WBC Australasian Light Heavyweight champion Mat Sheehan (10-1, 7 KOs) could be excused for being overawed when he enters the ring on July 15.
After all, he will have boxing’s global audience casting its collective eyes over his every move.
‘The Machine’ is set to take on Conor Wallace (10-1, 7 KOs) in a main event bout that will air on streaming platform DAZN, after promotional outfit Tasman Fighters inked a deal with the international broadcaster.
Moreover, the 10-round affair will be contested with a trio of regional titles, as well as a chance to move up in the global rankings, on the line.
None of this has been troubling for the laser-focused Sheehan, who has blocked out these external factors.
“Obviously it’s such a big fight, winner takes all,” Sheehan told The Inner Sanctum.
“There’s so many repercussions for this fight and the winner will get pushed up the rankings. Their career will be going on the right path.
“I have thought about it, but everything’s been set on doing what I can do with my preparation to come into the ring 100 per cent.
“All that matters is when me and Conor get in the ring and touch gloves. All of the outside noise and everything around it gets eliminated and it’s just me and Conor there punching on. That’s it.”
Having cast the non-essentials aside, the underdog Sheehan’s attention is fixed solely on the highly regarded foe standing before him.
In his career to date, Conor Wallace has shown, through both incredible skill and immense heart, that his future star burns bright.
All of these attributes were on full display in the Irishman’s most recent outing against the hard-hitting Leti Leti (16-2, 12 KOs).
That night, Wallace rose from the canvas in round three to land a knockout blow in the sixth.
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Although Sheehan concedes that the scene was just as impressive as it was inspiring, he believes some encouraging signs can be taken from the past.
“Credit to him, he’s a great fighter,” he said.
“He’s the favourite going into this fight and that doesn’t bother me. It’s in his hometown, he’s got the pressure on him, he’s the number one boy at the moment.
“His last couple of fights he’s looked good, but his last fight against Leti he got caught and got found out quite a few times. He got the win still, but he got caught.
“It shows he can be beat.
“I’ve prepped and I’ve done what I can. I’m confident in my ability to go up there and beat him and take those belts.
“I’ll prove a lot of people wrong come Saturday night, when it’s all done.”
Although there is a confidence underpinning his conviction, Sheehan knows he cannot afford to look past Wallace, even for a brief second.
The 31-year-old is acutely aware that a win will more than likely involve a journey to the limits of his own iron-clad will.
Yet he is willing to dive head first into the imposing challenge to prove to fans both at home and abroad that he has what it takes to swim in the deepest waters.
Preparation and desire cannot be questioned. Now all that remains is to execute.
“It’s going to be a hard fight, there’s no doubt about that,” he concluded.
“I can see two blokes absolutely going for it. There’s a lot on the line and by the sound of things he doesn’t like to back down. Neither do I.
“This is my time now. Being 31, I need to start making things happen. This fight is the one that’ll open a lot of doors.
“As they say, you jump in the ring and you’re willing to die in that ring. You do anything to get that win.
“I can’t wait to get out there and just showcase what I can do to Australia and now worldwide. It’s my opportunity and I’m going to take it with both hands.
“I want it too much.”
Conor Wallace vs Mat Sheehan will serve as the main event of Tasman Fighters’ July 15 card, airing live on DAZN. To watch, click here (subscription required).