Trainer Michael Jennings insisted Scott Fitzgerald will not be taking anything for granted when he takes on Ted Cheeseman this weekend.
The Preston boxer is bidding to become the British super-welterweight champion for the very first time when he steps inside the ring at the Newcastle Arena on Saturday.
After his brilliant and – in many people’s eyes – surprise victory over bitter rival Anthony Fowler earlier this year, 27-year-old Fitzgerald is now earmarked as somebody who could go right to the very top of the sport.
However, his future ambitions could be railroaded this weekend against Cheeseman, who is the defending champion and boasts plenty of experience despite being almost four years younger than Fitzgerald.
Former British welterweight champion Jennings has been overseeing Fitzgerald’s training camp – so much so that he has had the ex-Commonwealth Games gold medal winner living with him at his Chorley home over the past couple of months.
He revealed that on the eve of the bout, his man is in great shape but urged caution about the prospect of Fitzgerald blowing his opponent away.
Although he believes the Preston ace – who is unbeaten in 13 professional bouts – has the greater punching power, Cheeseman has shown that he has got staying power.
The champion has only lost one of 17 pro encounters – his only defeat coming on points against Mexico’s Sergio Garcia for the European title earlier this year.
“Scott’s looking good,” said Jennings. “His weight is coming down nicely and if he does in the ring on Saturday what he’s been doing in the gym, he should win.
“But you can’t think that Scott will just blow him away. Everyone knows Cheeseman is a very tough kid. You can’t go in there just looking to knock somebody out because while you’re looking to land that big one, you’ll find yourself getting outworked. That’s not the game plan although I wouldn’t be surprised though if that was to happen.
“But Cheeseman has had a lot of experience – he’s fought for the European title although he got out-boxed by Garcia.
“He’s never been stopped and he’s done the full 12 rounds a number of times – Scott’s never done that before, it will be new to him.
“Scott is a cracking boxer – we have got to make sure he is 100% switched on.”