2012 Team GB Olympic boxing captain, Tom Stalker (10-1-3, 2KOs), will square off against Portugals Antonio Joao Bento (30-15-2, 18KOs) for the vacant WBO European lightweight title on Saturday at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
Stalker is one of the most decorated English amateurs ever and is now keen to not only compete in big fights but also lay claim to major titles.
After a blistering start to his professional career, Stalker hit a stumbling block with a loss to Jack Catterall and three successive draws against Tommy Carus and Craig Evans (twice). Time is now running out for the former Olympian who at 32 knows he can’t afford any more bad results.
“The results have been very frustrating but I know that during that period I’ve improved so much as a fighter working with my trainer Danny Vaughan in the MGM Gym in Marbella,” said Stalker.
“But Anthony Crolla has four losses and three draws on his record, Tony Bellew had two defeats yet both realised their dreams of becoming world champions. I need to look no further. All you need for your fortune to change is a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work.
“There’s never been a shortage of the latter. I’ve got to where I am through graft and determination, not natural talent.
“In 2006, I remember sneaking off in me breaks as a dishwasher at the Marriott Hotel to watch the England team win medals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Australia. I was so envious. By the next Games in Delhi, I was on the podium with a gold medal. If you believe, you can achieve!