Lewis Paulin says he is still coming to terms with the fact that he’ll be fighting on a bill this weekend headlined by one of his boxing idols.
The former Meadowbank amateur will contest his sixth professional bout on Saturday against Barnsley’s Brad Botham at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow where former world champion Ricky Burns will attempt to make Scottish boxing history by becoming the nation’s first three-weight kingpin.
The Coatbridge fighter will this time go toe-to-toe with Italian Michele Di Rocco for the vacant WBA super-lightweight title and will look to add to his previous WBO accolades held at both super-featherweight and lightweight. But, for super-featherweight Paulin, whose last victory came against Lithuania’s Simas Volosinasthis in March, Saturday’s fight has brought about an opportunity he admits he couldn’t have envisaged as a raw teenager.
“It’s quite a surreal feeling to be honest with you. I grew up watching Ricky Burns with my pals years ago and obviously I was just an amateur at the time,” the 25-year-old explained. “But now I’m going out there and fighting on the same show as him. It’s incredible.
“I didn’t get into boxing until I was about 18 – I started late and that’s when I started following the likes of Burns and Willie Limond, who is also on the bill. I would like to think Ricky can win this fight and become Scotland’s first triple world champion because he is tough as nails.
“This is by far the biggest stage I’ve had the opportunity to box on. Sky Sports will be there and, with it being at the Hydro, that won’t come around all too often. Being the first-ever professional show there, I’m sure there will be thousands of people inside so the atmosphere is sure to be electric. I really can’t wait. Even if I wasn’t fighting on the show I’d definitely have got tickets for it so it’s really a win-win for me. “It was amazing seeing all these guys and what the build-up is like to a big world title bill at yesterday’s press conference. There were loads of journalists about and what have you so it gives you a real insight into what happens ahead of the bigs shows. I suppose it’s what we’re all aspiring to when you think about it.”
Paulin is confident he won’t let his travelling fans down as he bids to deliver another accomplished performance against Englishman Botham.
“I’ve watched him [Botham] on YouTube and he’s quite a bust fighter which is good,” said Paulin.
“He’s had seven fights and lost three but he’s not one who likes to cover up and just survive in there. I definitely think he’ll come and be quite aggressive and throw a lot of punches. That will leave me with a choice to pick my shots as he’ll be more exposed.
“I’m sure I can get another win under my belt.
“I’m happy this one is going to be six rounds because I’m fairly fit. I always feel the four rounds that I’ve previously fought go fairly quickly and I’m always left feeling like I’ve got more in the tank to give.
“The more rounds the better as far as I’m concerned so this will stand me in good stead going forward.
“It’s great to have the likes of Charlie Flynn and Joe Ham on the show too as I was just coming through as an amateur with those guys and now we’re all getting a big chance to show what we’ve got as pros.”