KASH Ali wants to take another step towards boxing's big time by becoming a European champion tonight.
The Rotherham heavyweight locks horns with dangerous Czech Tomas Salek for the IBF crown in an outside show at the Sheffield Arena.
The contest pits Ali, with an 18-1 win-loss pro record, against the big-hitter with a reputation for despatching his opponents inside the distance.
A win would take Kash nearer to a British title shot in boxing's highest profile division but he knows he may need a career-best performance to make sure of it.
“This is a big fight, a title fight, and people can see what I'm capable of and what I've been practising,” he said.
“Salek has only lost twice and he's a big puncher and that means I will have to be fully awake and alert.
“It's an IBF European title on the line so anywhere at this level is not going to be an easy night, but I have done all my training and I'm hoping I will pull it off.
“A win would put me in the world rankings and being a heavyweight, you are always just a few fights away from the big time.”
Sparring sessions in London with heavyweight counterpart Derek Chisora have added an extra edge alongside Ali's regular training at Richard Towers' Rotherham gym.
“I'm excited and I'm ready to go,” said the 29-year-old.
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