Boxer Lee Purdy ‘in the prime of his life’ ahead of European title tilt with Leonard Bundu

Colchester's Lee Purdy

Colchester's Lee Purdy - Credit: Archant

Colchester boxer Lee Purdy is confident he will win his ‘make or break’ European welterweight title fight in front of a packed ExCel Arena on Saturday.

Victory over Italian Leonard Bundu would open up a pathway towards a world title fight in 2014, while defeat would probably see the 26-year-old drop back to domestic level bouts.

Bundu is undefeated in 31 fights and has successfully defended his European title four times since claiming it in November 2011, but Purdy believes he can end the 39-year-old’s reign in front of a home crowd.

“I’m 26 years old and in the prime of my life,” he said. “How much ambition has he got left at the age of 39? He’s never fought for a world title, he’s just defended his European title time and time again.

“On Saturday he’ll realise that this is a young man’s sport. When it starts getting tough it will dawn on him that he’s in the wrong ring at the wrong time.”

After claiming British and English titles, Purdy began to make a name for himself on the international stage with IBF international welterweight title wins against Argentina’s Gumersindo Lucas Carrasco and Mexico’s Cosme Rivera in September 2012 and March this year respectively.

He was a surprise call-up for a world title fight against American Devon Alexander when Sheffield’s Kell Brook pulled out through injury.

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Stepping in with just four weeks’ notice, Purdy failed to make the weight – rendering the fight a non-title encounter – and was withdrawn by his trainer after seven rounds.

The were still plenty of positives for him to take form that encounter in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in May though.

He said: “I wasn’t very well when I took that fight, I effectively only had three weeks to prepare and I learned a lot from that fight. I’ve fought one of the best fighters in the world and I don’t want to drop back down to British level now. If I win this then doors will open up next year. I could jump straight into an eliminator fight and then hopefully be challenging for the world title before the end of 2014.

“I know I can’t afford to slip up now. This is make or break for me.”

Lowestoft’s Anthony Ogogo is also on the bill, the middleweight returning to the venue where he won his Olympic bronze medal last year for his fourth professional fight.

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