KICKBOXING champ Michael “Robby” Johnson is gearing up for what could be his last fight on home turf.
Robby, who trains at the Spartan Fighting Academy in Hylton Castle, will take on Sam Allan for the World Kickboxing Association European title in December, in what he hopes will be the first step towards another crack at the WBA world title.
Robby, who is the World United Martial Arts Pro 63kg kickboxing champion, lost out on the WBA title when he fought multiple world champion Bobby “The Jackhammer” Campbell in New York earlier this year.
He will start his preparation for the December bout when he takes on former Scottish champion Dale Cargill next month.
He is aware the bout at the Nissan Events Arena could be his last in front of a hometown crowd.
“I’m 31,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 10 or 11 years and it is getting harder now.
“I don’t think I’ve got too many fights left, so it’s important to put a good show on.”
But he is philosophical about the defeat to Campbell.
“I have chased a few dreams and I got to go to New York,” he said.
“Maybe I have missed the boat there, but it was a life’s ambition to fight for the title and to get to go the New York, to the Big Apple, was just fantastic.
“I thought I might get something, so the scores were a bit disappointing, but I came home and licked my wounds.
“I’ve had two fights since and been fortunate enough to win them both.
“I had a fight last Sunday in Sutton Coldfield and stopped the lad in three rounds.”
Robby knows next month’s clash will be a tough one but is confident home advantage can see him through.
“We’ve got Dale coming down to fight me – he’s very tough, very determined and very fit,” he said.
“But you just train as hard as you can and you leave as little to chance as you can.
“This will be my first time fighting in Sunderland since last year and it really, really helps your performance. It is a great feeling when you walk out at home and the crowd is so partisan.”
Robby Johnson will take on Dale Cargill on Saturday, October 20. Tickets are available from Body Zone in Holmeside.