Ted Cheeseman has set his sights on a second shot at the European super-welterweight title provided he successfully defends his British belt this weekend.
The 26-year-old from Bermondsey takes on unbeaten Troy Williamson at Liverpool’s Echo Arena tomorrow.
Former Fisher amateur Cheeseman became a two-time holder of the domestic strap when he stopped James Metcalf in March.
The South Londoner was outclassed when he last challenged for the European belt, Sergio Garcia inflicting a painfully one-sided points defeat.
But Spaniard Kerman ‘Revolver’ Lejarraga is the new champion after narrowly beating Dylan Charrat in Barcelona last month.
“I believe I’ve got all the tools to beat him and stop him,” said Cheeseman. “That’s a fight we’d like after this one. I’m ranked number four in the world by the IBF now and I’ll probably go to number two or three [by defeating Williamson].
“That should get me an eliminator for a world title. I’m there or thereabouts.”
The heavy-handed Lejarraga has moved up from welterweight. He blew away Tooting-born Bradley Skeete in 2018 to win the vacant European crown but was twice stopped by classy operator David Avanesyan.
“It would be a great fight for me,” said Cheeseman. “He sells out arenas and I’d have no qualms about fighting in his backyard. There is only me and my opponent in the ring, it doesn’t matter what anyone is saying outside of it.”
There has previously been talk of a clash with Anthony Fowler, who tops the Liverpool bill in an all-Scouse affair against Liam Smith.
“I believe Fowler gets beaten,” said Cheeseman. “Liam is high up the WBO rankings and he will be pushing on down that route.
“I’m not in the WBO rankings, so it’s not the greatest one as a career move. To get a WBO rating it would be like starting over all again.
“But all the matters is Saturday night – not where I’m ranked. I need to go out and win, then look at what I do after that.”
Darlington’s Williamson has 12 stoppages on a perfect 16-0 record.
He won the ABA Championships in 2015 and was part of the British Lionhearts team in the 2016 World Series of Boxing.
“He’s a good fighter but very inexperienced,” said Cheeseman. “Look at his first 10 fights and my first 10 fights – the calibre of opponents is very different. Then add in my last four opponents, it shows the difference in levels. That is why he will come unstuck.
“The win over Metcalf was probably one of my best performances. You could see my confidence is building and mentally I’m in a great place, as well as physically.”
Cheeseman sought professional help in June 2019 for a gambling addiction he estimates saw him lose close to £1million.
“I’m fully focused on boxing and there are no distractions,” said Cheeseman. “I’m in a good place in life and I feel like it is my time to push on.
“Before I was in a great place in boxing but not in a good place in life. I won’t make that mistake again.
“You’ll see an improvement again from the Metcalf fight in this one. I know I’m improving and getting stronger.
“Sam Eggington is a real tough fighter, he doesn’t get knocked out, and I hurt him a couple of times.
“Metcalf was 21-0, unbeaten and a very strong man. He’d never got hurt in his career. I knocked him out.
“You can see my maturity and strength coming through.
“I believe you’re going to see a different animal, a different Ted Cheeseman.”
The show is live on DAZN.
PICTURES: MARK ROBINSON AND DAVE THOMPSON/MATCHROOM BOXING
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