In less than a month, Kingsley Ikeke could quite possibly be upgraded from a vastly underrated middleweight top-contender to a full-fledged middleweight champion in a single blow. Whether he is still underrated by the media is up for debate, but with the IBF title, he will no longer be as avoided by his middleweight peers as he has been in the past. The supernaturally tall 160-pound fighter from Nigeria is traveling overseas for the first time in his pro career next month to face the undefeated Arthur Abraham for the vacant IBF Middleweight title - a shot Ikeke earned when he stopped Antwuan Echols last April, and BoxingTalk recently caught up with the Sharp Knuckle to get his thoughts on facing Abraham, how fighting overseas is no different for him then fighting here at home, and what Ikeke will do to ensure himself victory on December 10th.
BoxingTalk: Kingsley, How is training going for this fight?
Kingsley Ikeke: Training is going very good. I’m working on everything because I expect my opponent to bring everything. This fight is very big fight for me, it’s a big step, and I thank God for this opportunity.
BoxingTalk: What are you expecting from this fight as it will be your first professional fight overseas?
Kingsley Ikeke: I believe it will just be another fight. There will be a ring, there will be the judges, and there will be a referee. I feel there will be no difference from any of my other fights.
BoxingTalk: Do you have any concern at all about the hometown judges, and will you work harder for the knockout so that they can’t ruin this title shot for you?
Kingsley Ikeke: I don’t know how they’re going to see it, but I can assure you if an opportunity comes for a knockout, then I’ll take it. The same way it did against Atwuan Echols. I don’t know how it will happen, but I know I’m going to win this fight.
BoxingTalk: What do you know about your opponent Arthur Abraham?
Kingsley Ikeke: I know he will be focused for this fight, but I am different from anyone he has faced before.
BoxingTalk: Have you ever seen Abraham fight before?
Kingsley Ikeke: I watched Abraham’s fight with Howard Eastman, but my style is different then his.
BoxingTalk: This fight will be for the IBF belt, the title Bernard Hopkins once held. How do you rank yourself amongst the other fighters in your division, like Hopkins?
Kingsley Ikeke: I’m going to bring that belt home, and then I’m going to line up those people. I’m not nervous about this fight, and there’s no pressure for me. I’m going to keep training hard because this is a gift from God.
BoxingTalk: What advantage do you feel you have over Abraham to come home with the title?
Kingsley Ikeke: My height and my reach. Some say I can’t fight because of my height, but I can box when I need to and I can fight when I need to. Again, I’m training for everything that Abraham can come with, just like I did against Echols.
BoxingTalk: What is your game plan for this fight?
Kingsley Ikeke: My game plan is to do what my coach tells me to do. I know I will have to jab, because my opponent is going to put a lot of pressure on me. I’ll use my reach, because he’ll want to get inside, and then I’ll use my power.
BoxingTalk thanks Mr. Ikeke for taking the time to speak with us. We wish him continued success both in and out of the ring.
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