To say that Mikael Zewski was an interested observer for Terence Crawford’s clash with Egidijus Kavaliauskas last December would be an understatement.

The streaking contender from Quebec sat ringside at Madison Square Garden for the welterweight title fight, envisioning both how we would fare on the title stage and the path he needed to travel in order to get there. It didn’t surprise him to see Kavaliauskas jump out to a strong start, nor was it out of character for Crawford to rebound and eventually stop the previously unbeaten Lithuanian in the 9th round of their ESPN headliner.

“I thought it was a great fight. It was pretty close until Crawford decided he would break him down,” Zewski (34-1, 23KOs) noted during a recent media conference call to discuss his own upcoming bout with Kavaliauskas (21-1-1, 17KOs), which takes place this weekend at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas (Saturday, ESPN+, 7:30 p.m. ET). “I know Egidijus Kavaliauskas. He’s fought on several of my undercards.  He’s a talented fighter, he’s been to the Olympics twice.

“He’s a solid fighter but he has some flaws that I believe I can exploit.”

Zewski enters the fight riding an eight-fight win streak, though having been out of the ring since last November. The bout will mark his ninth career Vegas appearance, though his first since the lone loss of his career when he dropped a 10-round decision to Konstantin Ponomarev in their May 2015 battle of unbeaten prospects.

From that night came a lot of changes in his career, though not quite surfacing to the level where oddsmakers are confident in his chance on this level. Kavaliauskas enters Saturday’s bout as a -400 betting favorite according to BetMGM.

“It’s kind of a relief, there is no added pressure,” Zewski says of playing the underdog role. “Obviously, [Kavaliauskas] had a very good performance against Crawford. I haven’t fought any big names that you can mention. So, I have a lot to [gain], he has a lot to lose for sure.”

There will be even more to gain with a win on Saturday.

“This is a Top Rank show, so if I win they will have an option on [the next fight],” notes Zewski. “If I win, Terence Crawford is the top guy [at welterweight], of course I want him next.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox~