The British capital has been a happy hunting ground in recent years for Irish boxers – with JJ McDonagh and, especially, James Tennyson scoring big knockout wins over touted names Jake Ball and Martin J Ward respectively.
Upton gets his chance tomorrow night versus light middleweight starlet Ted Cheeseman at the York Hall and he has vowed not to let the Sky Sports-broadcast opportunity pass him by.
Not that he needed it – but the English fighter has stoked a flame within Upton after he labelled the Belfast boxer “a fraud.”
Cheeseman said that “come Wednesday night I’ll show everyone that I’m levels above Pauly Upton. He’s a fraud really and has boxed 15 journeymen. He’s got a real test on Wednesday.
“Pauly Upton is alright for a few rounds but he won’t be able to keep me off for 10 rounds. I personally thought he lost to Adam Jones.”
The London-based Upton responded by noting how “you can only beat who they put in front of you.”
Picking through Cheeseman’s record, Upton is paying little heed to his career-best win over dangerous gatekeeper Carson Jones last time out.
“Jones came in overweight, he wasn’t focused on winning the title,” said Upton when speaking to Sky Sports. “He was just looking for big shots and he did run out of steam, but I’ve trained for the 12 rounds and I’m looking to do a good job.
“He [Cheeseman] is still a young lad. From what I’ve seen of him, he’s a good fighter, and he’s got a good engine, but I believe I have what it takes to beat him.”
“This is a fight for me to change my life. I want this fight more than anything.”
Supremely movtivated following years of building, Upton is ready to jump on his chance.
“It’s the right fight to take at this point,” he stated.
“If you can’t get up for these fights, then why are you in the sport of boxing? I’ve had a really good training camp this time.”
“This belt is a massive thing for me and I’ll be taking it. This is a big opportunity for me to provide a better life for my family and kids. It’s huge.”
While Cheeseman [13(8)-0] has been brought through by Matchroom, Upton feels his hard slog has him both prepared and underestimated
“As he’s quite a young lad, I have a lot more experience in the game, I believe,” he explained before discussing his misleadingly low knockout percentage.
“My record doesn’t suggest that I’m a powerful fighter, but I definitely have power. The guys I’ve boxed, they’ve all been tough journeyman, and they just cover up and run.”
“If the stoppage does come, then I’ll 100 per cent take that.”