HETTON boxer Jordan King says he is grateful to North East world champion Stuey Hall for giving him the opportunity to fight on a big stage.
King goes into the ring tomorrow for only his third professional fight, but his bout against Lithuanian fighter Vaidas Balciauskas takes place in the vast venue of the Metro Radio Arena on Tyneside.
And the 21-year-old, of Houghton Road, says it is good experience for him so early in his career.
King told the Echo: “I’ve got to be grateful that we’ve got a world champion on our doorsteps and the North East is getting the chance to stage some big shows.
“I’m lucky that I’ve got the chance to fight on a venue the size of that in only my third professional fight in what is a televised fight night.
“A lot of boxers spend years boxing in the small venues looking to build themselves up, so it’s nice to get to do that so early.
“For me, it’s all part of the learning curve and it’s another thing that hopefully stands me in good stead.”
The light-heavyweight’s two professional wins to date both came last year with comfortable points victories over Angelo Crowe and Egidijus Kakstys.
But Balciauskas, with his record of three wins (two knockouts) and two defeats, will be a tougher challenge this weekend on the undercard of Darlington world champion Hall’s IBF bantamweight title defence against Cheshire’s Paul Butler.
King said: “It’s a late change of opponent, so I’ll be wary of that, but training has gone very well and I’m really looking forward to the fight. I can’t wait to get it on.
“We don’t know a great deal about him, but we’ve done our homework as best we can and I’ve just got to concentrate on what I do best.
“It’s only four rounds, so the idea is to get in there and show people exactly what I can do.”
King trains under coach Paul Quarmby at Washington District Youth Boxing Gym and with former heavyweight contender Clifton Mitchell in training camps in Derbyshire.
Quarmby said: “I’m very happy with the way the preparation has gone.
“Jordan is sharp and he’s in great shape for what will be an important fight for him.”