Interview: IBF international welterweight champion Lee Purdy

Interview: Lee Purdy
© PA Photos
Lee Purdy talks to Sports Mole as he prepares to face the toughest test of his career against exciting American welterweight Carson Jones at the London Olympia in December.

Welterweight contender Lee Purdy is preparing for the biggest test of his career on December 8 when he faces exciting American Carson Jones.

Purdy takes on Jones in the headline act of Matchroom's 'Christmas Cracker' show at the London Olympia.

'Lights Out' sat down with Sports Mole to discuss stepping up in class and building on a breakthrough year.

You end 2012 with the toughest fight of your career to date. How do you feel about stepping up in class against Jones?
"I can't wait, this is what professional boxing is all about. I want to be amongst the big fights and big names and this is exactly what taking this fight will do for me if I can do the business."

This fight has the makings of a tear-up to remember. How exciting was it to hear Carson's name put forward as an opponent?
"We sat down to look at the next fight and I was offered Matthew Hatton but I picked Carson Jones because he gave Kell Brook a tough night and took him to a split decision. I plan to do a job on Jones because that is the best way to put me in the same bracket as Kell, Amir Khan and Ricky Hatton. I believe winning this fight will do exactly that."

Have you made an effort to look beyond domestic opponents in recent months in an effort to improve your standing in a tough division?
"I didn't want Matthew Hatton because Kell walked that fight, pretty much winning every round. The Carson fight was different for Kell, he gave him problems all night. He is a bigger name for a number of reasons but that won't stop me doing a job on him on December 8th."

Do you feel this fight is the acid test in your career to see whether you can mix it with world-class opposition further down the line?
"That is exactly what I am aiming for, to keep improving. I don't just plan on beating Carson Jones, I plan on going in there at the Olympia and making a statement. I want to do that by knocking him out. If I do that the big names can't hide from me. Win this fight and my name has to be mentioned with Khan, Brook and Hatton."

Does headlining the card add more pressure to stick to the exciting style that has made you an attraction in the welterweight division?
"I think it will work the opposite way, there won't be any pressure on me because I'll probably be the underdog going into this fight. I put a lot of pressure on myself to deliver because I love doing what I do. Most people don't like their job, I don't like calling this a job because I absolutely love it. The plan is to use that drive to beat Carson and move myself into the picture for bigger and onto better things."

Do you expect an all-out war and do you think Jones may try to employ different tactics to ensure he leaves England with a victory at the second time of asking?
"I really do think me and Carson will go out looking for each other and throwing big punches from the off. I believe that I want it more and I can knock him out, that is exactly what I plan to do."

Jones showed impressive levels of stamina against Brook to keep fighting late into the twelfth round. Is that something that concerns you at all?
"No, definitely not. Carson is big at the weight but I've sparred middleweights and handled myself really well. I believe I will be stronger than Jones. We all know Kell struggled to go the distance and let him back into the fight, I am not going to do that. I will push him for as long as he can last, guaranteed. At my peak fights don't last 12 rounds and on the eighth I plan on producing the best performance of my life."

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