BOXING: St Ives star Karl Wheeler aiming to take his big chance to capture major title honours
- Credit: Archant
St Ives Boxing Academy star Karl Wheeler is convinced the biggest fight of his life can end in glory.
The cruiserweight takes on former champion Wadi Camacho for the vacant Southern Area title in London this Saturday night.
And Wheeler, a 34-year-old now in his prime after an injury-interrupted career,
is confident he can clinch his first major belt at the York Hall.
Wheeler said: “Everything has gone great in the build-up to the fight. The sparring, pad work and running has all been spot-on.
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“I didn’t think I could train any harder, but I’ve upped it a level again for this fight.
“It’s not humanly possible to have done any more and it certainly won’t be down to the preparation if things don’t go to plan in the ring.
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“Winning a Southern Area title has always been the goal for me and I’m ready to fight my heart out to make it happen.
“It’s a prestige title and winning it could really shoot me up the rankings, and give me some great fights in the future.
“This is my big chance and I’ve really got a fire in me. I’ve won four fights in a row and everyone has been telling me I’m a different guy now.
“I’ve been more aggressive, I’ve been knocking people out and I’ve been showing my punching power. I’m really starting to believe in my ability as a boxer.”
Victory for Wheeler would also provide a first major title success for the thriving St Ives Boxing Academy, which continues to go from strength-to-strength under trainer Steve Whitwell.
The gym was an amateur set-up until Whitwell moved into the paid ranks to work with Wheeler, who is on a roll after winning his last four fights in style.
He has captured the minor British and International Challenge titles and won the Fight Cup, created by promoters Goodwin Boxing, during that hot streak.
His success against Ryan Crawford, in the Fight Cup final in December, secured the Southern Area shot.
Wheeler certainly hasn’t taken a conventional route into title contention. He spent nine years out of the sport following a serious hand injury and then suffered a major knee problem only months into his comeback in 2014.
“It would mean so much to me, to Steve and to the whole gym if I could win the title,” added Wheeler. “I want it so bad.”
“It’s a fight that might come down to who has a bigger heart and I know for a fact that is me.”
Opponent Camacho held the belt last year before losing it to Isaac Chamberlain, who subsequently vacated it.