Josh Kelly is not the only unbeaten Sunderland boxer out to sprinkle some red and white colour in black and white country on Friday.
Warren Baister is looking to make it a magnificent seven wins in a row as a pro on the JD NXTGEN show in Newcastle.
Baister will face Latvia’s Arturs Kulikauskis at the Walker Activity Dome, where Kelly’s North-East derby with Tom Whitfield is the principal fare.
The 31-year-old never made it to the Olympics, like Wearside neighbour Kelly, but had a decorated amateur career and is serving his apprenticeship now as a pro.
Baister, whose dad Ernie was a pro back in 1980, is aiming to make it to the top in the paid ranks. Thus far the cruiserweight has been fed a diet of Eatern European/Baltic opposition but coach Dave Binns hopes his man will soon be competing for honours.
“I’m just his trainer, not his manager,” said the coach who is based in the East Durham College gym in Peterlee.
“Warren is class and I think he is ready now to be boxing for titles.”
Baister seems to be moving in the right direction after his most recent displays.
Matched last time out with Imantas Davidaitis, all 6ft 8½in of him, the former Plains Farm star handled the giant with aplomb and previously accounted for ex-Olympian Christian Adjoufack.
“That last fight could have been a bit of a banana skin, but Warren was mint,” added Binns. “I think he is ready to box anyone at British level, it’s probably a case of where and when.”
Kulikauskis has a fair record, his tally of 35 defeats from 60 bouts is not bad considering much of his life is spent in the away corner.
‘King Artur’ has nine KOs on his log, so can’t be dismissed easily, though when he has stepped in with the ‘big boys’, like Tony Bellew and Simon Vallily, he has been stopped.
Baister would hope to make it a British hat-trick in the Sky Sport-screened show.
Elsewhere on the bill, Hetton’s Jordan King fights Adam Jones, Sedgefield’s Bradley Saunders makes his comeback from two broken hands, while Darlington’s Stuart Hall is also in action.
Tickets are on sale now priced £30 unreserved balcony, £40 unreserved tier, £60 reserved floor seats – tickets are available from www.matchroomboxing.com