Bexleyheath featherweight star Yusuf ‘Yut’ Safa is raring to go ahead of pro bout number seven but admits that being part of the blockbuster Fury vs. Klitschko II event on July 9 comes with its own pressures.
The gifted 22-year-old, originally from Afghanistan, will appear at the Manchester Arena shortly before Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko rematch for the heavyweight championship of the world and knows the eyes of the world will be on him.
“This one tops everything,” says Safa. “It’s on another level. It’s one of the biggest shows in boxing history; a rematch between the two best heavyweights in the world for the heavyweight championship of the world. You can’t get much bigger than this. It’s not even a fight, it’s an event.
“This will be a different experience for me. I know it will be a bit nerve-wracking but every fight is nerve-wracking. This one will just produce a few more nerves because of the size of it. It’s only natural. I have to make sure I’m focused and stick to the job.”
Last time out, in March, Safa demolished Slaveya Stefanov in three rounds and again showed why his promoter, Mick Hennessy, has labelled him a “special talent”. The result marked the fourth stoppage win of Safa’s two-year pro career.
“I felt good,” says Yusuf. “The kid was a bit wild in the first couple of rounds and the action was a bit messy and all over the place. Once I settled down, though, and stayed calm and relaxed, I got it done.”
Now 6-0 (4 KOs), Safa looks to make bigger strides in 2016, starting with an appearance on July 9 in front of 20,000 fans at Manchester Arena. From there he has only titles in mind.
“I could have done a bit more in the two years I’ve been a pro but have been held back a bit by some of the injuries I’ve had,” says the 22-year-old. “They have kept me out of the ring and inactive longer than I would have liked.
“I believe things happen for a reason, though, and you just have to deal with it. I’m still in a good place, I’m still young and I’m just as ambitious as I was when I turned pro.
“Within the next twelve months I want to be in the mix for titles – Southern Area, Commonwealth, Youth. I’ll fight for any of them. I know I’m good enough to be winning those kind of belts now.”
*** For tickets to REPEAT OR REVENGE: Fury vs. Klitschko 2, please visit eventim.co.uk or call 0844 847 8000 ***