South Africa’s Warren Joubert insists he hasn’t travelled more than 8000 miles just to make up the numbers and fully intends on returning to the southern hemisphere as the new Commonwealth super lightweight champion.
The experienced Johannesburg-born fighter is ready to take the next step in his career when he enters the ring against home favourite and current champion, Josh Taylor, at Meadowbank on Friday night.
Having touched down in the Capital with his team earlier this week, Joubert spoke confidently at his press conference about his chances of being the first boxer to inflict defeat on the Prestonpans star.
However, this will be the first time the 35-year-old has fought outwith his native country despite an impressive CV that reads 26 victories, four defeats and five draws, having made his debut in September 2004.
Taylor, meanwhile, who secured a fifth-round stoppage of Dave Ryan in October to win the Commonwealth belt, is seeking his ninth consecutive victory since signing with Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions in 2015.
“I’m not here because of lack of ability,” three-time South African champion Joubert said in an exclusive interview with the Evening News.
“The Commonwealth is a nice, big title to have so we decided ‘let’s go for it’ when I was asked a few months ago.
“I can box if I need to box and fight if I need to fight. I can get down deep in the trenches and have a go if needs be. I’m tenacious so Josh better be prepared for a tough fight just as much I am. All fights are a risk. Boxing is the toughest sport in the world but this is what we enjoy. We’ve just got to get down to it on Friday night.”
Joubert, also known as ‘the Warrior’ in his homeland, revealed he hasn’t seen a lot of footage of Taylor but has a huge amount of admiration for all his opponent has achieved so early in his career. It’s an occasion he is relishing and one he is confident he can win.
“I’m expecting Josh to be one of the toughest I’ve fought but they don’t call me the Warrior for nothing,” Joubert explained.
“It’s a big one for me – that’s for sure. I believe if I can get the win it will set me up for bigger and better things. Boxing is huge in Britain, so for us it’s opportunities to get some title fights. It’s a big deal and isn’t something that just comes around every day. I think this is a stepping stone.
“I don’t want to undermine anybody, though. Josh has achieved a lot as an amateur but this is the pro game so it’s chalk and cheese. We’ve covered all bases so we’re ready for it.
“As fighters, we get in there and do our thing on the night. If we knock our heads off then so be it. It’s a sport at the end of the day but why does there have to be this intense rivalry or animosity with each other? Afterwards, we shake hands like gentlemen and be friends. Of course, we can’t be friends whilst we’re in the ring.
“I don’t want to go in there with a specific game plan as I plan on changing it up. You can often find that If Plan A doesn’t work then move to Plan B and then on to Plan C so we’ll just take it as it comes.
“It doesn’t bother me he will have the whole support behind him. The crowd may inspire Josh but they can’t get in there and fight for him. It’s between me and Josh.”
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