TITLE hopeful Navid Mansouri doesn’t intend to let a lack of fans take the punch out of his performance when he returns to fight on British soil this month for the first time in three years.
The Rotherham fighter faces Northampton's Kieron Conway for the WBA Inter Continental super welterweight belt next Friday knowing that new opportunities will open up for the winner.
The bout is part of the Matchroom Fight Camp series put on by top promoter Eddie Hearn in the grounds of his headquarters in Brentwood, Essex.
The shows are being lived on SKY TV cameras but will take place without a crowd in line with lockdown restrictions.
And for Mansouri, who has been based in Spain of late, the night is about the opportunity, not the atmosphere.
“In a way, having no crowd is good,” he said.
“There is no stress, no running around selling tickets. You can just focus on your job and there are no excuses for the fighters.
“All you have to do is concentrate on your performance and nothing else.
“I'm looking for a shot at the British title but the skies the limit. You get a world ranking from the WBA so we would have to see what's next.
“I would love to win it if a win puts me into better fights then I'm happy to do that in order to move forward but right now I'm focused on this one.”
Mansouri says his fight camp with trainer Kevin Lilley down in Wickford has been his best ever.
He's worked with a sports psychologist and nutritional experts to help give him an extra edge against the dangerous Conway who, at 24, is seven years his junior and sports a 14-1 win-loss pro record.
“This is the best camp I have had in my career. I couldn't ask for anything better,” said Nav.
“I have been working with a conditioning company, iPrep Meals in London, and they know everything.
“It all has science behind it and I have seen the benefit with how I'm feeling, working and sparring.
“My fitness and performance has picked up and up and up and having the sports psychologist/hypnotist has helped too. It is something I have never done before. I've always been physically ready but things can put you down mentally. With the psychologist being on board, it's all positive.”
Having been on the wrong end of a couple of tight points decisions in recent fights, Mansouri needs to make a statement to show he still has plenty to offer.
With just over a week to fight time, he says the bulk of the hard work is done.
He added: “We do have a game plan to beat Kieron Conway but we're more focussed on what I'm going to do.
“I just want him to be in his best shape ever because I want to fight the best Kieran Conway.
“I believe I'm in the best shape ever so there are no excuses for me. Going into this fight, I'm in a very good place.”
Nav wishes to thanks sponsors KCM Skips, Star Lounge and Eco for their support.