TONY JEFFRIES admits its been a stressful week leading up to Saturday’s ring return.
The Sunderland super middleweight fights for the first time in 2011 when he takes on Paul Morby in Doncaster this weekend.
He was originally due to take on former British champion Tony Quigley, who had to pull out through injury, throwing a spanner in the works of Jeffries’ otherwise “perfect” preparations.
The Wearsider said: “I was really looking forward to the Quigley fight. It was going to be a proper test.
“I don’t think Morby is at my level, even though he is a very durable and experienced fighter.
“He’s a tall southpaw and I can remember the last time I sparred a southpaw – perhaps the last one was Kenny Egan at the Olympics.
“But we have made some plans and I’ve been working on a plan.
“It’s been more stressful than I hoped it would be. I was flying in the gym and couldn’t have felt better, then we had to find a new opponent.”
Jeffries’ dad and manager Phil tried to get a high calibre opponent for the contest in South Yorkshire (live on Sky Sports).
Morby, 31, from Portsmouth, has won six and lost six – only one of the defeats inside the distance – of his 13 pro outings.
He has been a southern area champion in a professional career stretching back to 2006.
“We offered the fight to three lads in the top ten, but they couldn’t take it for various reasons,” said Jeffries.
“It’s been tough for my dad trying to get me an opponent in quite a short time, but he’s done it.
“Morby is a very experienced man and I have to give him the respect he deserves because I think he has only been stopped once, and that was for a cut.
“I am still feeling positive. Hopefully I will win this one and get another fight before the end of the year.
“Then I’ll be looking at a title fight hopefully in the new year, or perhaps even at the end of this year.”
Jeffries has trained for much of this year in Los Angeles and it has proved a fruitful partnership, in the gym, at least.
“Tommy and I have gelled really well,” the 26-year-old said.
“I have massive respect for him and our personalities have dovetailed really well.
“I couldn’t be happier with things and I’m confident we can get things moving again this weekend.”
Jeffries has not fought since last December, when he beat Tommy Tolan in Belfast but suffered a deep cut over his eye, which eventually needed specialist surgery.