Kurt Walker [4(1)-0] says he is in great shape ahead of Saturday’s fight with Yader Cardoza [26(8)-20(7)-1], which is scheduled to be the third six-rounder of the 27 year old’s career.
Having caused the Lisburn fighter’s manager and promoter of this weekend’s show, Jamie Conlan, moments of trouble back in 2017, Cardoza looks a tricky enough test for a fighter going into just his fifth pro fight.
However, Walker, who like SSE Arena bill topper Michael Conlan is trained by Adam Booth, is in a confident mood on the back of another strong camp.
The Top Rank prospect points out he is smashing personal bests physically and is a much-improved fighter having spent a year working in Boths Gym.
“I’ve been getting PBs in this camp in every department so I’m feeling brilliant for this fight,” he told Conlan Boxing’s YouTube Channel.
He only made his pro debut in February, but he feels the improvements he has made in 2022 are vast. “I’ve been here a year now and there’s things I can do now that I couldn’t nearly do last year, it’s insane. It’s good to see at the end of the year. Obviously, I still have the fight to go, but I’m feeling brilliant.”
Last time out the Canal BC graduate had a one-sided points victory over Yin Caicedo in Frankfurt. While it was relatively straightforward, one of the most memorable moments came when Caicedo bit his opponent, something that wasn’t seen by the referee. “Your man was awkward, he was swinging wildly. I was doing things right, I was being professional, I was keeping things clean, as clean as I could, I was just trying to get the win and then obviously he went in for the bite,” Walker recalls.
If Kurt Walker wants to know just how big a test he faces this weekend he just needs to ask his manager.— Irish-Boxing.com (@Irishboxingcom) December 6, 2022
Yader Cardoza asked questions of Jamie Conlan when they meet for the WBC flyweight international title in 2017. pic.twitter.com/qlPy9FHHPl
Walker showboated a little in the aftermath, and he says he hoped he could goad Caicedo into a repeat, which would see him disqualified. “It obviously wasn’t bad with a gum shield on him, but it was like a wee pinch, I felt it straight away. I was like ‘no way that just happened’. He must have done it before because he was very cute in the way he done it,” he says.
Fighting in Frankfurt was a great experience for him. “100%. I enjoyed it, going to Germany. I’d been there before as an amateur, but it’s different as a pro, weighing in the day before. I enjoyed being out of my comfort zone and it’ll stand to me.”
On what fans can expect from him this weekend, he say, “I’ll be sharp, try and be clean, try my best not to get hit, sometimes i get caught with stupid shots so that’s what I’m trying to work on at the moment and staying focused for the full six rounds of the fight.”
He hopes that 2023 will be a year of progress. “I want to bounce up to eight and hopefully on Paddy’s Day there’ll be a big enough fight for me. I’ll be a year as a pro then and I’ll be looking for big things next year, moving up to eight rounds, maybe ten by the end of the year. I’m not sure exactly where it’ll take me but I’m sure it’ll be good progression.”