Paul Economides says he still can’t believe he will appearing on what is set to be the biggest boxing show Liverpool has ever seen this weekend.
Economides, from Vicars Cross, will be taking on an as-yet unnamed opponent on Sunday on the undercard of the WBC cruiserweight world title fight between Liverpudlian hero Tony Bellew and Congolese fighter Ilunga Makabu at Everton FC’s Goodison Park Stadium.
A crowd of 30,000 is expected for the show, with movie star Sylvester Stallone, hero of the Rocky films, set to attend owing to his friendship with Bellew, who starred in the latest installment of the series, ‘Creed’.
For bantamweight Economides, a fighter who has been cursed with bad luck during his eight-year professional career, this Sunday represents the realisation of years of hard work and a genuine chance to finally make his mark after so many false dawns.
“I’m so excited for this weekend, I keep on forgetting that I’m going to be fighting on the bill, it’s just so surreal,” said Economides, who recently signed with boxing promoter Dave Coldwell, who trains Bellew.
“It’s going to be the biggest fight night Liverpool has ever seen and one of the biggest that the UK has seen. It’s just going to be epic and I can’t wait to set foot in that ring.
“I had hoped to be fighting a UK fighter, naming no names, but a couple turned down the chance to fight me on this bill. I can’t understand why anyone would turn down the chance to be involved in this.
“It looks like I’m going to be fighting an overseas guy, but I still have no idea who. Whoever it is they can be sure that I’ll be ready as training camp has gone pretty much perfectly.”
Economides, 29, will have exposure he has never experienced before, with the fight night screened worldwide and shown live on Sky Sports in the UK.
After a career that has seen him forced to fight journeyman fighters on small shows at empty halls, Economides knows that this is his chance to shine and has set his sights on a title fight by the end of the year.
“My family have seen me close to tears a few times when things have been so bad, but they always believed in me and here we are,” said Economides, who trains at Chester Boxers in Hoole.
“My trainer Steve Goodwin has always believed in me and kept me moving forward, which I’m so grateful for.
“This is my chance. I want to go for a big title by the end of the year and I think I can do it. I’ve worked hard for this and I’m determined to make this a success.”