Neil Sinclair has been drawn against old rival Bradley Pryce in the Prizefighter event and the Welshman intends to take revenge, seven years on from their first clash.
In February 2003, Sinclair secured a Lonsdale belt outright when stopping Pryce in their British welterweight title clash at the Odyssey Arena. Now the pair will meet in the quarter-finals of the light-middleweight’s Prizefighter on Friday night where the winner of the event scoops £32,000.
Former Commonwealth light-middleweight champion Pryce believes he is getting the Belfast man at the right time, though he admitted that “Sinclair and I are the two best fighters in the tournament”.
Pryce said: “For that fight in Belfast I had only about 10 days notice and when I got the call I was in the pub drinking, but I took it because I could earn some money.
“I put up a good show over eight rounds. They say he's a big puncher but I didn't feel that. Also back then it was a man against a boy because he was 28 and at his peak and I was 21. Now it's a man against an old man.”
Pryce lost his Commonwealth belt when surprisingly stopped in two rounds by Matthew Hall last March but is adamant that Prizeighter will be the ideal springboard back to title contention.
“I probably could have taken an easier fight and moved into the number one position for a shot at the British title but I've decided to take the Prizefighter chance and I'm very confident of winning it. I don't feel it's the last chance saloon, I feel that at 28 I'm at my peak,” added Pryce.
“I lost to Matthew Hall but I was only 50 per cent fit, I had an eating disorder. I was able to eat and drink fluids and then bring it all back up, it was like bulimia. I did that for six weeks solid and when you're coming down from 13st to 11st it's no good, the weight just came off without me having to work it off.
“Also, my trainer Enzo Calzaghe was in court with his son Joe so I was training myself. I didn't give it 100 per cent, I cheated, I was weak but I know that I'm a better fighter than Hall.
“Prizefighter probably doesn't suit me because if you look at my 35 fights there's only two stoppages inside three rounds, I'm more of a 12-round fighter, I come on late in the fight.
“But I've been training seven weeks and everything has gone well and I have changed things to make sure I can do well. Usually the Prizefighter is for unknowns but I feel that I'm in the middle, at a bit of crossroads but I know I'm at my best.”
The winner of Sinclair and Pryce should go on and land the jackpot and the Belfast man's manager John Breen is adamant that the cash and trophy will be coming back on the plane.
Breen said: “I've never seen Neil in such good shape. He's had a great camp, is in a great frame of mind and I think the three rounds will suit him more than anyone else in the Prizefighter.”
Sky Prizefighter draw: George Hillyard v Prince Arron, Neil Sinclair v Bradley Pryce, Brett Flournoy v Danny Butler, Steve O'Meara v Martin Concepcion