Every year, thousands of people buy a one way ticket, pack their bags and disappear off around the world without having a final destination in mind.

Some do it to experience different cultures and expand their horizons. Others take off in a bid to seek enlightenment or discover the meaning of life. Whisper it, but some might even do it to spend a few years beach hopping and postponing the idea of getting a job.

Abass Baraou (14-1, 9 KOs) undertook his own global quest in a bid to improve his fighting ability. The inner peace will come from knowing he did everything possible to achieve his goals. 

Baraou began boxing in Germany and enjoyed a successful amateur career which took him around the world. He then moved to England and spent an enjoyable couple of years as part of Adam Booth’s stable. Now, he is based in Florida where he trains under the renowned Cuban, Jorge Rubio. 

Baraou returns to England on Friday night and will box Sam Eggington (34-8, 20 KOs) for the vacant European junior middleweight title in Telford.

“I feel like I’ve been improving my technique and movement a lot. I feel like my style has changed from stiffness to moving and that I can better use my technique and tactics,” he told boxingscene.com.

“I can use my advantages a lot and I feel like that has been stepping up since being in England and also now here in the U.S.

“That is what I’ve been searching for on this long journey. Everywhere I go, I’m looking for quality. I’m not trying to stay in one place and not progress. That’s where all the changes came from. I feel like I’ve been doing it quite well so far and I feel like it is bringing the best out of me. That is what I’ve been looking for.”

As well as wanting to round out his skillset, Baraou headed across the Atlantic last October in search of action. America is known as the land of opportunity and realising he was at risk of stagnating after fighting only twice in two years, Baraou decided to try and open up some new pathways to the top.

“I was a bit inactive in the last few years. That came with a lot of frustration and I felt like I needed some changes,” he said. “I always wanted to see how the boxing was in the U.S. Last year was the right time for me to make some changes and see where all of this is heading. I thought it was time to go to the U.S

“I got in touch with Jorge Rubio, who’s an excellent coach. The training in the UK at Boxing Booth was perfect and I didn’t get the feeling I was missing anything but some fights. That’s the only thing. I was just ready to make some changes.”

Baraou seems to have been on the brink of breaking through for a long time. In 2017 he won a gold medal at the European Championships and followed that up with a bronze at the World Championships later that year.

He moved relatively quickly after turning professional in 2018, losing a split decision to Jack Culcay in his 10th fight but is unbeaten in five since.

The potential and pedigree is undoubtedly there and almost everybody who spends any time alongside Baraou in the gym marks him down as a future champion but time is ticking. Inactivity has played its part, but Baraou is now 29 years old and probably getting as close to being the finished article as he will get. If he is to fulfil the potential seen in him, he needs to make a statement this weekend.

Baraou will certainly have a willing dance partner in the exciting and underrated Eggington. The man from Smethwick will certainly make Baraou fight for every moment they share in the ring and this week feels like a pivotal moment in the German’s career.

“I think he’s a great warrior. He’s been in some great, tough fights and people know him as well. I think it’s a great challenge for me. I’m excited for it. He’s a worthy opponent and he has a lot of credibility,” Baraou said.

“Probably,” he continued when asked if this will be his best victory as a professional. “I haven’t really looked at it from that point of view but it will be an important win to become the EBU champion and that’s what I’m looking for.

“I was the European champion as an amateur and I can’t wait to become the European champion as a professional as well. It’s quite big to me.

“I think we are both fighters with experience. Anything could happen. I think every opponent is different. I expect anything. I can go to war if I have to. I like using my brain sometimes. Let’s just see what happens on the night.”