Kurt Walker [4(1)-0] has paid heed to a warning shot fired by Yader Cardoza [25(8)-17-1] the last time the Nicaraguan visited Belfast.
Cardoza gave the Olympian’s manager Jamie Conlan a fight at the Waterfront back in 2017. The Conlan Boxing boss claimed a points win but only after he got up off the canvas in a tough fight.
Olympian Walker expects the Spain-based fighter to bring the same fire and determination to the SSE Arena on Saturday night, something which seems to delight the Canal BC graduate.
Walker knows he has to be on his game to navigate the early step up but suggests Cardoza is the ideal opponent for this stage of his career.
“I think it’s what I need,” said the Adam Booth trained prospect when speaking to the Irish News.
“If I have it in my head that he carries power then I’ll be at my best and I’ll be alert but if I don’t I might get complacent and that’s what I don’t want. I’m not talking myself up but when you’ve been to the Olympics people want to beat you.”
Walker had a similar test when he fought Marcus Martinez on the Return of the Mick card in August and is hopeful he can repeat that level of performance on the Conlan-Geurfi card Saturday,
“The last guy I fought in Belfast was game and it was the perfect fight for me because I was able to show my skills and I just need to keep getting better and fighting better opponents.
“If I’m in with someone who’s game that gives me an edge and that’s when you’ll see the best of me and when Jamie suggested Cardoza, I just said: ‘Sweet’. That’s my reply every time – one word.”
Saturday night brings to an end a busy debut year for the Top Rank starlet and after what will be five fights in less than 12 months he is looking forward to a rest.
“I want to get the win and chill out for Christmas and have a good break,” he adds.
“I’ve put a lot into this year training-wise and fighting-wise so it’ll be an early Christmas present to get this done and relax with the family for a while.”