Hull fighter Samir Mouneimne Jr is ready to take “the next step” as he prepares to meet David Savage in a ten round British featherweight title eliminator.
The 25-year-old has ten wins to his name and is looking to make it number eleven in front of his hometown crowd on Saturday, on the undercard of James DeGale v Fulgencio Zuniga, which will be showcase live on Channel 5.
“It’s going to be a good fight, two prospects boxing each other and I’m ready for the challenge,” Samir said. “It’s a British title eliminator and it’s the next step to bigger and better things.
“I’m really looking forward to it; it’s an exciting show and I can’t wait. It’s in my back garden, it can be quite tricky when you fight elsewhere because you can end up fighting the crowd as well as your opponent."
Samir has won two of his last three contests by knockout going into the fight, but recognises that he can’t afford to underestimate David Savage, 26.
“He’s lost one and got one draw, but he has experience and he’s a good opponent; I think it makes you a better fighter when you have somebody good in front of you, it keeps you sharp,” Samir said.
Hull’s Joel Haigh “ready and raring to go” as he meets Paul Haines on the same bill. The contest will be only the second time Joel has fought in front of his hometown crowd and he is relishing the opportunity to do so on such a big stage this weekend.
“I’m looking forward to the whole experience; the atmosphere, TV cameras; it’s a dream come true,” said Joel. “Being on the same card as DeGale really motivates me; he’s somebody who you look up to, somebody I’ve watched since he’s been in the Olympics and with it being in Hull in front of my own supporters really means a lot.
“It will only be my second fight in Hull, so I’m ready and raring to go; I’ve definitely put the training in. I’ve had some excellent sparring, I’ve been sparring with Jamie McDonnell and his brother Gavin in Stefy Bull’s gym in Doncaster.
“Then I’ve been sparring with Kevin Hooper, the Midlands Area champion (BBBofC Midlands Area lightweight title holder), so I’ve learned a lot and been with some really good lads.
“I’ve sold a lot of tickets and people are still asking me about them, so I have a really good following and with it being in Hull I’m really looking forward to it.”
Joel boasts a perfect record with five straight wins since his professional debut in 2011. But, the 22-year-old light welterweight known as ‘Gentleman’ isn’t getting carried away and realises he cannot afford to underestimate his opponent Paul Haines, 27 or the nerves of the big stage.
“He’s a game man, he’s just starting out so he’ll be after my undefeated record; it will be a good fight, a good crowd pleaser but I want it more,” said Joel. “Obviously nerves will play a part, so trying to settle them and see how I cope will be a really good experience for me.
Welterweight prospect Zak Collins is looking to “put the icing on the cake” by making it five wins out of five for 2012 on the same Hull bill.
Collins, 23, has won all four of his professional contests since his debut in March and is looking to make it a perfect first year this weekend.
“It’s been a good year, I’ve been pretty busy; I’ve fought some tricky journeyman, but I’m really enjoying it and looking forward to Saturday,” Zak said. “Five out of five would really put the icing on the cake, it’s probably going to be my last show of the year; five fights, five wins, happy days.”
After five years out travelling and working before turning professional at the beginning of this year, Zak realises that fighting on the same show as James DeGale, Kid Galahad and Chris Eubank Jr is a big opportunity. “It’s inspirational to be boxing on the undercard for the likes of DeGale; it does motivate you to try and make an impression because there is going to be so many people there,” Zak said.
“Since coming back to the sport in January I feel a bit more mature and I am more dedicated than ever. I had my own cleaning business where I had ten lads working for me and I even sold that after my third fight to concentrate fully on my boxing.
“It’s a good opportunity to try to shine and make an impression as much as you can. It’s a little bit of a lucky break as I’m taking it and hopefully it will be nice to put on a good performance and wrap up the year.”
Hull’s ‘Tricky' Ricky Dudding will be looking to maintain his perfect record on the undercard. The 22-year-old lightweight has won both his professional contests to date and is really looking forward to featuring this weekend.
“Being on the James DeGale bill really motivates me; they’re big names in boxing at the minute and it’s a big show, so to be part of it I’m very pleased; I just can’t wait to get out there,” Ricky said. “Hopefully I can gain quite a lot from fighting on the bill, get my name out there and enhance and extend my own fan base.
“Training has gone really well, everyday I’ve been in the gym and I’ve had some good sparring; I couldn’t have asked for more really.
“It means a lot to be fighting in Hull, my hometown. Hopefully I’ll have a big crowd behind me, there’s a few lads from the gym coming down for me, so it should be a good night.”