JIMMY BEECH JR has been going without wages for several weeks to make sure he is ready for big punching Chris Bourke.
Walsall’s Beech (12-1, 2 KOs) gets a big opportunity when he challenge’s for the Londoner’s WBC International Super-Bantamweight title at SSE Arena, Wembley on Saturday July 24, live on BT.
The former British title challenger works as a painter and decorator, but knows upsetting Bourke (9-0, 6 KOs) will bring him a step closer to packing away his brushes for good.
“I have taken unpaid leave for this fight,” explained Beech who had his first amateur fight at the age of 11.
“If I win, it will open big doors. I will be in a good place with Frank Warren and Queensberry to get a deal, earn decent money and have bigger fights.
“I have been off work for [ten] weeks already because we thought the fight might have been taking place in late June, so I stopped working in May.
“When the date was moved, I decided to stay in full-time training until after the fight.
“It is a big sacrifice. Had I stayed at work and not had the fight I might have made more money, but this is about progression.
“I beat Chris then bigger chances will come and you never know what might happen.
“One of the our local fighters Jason Welborn won a British title and suddenly got a World title fight against Jarrett Hurd out of nowhere. Anything like that could happen.”
Beech Jr, 24, hasn’t boxed for 12 months when he pushed Brad Foster all the way in a British and Commonwealth title challenge before losing on points.
Since Jimmy suffered his Foster setback, Bourke has outpointed Rahmez Mahmood and in December won his title with a stunning two round demolition of fancied Michael Ramabeletsa.
Beech Jr added: “I don’t think Chris punches as hard as his record suggests and I am confident I can take his power.
“I don’t want to put down his win against Ramabeletsa, but I believe it was right fight, right time.
“I would have beaten Ramabeletsa. I might not have knocked him out, but would have won comfortably.
“I took a lot of confidence out of the Brad Foster fight. I took the fight at pretty short notice, and I didn’t have any fitness at all.
“There is no vendetta against Brad because he beat me, but I want to fight for the British title again so while he has that I want him.
“That is a dream for me, and beating Bourke means I am not too far away at all.
“It is good to be on a big stage. It is what you work for and this is a big opportunity that I have to take. I have to enjoy these nights while they’re there.
“It promises to be a top, top fight. We’re both there to be hit. Chris hasn’t exactly got the best head movement and he won’t have to go looking for me.”