and Kenan Brown-Wingfield makes his professional debut.