9:00am Wednesday 4th December 2013
HALESOWEN's European kickboxing champion Simon "Mr KO" Akufo faces a career defining fight for the world belt this weekend.
Akufo fights Italian champion Cristian Tronu at Birmingham's Q Club on Saturday night for the World Kickboxing Association welterweight title.
The 32-year-old believes his punishing training regime will see him reclaim the world championship he lost last year in a brutal defeat against Russian champion Ilya Usachev.
He said: "I am in insane shape, the best of my life, and believe my strength will tell against Tronu in the later rounds.
"I want my world championship belt back, I still see it as mine and I am more dangerous than ever.
"I tweaked my training regime for this fight and have trained for 15 rounds so the longer the fight goes the better it will be for me."
And the former Windsor High School pupil is planning to live up to his name and win back the world title with a knock-out.
He said: "I am punching harder than ever and am really in fight mode now. I have had to ease up on the sparring because I was getting into the ring really wanting to hurt people, I am now keeping that anger for Saturday night."
However, Akufo is not underestimating Italian champion Cristian Tronu who fights out the of the world renowned Ferrari Gym in Calgiari, Sardinia.
"Tronu has a reputation as a strong finisher so it will be bombs away from the first bell. It will be a great advert for kickboxing with two fighters giving it all in a great atmosphere with a world title at stake."
Due to previous problems with promoters Akufo is staging the Honour and Glory show at the Q-Club himself.
He said: "It is not ideal promoting and fighting but at least I have the peace of mind that the fans will enjoy a great show with a good undercard.
"The venue is just perfect for a world title fight night and as usual there will be a fantastic party afterwards."
Tickets for the title fight on Saturday are available from 07775 800 906.
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